December 13, 2010

A Homily on Isaac, Who Was Blessed By God

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, 'I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee'" (Genesis 26:24).

Brethren, from time immemorial, the path upon which the righteous walk has always been difficult. From time immemorial, they have been hard pressed either by those who do not believe in God or by those who maintain an incorrect belief. Abel was hard pressed by his brother Cain; Noah and Lot, by a completely corrupt generation; and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by the pagans. However, God does not forsake the righteous to walk the difficult path alone.

This we also see with Isaac: "I am the God of Abraham thy father; fear not." Isaac understood these very meaningful words. By these words, God encouraged and reminded him. He was saying: "Because of Abraham, I will bless thee also; and, as I protected Abraham among the pagans, so in a like manner will I protect thee." And further: "Be faithful to Me as was Abraham thy father." Isaac followed the example of his father and did not turn away from God at any time in his life.

Isaac was a farmer and a cattle-breeder as was his father; he was righteous and meek, avoiding strife with men and doing good for people. "We saw certainly that the Lord was with thee" (Genesis 26:28), as his haters and persecutors finally had to admit. And Isaac was made worthy that God be called His God: just as God was called the God of Abraham, so later He was called the God of Isaac.

O Lord, wondrous in Thy saints, remember our names also along with the names of Thy righteous ones and saints in Thy Kingdom. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.