“When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for his elder son Esau and said to him, ‘My son.’‘Here I am,’ he answered.Isaac said, ‘I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death. Now then, get your equipment – your quiver and bow – and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.’”NIV

‘It was only a matter of time before the divided home would start to self-destruct, and it all began with Isaac. He knew that God had chosen Jacob, the younger son, to receive the blessing (Gen.25:23-26); but he announced that he would give it to Esau. It seems that Isaac was more interested in his physical appetite than in spiritual things. He was not the spiritual person he once had been.’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘With the Word’,p.34.

I find that last line haunting. Isaac was not what he once had been. He had fallen from a height. Just think about the Isaac we saw in the last chapter. I would say he was in his spiritual prime there. No, he was not perfect. He was a ‘cracked pot’. Hairline fractures in his character and family life were visible. But here was a man being abundantly blessed and divinely guided. He had power, and God was evidently with him.

But how true it is that the mighty can fall. Just as we find in the book of Revelation that churches can lose their lights, so believers can lose their lustre. Or at least, they don’t burn as brightly as they once did. But for all that I find this prospect scary, I have to say that for every Isaac I have known, I’ve had the privilege of being acquainted with many more Enochs and Calebs: people still walking with God and taking mountains well into their later years. Looking back on many years in the church, I have known such a large number of outstanding Christians living exemplary lives in their 60’s/70’s and 80’s (and even 90’s. In fact, I think of one lady – a spiritual giant in my eyes – who is now over a hundred!!)

So it’s not inevitable that we follow Isaac, helter-skelter down his slippery slope, and there is a clear pointer in the story to help us. It is this: never go against what God has clearly revealed in His Word; never compromise where truth is concerned, nor violate your conscience. Stay close to God. Pursue Him relentlessly, and do whatever He tells you.