The Jewish roots of Christianity

Home » Zola TV » Video Archives » ZLM Video

Bible teaching with an emphasis on Israel, prophecy and the Jewish roots of Christianity

This program is not available for playing in your browser (see below for alternatives).

Play video (28:31)
Episode: “Isaac”
The promise of a child to an elderly couple came in an angelic message. Father Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, involved an act of obedience by each of them. Their successful test of faith pictures the redemption to come.
Series: “Divine Deliverance”
from Avraham to Yeshua
In this series, we examine how the Lord offered a message of deliverance through 12 significant Bible characters, beginning with faithful Abraham and culminating with Messiah Himself. Dr. Jeffrey Seif teaches on location in Israel and discusses the lesson’s application with David and Kirsten Hart in the studio. We enjoy enlightening dramatic re-enactments from past series, along with Zola’s music, completely re-orchestrated and sung by David and Kirsten.

Caption transcript for Divine Deliverance: “Isaac” (2/12)

  • 00:01 Jeffrey Seif: Someone's gonna go from sadness to gladness. You're gonna learn about that today on "Zola Levitt Presents."
  • 00:15 male announcer: From the beginning, our Creator revealed
  • 00:19 his will to the common man.
  • 00:21 Individuals listened to his call and responded in obedience,
  • 00:27 from the first Hebrew Avraham to the culmination of salvation in
  • 00:31 Messiah himself, the Lord faithfully intervenes
  • 00:36 with his divine deliverance.
  • 00:40 ♪♪♪
  • 00:48 David Hart: Shalom, friends, and thank you for joining us
  • 00:49 today on "Zola Levitt Presents," I'm David Hart.
  • 00:51 Kirsten Hart: I'm Kirsten Hart.
  • 00:53 Jeffrey: I am Jeffrey Seif and I'm curious,
  • 00:56 can you recall what your life was all about when you first
  • 00:59 heard, "Bingo, you're going to have a child!"
  • 01:03 That's on the menu today, correct?
  • 01:05 Kirsten: It is, we are in our series "Divine Deliverance,"
  • 01:08 and we are picking and you picked some amazing people
  • 01:12 in the Bible to talk about.
  • 01:13 And today, it's all about Isaac, but we're gonna go back to his
  • 01:17 parents, Abraham and Sarah, and what happens when
  • 01:20 you entertain angels unaware.
  • 01:23 David: Right now, let's go to our dramatic reenactment where
  • 01:26 Abraham finds out that he's gonna be a father.
  • 01:31 announcer: And the Lord appeared unto Abraham
  • 01:33 in the plains of Mamre.
  • 01:35 ♪♪♪
  • 01:45 ♪♪♪
  • 01:55 ♪♪♪
  • 02:18 ♪♪♪
  • 02:27 ♪♪♪
  • 02:37 ♪♪♪
  • 02:56 [laughing]
  • 03:23 Jeffrey: The word in Hebrew for angel is the word "malakh."
  • 03:28 It comes from the Ugaritic verb "lak," which means to send.
  • 03:33 The word "angel" and the word "messenger" are the same in the
  • 03:37 Hebrew Bible, and in Greek, "angelos," the same
  • 03:39 word, messenger and angel.
  • 03:42 Why is that?
  • 03:43 Because we're looking at the delivering of messages,
  • 03:48 and oh what a message we have here.
  • 03:53 Never mind the word, now let's take a look
  • 03:56 at the moment in the book.
  • 03:59 We get to the story in chapter 18 of Bereishit, Genesis.
  • 04:07 It's worth considering what comes before.
  • 04:09 Avram was just circumcised.
  • 04:12 I don't wanna speak in a way that could be construed as
  • 04:15 inappropriate for television or for religion audience,
  • 04:18 but he was in pain considering he just
  • 04:20 had a surgical operation.
  • 04:22 And the way the story is set up, it is the heat of the day.
  • 04:27 I mention that because Jews alight upon the fact that Avram
  • 04:31 was particularly discomforted, and you know what it's
  • 04:35 like when you're uncomfortable.
