“Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.” (Acts 7:8)
Without these patriarchs’ faithful contribution and commitment to a future they could hardly understand, you and I would be without the historical evidence of the biblical foundation upon which our faith rests.
Abraham, who was used by God to be the “father of many nations,” was given a covenant (Genesis 12:1-3) that applies to all who are saved by faith in the work of God accomplished through Jesus Christ on the cross, who rose from the grave and is now sitting at the right hand of the Father. Abraham became the example of salvation by faith (Romans 4:1-16; Galatians 3:9-24).
Isaac was the Promised Seed from whom the nation Israel came. He is the Old Testament example of the willing sacrifice of the Messiah yet to come (Hebrews 11:17-19), and he became the genetic head of Israel (Romans 9:7).
Jacob is an example of God’s sovereign right to choose those whom He wills to serve Him (Romans 9:10-13). He is often misjudged for his “deception” of Isaac, yet Isaac had chosen the wicked Esau to inherit the blessing even though Jacob was chosen prior to his birth to be the heir (Genesis 25:23). Jacob fathered 12 sons through four wives, and God Himself changed his name to Israel (Genesis 32:28; 35:22).
Joseph became the prime minister of Egypt and was responsible for preserving the budding nation of Israel. He is an example of the steadfast, trusting, and faithful servant who simply expects God to accomplish the good God intended (Genesis 50:20; Acts 7:9-18).
Perhaps the struggles, sacrifices, and successes of their lives need to be a fresh memory for each of us. HMM III