What does it mean to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? I have read over those words many times with far too much familiarity when, in fact, they carry much weight.
There is little written about the generations before Abraham. We never read that God was the God of Terah (Abraham’s father), do we? But something changed with Abraham. History did not repeat itself.
Abraham was God’s friend (James 2:23). The legacy of Abraham’s family completely changed because of his love and obedience to God, in spite of his mistakes. Never would this family be the same. Future generations would point back to the devotion of those who had gone before as an encouragement to their own faith. Abraham’s faith caused a change in destiny. In the process, Abraham got a new name - a new identity, and he discovered the identity of God – multi-faceted and redeeming.
Yes, Abraham’s destiny changed in much this way…
He received a crown of beauty where there once had been ashes, the oil of gladness where there had been mourning, a garment of praise replaced a spirit of despair. And future generations would be oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. God would rebuild the ruined places of their lives and restore them. He would trade shame and disgrace for an everlasting joy. And all who saw them would recognize that they were blessed by God. (Isaiah 61:3-9)
God took a pagan family from a pagan land and drew from it a man whom He blessed and called His friend. And God is doing the same even now. How much I want my children and grandchildren to say that the I AM was the God of Rebecca. May they say that nothing else took His rightful place in my heart and that I did not live under the shadow of the past. By God’s grace and His empowering, He makes a new legacy possible for each of us, as He did for Abraham.