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It has been the common experience of all ages among the elect of God, to see in some a feebler expression of the same mind than in others. We see it all about us every day, and find the witness of it in Scripture abundantly.
It is found in Isaac, in contrast with his father Abraham.
Abraham had been called out of his country and from among his kindred, detached from all the associations that nature and life and circumstances which the world had made important to him. He was to go into a land where he was a perfect stranger, and there lead a life-the springs of which were in God, and which had to be formed by faith and not by nature.
Isaac was not such a one. He was to live where he had been born. He was never called from home. But still his faith was tried, as it had been in Abraham. God's word was to be his rule and his life, as it had been his father's, though in circumstances not so striking and peculiar.
A famine touched the land where Isaac was born, and it was Isaac's calling, under God, to abide there. If Abraham had been called from his home, Isaac's call kept him at home. And the famine came to test Isaac's faith and obedience there, as Abraham's had been tested in Mesopotamia by the call of God.
And Isaac stood this test, as Abraham had. It was not so fine and bold an expression, but it was an expression of the same principle, or life of faith. " Get thee out of thy country," God had said to Abraham, and I will do so and so with thee; but to Isaac, God now says, Sojourn in this land," and I will do so and so with thee.
Here was a different word, but it was exactly the like test of the same principle of faith. It was not so bold and striking, I grant; it had not so much of the martyr character in it. It does not elevate Isaac so high in our thoughts, when we look at saints in their manners, or in their station. But so is it now, as it was then; and there is comfort in all this. The small and the great are alike before Him. To some it is given in the behalf of Christ not only to believe, but also to suffer for His sake. But the small and the great are alike before Him. There is the eye, and there is the foot in the body. Nay, there is the thirtyfold, and the sixtyfold, and the hundredfold in the husbandry. There is, indeed, the sowing bountifully, and there is the sowing sparingly.
Let not the weak say, I am not of God, because I am not strong. Let not Isaac, because he is not Abraham, forget that the God of grace, yea, and the God of glory, has said, " I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."
And we find in the twenty-sixth chapter that as Isaac by faith continued in that land, because of God's word, though there was famine there, God blessed him, as He had said unto him just as He blessed Abraham, who, because of the same word, left his own land, for we read, "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year a hundredfold, and the Lord blessed him."