  • 04:39 You don't wanna reach out to others because
  • 04:43 we tend to turn inward.
  • 04:45 This man was different.
  • 04:49 Discomforted though he was, he sees these messengers,
  • 04:53 he doesn't know they're angels, and he comes
  • 04:55 and extends hospitality to them.
  • 04:58 Refreshment, food, the pouring on of water.
  • 05:01 You know, the word "hospitality" and the word "hospital" are cut
  • 05:05 from the same cloth.
  • 05:06 That is to say there's a kind of healing when we're hospitable.
  • 05:11 It's all related.
  • 05:12 What's worthy of note here is the fact that the one who's
  • 05:15 extending hospitality is suffering in the process.
  • 05:20 We read in the Newer Testament, "Do not neglect to show
  • 05:24 hospitality--for some of entertained angels unaware."
  • 05:29 Not only did they entertain angels,
  • 05:31 they did something else.
  • 05:33 They inaugurate their own ultimate deliverance.
  • 05:40 It's a fascinating story that Avram and his wife
  • 05:43 were vexed for years.
  • 05:47 Not all trials go away with, "In the name of Jesus, be healed."
  • 05:50 Well, I wanna go to a church that can really
  • 05:52 make the bad man stop.
  • 05:53 You know, truth be known, some things linger.
  • 05:56 It doesn't mean there isn't a breakthrough.
  • 05:58 It doesn't mean there's no deliverance to come.
  • 06:01 But there is suffering and there's a biblical promise about
  • 06:04 those who, through faith and patience, inherit a promise.
  • 06:10 It seemed to me that Sarah was a little--she had lost patience a
  • 06:15 little sooner in the game, so when she first hears of--that
  • 06:19 she's gonna be pregnant, she laughs.
  • 06:23 The word "Isaac," or "Yitzhak," comes from a
  • 06:26 word meaning "to laugh."
  • 06:30 We live in a world today when many think that deliverance,
  • 06:34 biblical deliverance, is, in fact, laughable.
  • 06:38 Not so.
  • 06:39 I read the text and read stories of God breaking through.
  • 06:46 And by the way, the word "breakthrough," as in waiting
  • 06:48 for the breakthrough, means just that.
  • 06:50 There's something that, for all intents
  • 06:52 and purposes, is impenetrable.
  • 06:56 And you know what happens?
  • 06:57 God breaks through.
  • 07:01 Is it just for the Jew or is it for you?
  • 07:03 It's a reasonable question.
  • 07:05 It's a rhetorical one because the answer is for all.
  • 07:08 Well, you say, "Yeah, maybe that's from the Jewish people."
  • 07:11 It's for those who walk by faith.
  • 07:17 There is a great reward.
  • 07:18 And after a series--a sequence of sufferings,
  • 07:23 after being tested by time and circumstance,
  • 07:26 finally the miracle child is going to be born.
  • 07:31 It's not just good news coming to these ancient Jews,
  • 07:33 all of us are reminded that there's good things to come
  • 07:37 when we walk by faith.
  • 07:43 announcer: And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said,
  • 07:46 and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
  • 07:50 For Sarah conceived and bear Abraham a son in his old age at
  • 07:55 the set time of which God has spoken to him.
  • 09:16 Jeffrey: When you get a professor type or a theologian
  • 09:20 to talk about childbirth, there really is the potential of
  • 09:26 missing the moment by a long shot,
  • 09:29 you know, the intellectual jargon.
  • 09:31 There's a certain kind of tenderness.
  • 09:34 There's a certain experience that the movie captures,
  • 09:38 that gentle moment, that mother with child.
  • 09:44 I think it's hard for a male to understand that,
  • 09:47 and it's easy for a theologian just to dive into the text
  • 09:49 and the context and word studies,
  • 09:52 and just miss the tenderness of the moment entirely.
  • 09:57 I don't wanna apologize for who I am.
  • 10:00 I gotta run with it, but there's something about seeing it.
  • 10:04 There's a kind of soulish beauty there.
