For the Isaac (Laughter) Set Before Him, Jesus Endured

Isaac, who means laughter, was the man-of-faith’s true joy,

For God gave Sarah grace to bear this promised baby boy.

Where faith met grace, the LORD performed a miracle so great,

It gave their friends and family great cause to celebrate.

 

Through Hagar, Abraham had Ishmael, who was very weak.

His mother had to shelter him while water she did seek.

For, like God’s holy law, he lacked the strength to set men free.

His line did not reveal the truth that leads to liberty.

 

His hand would be against all men and they at war with him.

As for escaping Ishmael’s judgment, it seemed less than slim.

Because, like law, he had no strength to save mankind from sin.

Therefore, only Through Isaac (laughter) can we really win.

 

Yet laughter’s dad was told to offer up his only son

Upon an altar to be sacrificed – God’s will be done.

He laid the wood on Isaac’s back as they went up the hill,

In order, this “obedience unto death” he might fulfill.

 

When asked “Where is the lamb?” Abraham said, “God will provide,”

Not knowing that a ram was coming up the mountainside,

Faith laid his Laughter on the wood, prepared to take the knife

And slay his son, believing God could bring him back to life.

 

But then an angel called from heaven, “Do not harm your son!”

“’I know now that you love me,’ says the Lord. The work I’ve done,

Because old Abraham beheld the ram in thick vines caught,

A substitute for Isaac who from death now had been brought.

 

For God so loved the world, we read, His only Son He gave.

To save our joy from perishing. He overcame the grave.

And for the Isaac set before him, Jesus bore the cross

That those of faith like Abraham might escape eternal loss.

 

 

Laughter: Best Tool for Digging Writing Wells

God gave Abraham, the faith man, and Sarah, the free woman, power to conceive a son named Isaac, whose name means laughter (see Galatians 4:21-31). This was an amazing miracle because Sarah was ninety at the time and way past child-bearing age. Abraham was one hundred. But all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). After Isaac was born, Sarah said “God has made me laugh, so that all who hear will laugh with me.” (Genesis 21:6).

To “laugh” in this case clearly doesn’t mean to mock. It is not a wicked sort of laughter. It is completely joyful. Joy that comes from God makes miracles happen. Keep in mind, it was God who told the faith man to call Isaac “laughter.” It is the sort of laughter that sets you free to be everything that you were meant to be.

The day Isaac was weaned, Abraham gave a great feast. Again there was laughter, but this laughter wasn’t good. Abraham’s son Ishmael, son of his slave woman Hagar, was mocking Isaac.

As a result, Abraham had to send them away. “For the son of this bondwoman (slave woman) shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac,” said the free woman (Genesis 21:10).

Now, here’s something worth noting when it comes to Isaac being heir to Abraham: Abraham (faith) gave Hagar and Ishmael (who represents bondage to law – see the passage in Galatians) water for their journey. But Isaac (laughter) inherited his wells. The Philistines stopped up those wells, but Isaac reopened them. (see Genesis 26:15).

Laughter – joyful laughter – born of faith digs wells like no one can. Isaac was really into digging wells. The Lord’s unspeakable joy must have been his strength (see Nehemiah 8:10).

Now, there are different kinds of wells: natural and spiritual. Writers create wells of “water” that can either sicken or refresh the ones who drink it. I personally happen to like pure water. I want my stories to refresh readers, not leave them languishing in the desert. But as I struggle to express deep truths I find inside God’s Word, my writings can get way too serious and bogged down (like the law that condemns me because I didn’t “word it perfectly”).

That’s when I need to close my eyes, praise God, and tap into the well of joy and laughter Jesus has placed in me. For those who drink this glorious water will never thirst again (John 4:14).

 

Digging Wells that Demolish Writers’ Blocks

Digging wells is important, I have discovered, for dispensing living water that refreshes thirsty souls. When I first received the prophecy concerning God’s Word pouring out of me, I experienced a flood of inspiration. It bubbled up in the form of poems, skits, humor, stories, and profound Biblical insights. Drops of truth few others had dug up shone like gems inside my mind. I couldn’t wait to share them.

Then the Philistines came along and sought to plug the writing wells I dug by faith, while I following in the footsteps of Abraham, the man of faith. The Philistines, fathers of giants, used destructive criticism to dump dirt on the golden nuggets that sprang forth from my well. I had barely started digging but they wanted me to stop. Their intimidation tactics made me want to give up.

“After all, why write something nobody cares about?” they whispered in my ears.

“What if no one reads this novel you’ve been working on for years?”

“This isn’t right. You’re too obsessed. This work consumes you.”

“It’s an idol, not a gift.”

Their taunts, though true, hit my ears like clashing gongs. Forget the “diamonds  in the rough” I had unearthed. All they chose to feast their eyes on was the mess. As I listened to their digs, my pile of unpolished gems turned into a mountain of a writer’s block: huge, overwhelming, and impenetrable. With that as my focus, I’d never get anything to drink!

Let’s face it: Digging wells isn’t easy, but it’s the only way to move that writer’s block – because sometimes you have to move more mud out of the way to reach the water. Besides, that mud is packed with gems of inspiration. The more you dig, the more you’ll find.

For example, the first few gems you unearth may contain bits of dialogue. Later on, you may see some characters take take shape. Moreover, despite the fact  that  digging wells can be a years-long process, you’ll eventually hit water – but only if you keep digging.

Inspired by the story in Genesis 26:15-22