How absolutely astounding is it that He identifies Himself according to three men? He gives personal touch-points of relationship to Him through fallen men, but He calls Himself the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Really they should be protesting this. “No, they are the servants of the Most High. They must identify themselves according to their connection to You, not You identifying Yourself according to Your connection to men.” Such profound humility can only come in Him.
As the God of Abraham, He declares that He is the One who receives the worship of the faith-filled. Abraham had one great thing going for him, he had faith. Out of all the tribes of the earth, Abraham was taken out of them all and claimed as the father of the faith. Like the disciples of Jesus’ day and the disciples of our day, Abraham was invited to leave everything and go to a place he did not know of. He knew that the encounter he had with God was so real that he could stake his life on it. His faith passed to his son.
As the God of Isaac, He declares Himself to be the God of revival. Isaac did two great things, and is overlooked quite often. First, he was willing to be sacrificed as a young man (I think was 33, but the evidence in Genesis allows for him to be between 30 and 37 years old). His father, Abraham, was 100 years older than he was. If for any moment Isaac had a change of mind and didn’t want to trust his father’s encounter with God, who Abraham felt could raise him from the dead, Isaac could have easily overpowered his father. But Isaac, in true Messianic fashion, willingly carried the wood to the hill of the Lord – Moriah was likely to later be named “Golgotha”. Then, after the Lamb was provided, Isaac grew up and in his later years was said to have “re-dug the wells of his father” – Isaac was a revivalist. He took what his father had done and brought it back. In God’s identifying with Isaac, He is saying that He is the God that is worthy of life-endangering faith and the God of revival of the ancient ways. On to Jacob.
As the God of Jacob, He declares Himself the God who will get down and dirty with man and the God who alters men’s lives, giving them a new name. Jacob was a stubborn bloke. He lusted for the blessings. He would get blessed shrewdly or by force, but one way or another, he was going to be blessed. God will wrestle with us, not because we can beat Him, but because He loves to be with His people. When Jesus called His disciples, Mark wrote that He called them “so that they could be with Him.” Fellowship, even the uncomfortable kind, is what is on His heart. But He doesn’t ever come in contact with us and not change us. It isn’t because He is trying to change us necessarily, but in His Presence we cannot help but be changed. When we come out of an encounter or a season in His Presence, we come out the other end with a new identity, rather a new understanding of our eternal identity in Him. We, then, become who we are.
Beyond the individual connections, He shows that He can unite generations. This is one of the centerpieces of His purposes in the earth before His Return – the restoration of the generations. Jesus, referring back to the prophet Malachi’s word concerning the mission of Elijah, that is John the Baptist and the final generation, says that the turning of the hearts of the sons to the fathers and the fathers to the sons is “all things” in Matthew chapter seventeen. If just two generations can unite, He can do great things, but He unified three generations in the faith that He is the God of the resurrection.
*O Unifier of the generations, come in our days and accomplish all things in us. Amen*