And Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. Genesis 35:27-29 ESV
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments. Psalm 78:1-7 ESV
Before the Olympic games begin every four years, there’s a torch that’s lit in Olympia, Greece, and carried to wherever the games are held. The torch is often carried through many countries and continents in a relay. One person runs with the torch for awhile, and then passes it to another person, who runs and passes it to another, and so on. As the torch is passed, the flame keeps burning. The flame from Olympia is the same one that is brought to the games.
Faith in God’s promises and in the Savior he would send was a torch that was passed down from Abraham to his son Isaac. Isaac lived to be 180 years old, but at last his time came to die. Both of his sons buried him together. Just as Isaac and Ishmael buried Abraham together, Jacob and Esau buried their father, at peace with each other at least for a little while. Isaac carried the torch of faith in God, and after his death Jacob continued to carry the torch to pass onto his sons. Jacob’s–or Israel’s–sons were to be God’s people. The promised Savior would be born among them someday.
Jesus, the promised Savior, came from Israel’s family to die on the cross so that all people could be in God’s family. God still wants parents to pass faith on to their children, who will pass it on to their children, and so on. If you have Christian parents who teach you about God’s love in Jesus, what a wonderful blessing that is! Someday you can pass the torch along to your children. But God’s love isn’t only for Christian families. God’s love is meant to be shared with everyone. God the Holy Spirit can help you pass the torch of faith anytime you know someone who doesn’t have the love of Jesus.
Dear Jesus, thank you for giving me the torch of faith, and help me to pass it on to others. Amen.