  • 10:07 Certainly it's the story of a mother with a child,
  • 10:10 but in conjunction with that, if not beyond that,
  • 10:13 it's the story of a dream come true, a miracle that's
  • 10:19 happened, the end of a journey, a long wait.
  • 10:23 There's a sense of fulfillment.
  • 10:27 When I think of fulfillment, I think of
  • 10:30 being full and being filled.
  • 10:33 There's biblical language, "My cup runneth over," to use the old
  • 10:37 classical King James talk, and
  • 10:39 that certainly is Sarah's feeling.
  • 10:43 It's her mind on the matter.
  • 10:45 In chapter 21, we're told, "Adonai visited Sarah
  • 10:50 just as he had said."
  • 10:53 There's that moment of deliverance
  • 10:56 when it all comes clear.
  • 11:00 The sacredness of a moment.
  • 11:01 The Hebrew "piqued," as in, "The Lord visited,"
  • 11:06 it's also, "The Lord remembered."
  • 11:10 And this speaks to me of a question that we ask,
  • 11:14 if not verbally, at the feeling level.
  • 11:17 Sometimes we wonder, does God really remember?
  • 11:24 It's a question we ask as sometimes we're in a wilderness.
  • 11:28 We can go to church and it's always preached that walking
  • 11:31 with God is the oasis and the oasis is here.
  • 11:34 I'm not to say there's no watering holes to speak of,
  • 11:37 but sometimes it's a long journey.
  • 11:40 But God watches over his Word to performance and he brings
  • 11:44 about a great deliverance.
  • 11:46 In this case, a woman who could not bear a child, and
  • 11:50 deliverance would come through this womb that wouldn't open.
  • 11:55 And there's a child who would come who then,
  • 11:58 as we'll see, is gonna be offered up to be sacrificed.
  • 12:02 This is a story about a woman's struggle.
  • 12:04 This is a story about God's plan.
  • 12:06 But it's a story that points to another story,
  • 12:10 when the Father of us all, through a woman who couldn't
  • 12:13 bear a child, is gonna bring forth a great Deliverer.
  • 12:20 announcer: Our offer on this program is the first three
  • 12:22 courses in The Institute of Jewish Christian Studies,
  • 12:25 compiled by Zola Levitt and Dr. Jeffrey Seif.
  • 12:28 These shortened college-level mini courses include Old
  • 12:32 Testament Survey, New Testament
  • 12:34 Survey, and Jewish History.
  • 12:36 Each course comes in a three-ring binder with audio
  • 12:39 CDs, easy-to-follow outline, and a mail-in test.
  • 12:43 A unique blend of Jewish and Christian perspectives.
  • 12:46 This self-paced program brings the seminary to you.
  • 12:49 Call 1-800-WONDERS.
  • 12:53 Andrea Davis: Hello, my name is Andrea Davis, and I've been
  • 12:56 working with Zola Levitt Ministries for over 20 years.
  • 13:00 For me, this is not just a career, it's a calling, and I'm
  • 13:04 so grateful for those who feel called alongside us.
  • 13:08 Your prayers and financial support help us produce
  • 13:11 informative, anointed television from Israel.
  • 13:15 So please, continue to give as you're able and let's
  • 13:19 continue this journey together.
  • 13:21 Thank you.
  • 13:24 Kirsten: In Hebrew, "Thank you" is "Toda," and "Thank you
  • 13:27 very much" is "Toda raba."
  • 13:30 And I would like to say to you, our wonderful viewer and those
  • 13:33 who support "Zola Levitt Presents," toda raba for being
  • 13:37 faithful and keeping this program on the air
  • 13:40 for so many years.
  • 13:41 Now, let's see as Abraham almost
  • 13:45 sacrifices Isaac on Mount Moriah.
  • 13:51 announcer: And it came to pass after these things
  • 13:54 that God tested Abraham.
  • 14:18 announcer: And God said, "Take now thy son, thine only son
  • 14:23 Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee unto the land
  • 14:27 of Moriah and offer him there for a burnt offering
  • 14:31 upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
  • 14:35 Then on the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes
  • 14:40 and saw the place afar off.
  • 14:43 ♪♪♪
  • 14:51 ♪♪♪
  • 15:21 ♪♪♪
  • 15:31 ♪♪♪
  • 15:41 ♪♪♪
  • 15:51 ♪♪♪
  • 16:00 ♪♪♪
  • 16:08 ♪♪♪
  • 16:51 Jeffrey: I find it very interesting that Avraham,
  • 16:55 when he heard God tell him to go sacrifice Yitzhak, or Isaac,
  • 17:00 there's no record of him telling Sarah on the front end.
  • 17:04 After the fact, when the boy's brought back, then you can
  • 17:07 tell the story, but on the front end, I think not.
  • 17:13 I mention that because I was pleased to develop the story of
  • 17:17 the tender moment between a mother and child.
  • 17:20 After all that she had been through,
  • 17:22 if her husband came around and said,
  • 17:24 "Honey, I heard the voice of the Lord.
  • 17:27 I'm gonna go kill Junior," I think she would've taken the
  • 17:29 knife and stuck it in him, and would've been forgiven for it.
  • 17:35 Well, never mind my conjecture.
  • 17:37 Sometimes God beckons us to do things that
  • 17:40 don't comport with sensibilities.
  • 17:43 This story in the book Bereishit, in Genesis, in the
  • 17:47 Hebrew world is called the Akedah, which means the
  • 17:51 "Binding," particularly the "Binding of Isaac."
  • 17:55 And what a story it is that this man who's the father of the
  • 18:00 nation is going to take a miracle-born son and have him
  • 18:06 carry the wood up to a place where he is then intended to be
  • 18:11 sacrificed, only to be stopped in mid act and told that God
  • 18:18 will himself provide a lamb.
  • 18:22 There's a few things at play here.
  • 18:23 One, in chapter 22, we're told that the Lord
  • 18:27 tested Abraham in this way.
  • 18:31 And it can be said that if there isn't a test,
  • 18:33 there ain't a testimony.
  • 18:35 There are tests.
  • 18:37 I wouldn't suggest you endeavor to do this with your own.
  • 18:41 One of the upshots of all this is clarifying in no uncertain
  • 18:45 terms that God does not want child sacrifice.
  • 18:49 I mention that 'cause in antiquity, in North Africa and
  • 18:52 in the ancient Near East, there are many examples of the
  • 18:56 ancients offering up child sacrifices, the firstborn.
  • 19:00 It's to placate a deity.
  • 19:02 If you look in the Hebrew Bible, individuals are beckoned to
  • 19:05 offer the first fruits.
  • 19:07 There's grain products, there's animals, not your own children.
  • 19:10 But offering up children was part and
  • 19:13 parcel to ancient religion.
  • 19:15 This certainly offers a challenge to that in no
  • 19:18 uncertain terms in the biblical economy.
  • 19:21 But more than that, there's a picture here
  • 19:24 of the ultimate redemption.
  • 19:26 Why do I say that?
  • 19:27 Again to repeat, there is the father who is working with a
  • 19:33 woman who cannot conceive.
  • 19:36 It takes divine agency.
  • 19:38 It takes miracle.
  • 19:41 Subsequent to which she gives birth, in the wake of which
  • 19:45 this special son, who is the carrier of the promise of
  • 19:50 redemption through Abraham, blessing to the world.
  • 19:55 This son is gonna be taken and sacrificed, only to be stopped.
  • 20:01 It begs the question, what's at play here?
  • 20:05 Beyond offering a corrective to a sacrificial practice that
  • 20:10 existed in antiquity, there's something here that telescopes
  • 20:14 into the future, to my way of thinking, that beckons an
  • 20:17 individual to understand something about the redemption
  • 20:21 to come, when God the Father will effect a miracle through a
  • 20:26 woman who cannot bear a child.
  • 20:29 And by the way, messengers come and speak to her and Joseph and
  • 20:32 say as much, that, "A miracle child will be born and you're
  • 20:36 gonna name him Yeshua," or Jesus.
  • 20:39 And by the way, the word "Jesus" is a word meaning to save,
  • 20:43 to deliver, or to redeem.
  • 20:46 To me, it's tragic.
  • 20:48 The word "deliverance" has been hijacked.
  • 20:50 There's a famous movie, "Deliverance," and it has themes
  • 20:53 that aren't really appropriate for a biblical audience,
  • 20:56 so we have to preface by saying "Divine Deliverance."
  • 21:00 This, friends, is a picture of a divine deliverance, and we find
  • 21:05 it in the Hebrew Bible.
  • 21:08 It's at play in this text, and I hope it's
  • 21:12 at play in your own life.
  • 21:14 That is to say there is a God the Father who so loved the
  • 21:17 world that he sent his only begotten Son who carried his
  • 21:22 wood to a cross, and in so doing became the sacrifice
  • 21:27 and the deliverer for us all.
  • 21:33 David: Some of you have heard us talk about our son,
  • 21:34 Ryan, who lives in Jerusalem.
  • 21:37 We have another son who lives in Colorado Springs,
  • 21:39 who is an Army vet.
  • 21:40 And we love our children so much, and I have a hard
  • 21:44 time thinking what it would be like if God said to me,
  • 21:49 "Sacrifice one of your children."
  • 21:51 I don't know if I could do it.
  • 21:52 Jeffrey: Well, I don't know that I could--well,
  • 21:54 I know that I couldn't, but I can tell you this.
  • 21:58 Twenty years in a police uniform, I have gone to places
  • 22:02 where--I mean, if I ran upon a situation like this as
  • 22:05 a police officer, I'd have assault with a deadly weapon,
  • 22:09 aggravated assault, I would have domestic violence here.
  • 22:13 Someone's going to jail.
  • 22:16 And if they said, "God told me to do it," that's
  • 22:18 a mental health issue on top.
  • 22:20 David: You've probably heard that before.
  • 22:21 Jeffrey: Oh, I sure--I've heard everything.
  • 22:23 Between 63 years of living and 20 years of policing,
  • 22:26 nothing surprises me anymore.
  • 22:28 But isn't this, at one level, really a bombastic story?
  • 22:33 Kirsten: Oh, talk about drama.
  • 22:36 It's full of it; and you were saying about, "I can't imagine
  • 22:40 almost doing that to my child."
  • 22:41 I can't imagine what you're telling your child as you're
  • 22:44 binding him up, and laying him on an altar,
  • 22:47 and sharpening the knife.
  • 22:49 Jeffrey: And I can't imagine a child who's not an infant just
  • 22:52 sheepishly going on with it.
  • 22:54 If you figure that Avram is an older man,
  • 22:57 and here is a son who's spunkier, he's got energy,
  • 23:01 could he not have got himself out of that?
  • 23:04 There is someone who, in effect, is going as a sheep
  • 23:08 to the slaughter, literally.
  • 23:11 It's a fascinating story.
  • 23:12 And you like the whole laughter thing accentuating the joy of
  • 23:16 the birth of this boy, and now look at the lack thereof as a
  • 23:20 father is about to plunge a dagger into the breast
  • 23:26 of his firstborn son.
  • 23:27 David: Right, so he was obedient.
  • 23:29 I'd struggle with being obedient with something like that.
  • 23:32 But that's not the end of the story.
  • 23:34 Jeffrey: No, it really isn't.
  • 23:36 Obedience is a sidebar to it.
  • 23:38 I think one of the things that's clear is, in antiquity,
  • 23:42 people did offer firstborn children.
  • 23:45 In the biblical economy, we'll take the firstborn of the flock
  • 23:49 rather than the firstborn of your own family system,
  • 23:53 but one of the things that's clear is that in Israelite
  • 23:56 religion, we don't do that sort of thing.
  • 23:59 Kirsten: Right, so that was very different,
  • 24:00 I mean, for God to call--right, so in ancient times, you
  • 24:06 sacrificial--you sacrificed your child.
  • 24:09 And here, you know, God brought Abraham out of that,
  • 24:13 and now he's saying, "Now do this to your son."
  • 24:15 Jeffrey: Not so with Hebrews.
  • 24:17 There's whatever he's saying to Avraham,
  • 24:20 but there is a prophetic picture here.
  • 24:22 I do know a Father who did sacrifice his
  • 24:26 only begotten, firstborn Son.
  • 24:30 Kirsten: And there wasn't a ram in the thicket, he took it.
  • 24:32 Jeffrey: He took it on the Mountain of Moriah.
  • 24:36 David: Yes, we'll hear more about that in just a minute.
  • 24:38 Stay with us.
  • 24:40 ♪♪♪
  • 24:50 ♪♪♪
  • 25:00 ♪♪♪
  • 25:14 David: On our last tour to Israel, we had a friend
  • 25:16 who joined our tour from New York.
  • 25:18 She's a dentist, and she was telling me one day on the bus
  • 25:21 that she had a dream of going to Greece and Israel.
  • 25:25 She didn't know who she'd go with or when.
  • 25:29 And one night in the middle of the night, she couldn't sleep
  • 25:31 and turned the television on, and there I was talking about
  • 25:35 our tours to Israel, Greece, and Petra.
  • 25:38 She joined us, and I'm so glad that she turned
  • 25:41 that TV on that night.
  • 25:42 We would love for you to join us on a Zola Levitt tour.
  • 25:45 You can find all the information on levitt.com.
  • 25:48 Right now, let's go to a Zola Levitt song.
  • 25:51 ♪ Jerusalem, you'll sing baruch hashem. ♪
  • 25:58 ♪ A thousand years, a thousand years. ♪
  • 26:03 ♪ You'll sing baruch hashem. ♪
  • 26:08 ♪ Your King who came before, ♪
  • 26:12 ♪ your King forevermore. ♪
  • 26:17 ♪ A thousand years, a thousand years. ♪
  • 26:22 ♪ Your king forevermore. ♪
  • 26:31 ♪ Forevermore. ♪
  • 26:37 Jeffrey: Intense story today, yes?
  • 26:40 Reminds me that God really is in the business of making dreams
  • 26:46 come true for Abraham and for you.
  • 26:51 It's all found in the story of "Divine Deliverance."
  • 26:55 David: That's right, I'm glad this story ended
  • 26:57 on a positive note.
  • 26:58 Kirsten: And redemption. God always makes a way for us.
  • 27:02 Jeffrey: Yes, he does; it happened in the book and
  • 27:06 it happens to those that are giving us a look.
  • 27:09 Thanks for your attention.
  • 27:11 See you again in a week, and as you go now,
  • 27:14 sha'alu shalom Yerushalayim.
  • 27:17 Kirsten: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
  • 27:21 announcer: Our monthly newsletter, "The Levitt Letter,"
  • 27:23 is free and full of insightful articles and news commentary
  • 27:27 from a Messianic perspective.
  • 27:29 Visit levitt.com to find our newsletter,
  • 27:32 along with current and past programs,
  • 27:34 our television schedule, and much more.
  • 27:38 female announcer: Don't forget to order this week's
  • 27:39 resource by calling 1-800-WONDERS,
  • 27:43 or you can purchase it from our store at levitt.com.
  • 27:47 male announcer: Your donations to Zola Levitt
  • 27:49 Ministries help these organizations bless Israel.
  • 27:53 female announcer: Thanks again for joining us this week.
  • 27:54 Zola Levitt Ministries and this television program depend on
  • 27:59 tax-deductible donations from viewers like you.
  • 28:04 ♪♪♪
  • 28:14 ♪♪♪
  • 28:22 ♪♪♪
  • 28:25 male announcer: This has been a paid program brought to you
  • 28:27 by Zola Levitt Ministries.

Episodes in this series

  1. Abraham
  2. Isaac
  3. Jacob
  4. Joseph
  5. Moses
  6. Ruth
  7. David
  8. Isaiah
  9. Ezekiel
  10. Daniel
  11. Esther
  12. Jesus

Guest organizations and links

Zola Levitt Presents
Levitt Letter
Tours
Podcasts