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

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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 (2020)”
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 (2020): “Isaac” (2/11)

  • 00:00
  • 00:03 male announcer: Welcome to "Our Jewish Roots"
  • 00:05 with insightful Bible teaching by Dr. Jeffrey Seif.
  • 00:08 In this program, the birth of a child
  • 00:10 leads to a test of faith.
  • 00:12 Our focus is on Isaac today on divine deliverance.
  • 00:20 male announcer: From the beginning,
  • 00:22 our Creator revealed his will to the common man.
  • 00:26 Individuals listened to his call and responded in obedience.
  • 00:32 From the first Hebrew Avraham to the culmination of salvation
  • 00:36 in Messiah himself, the Lord faithfully intervenes
  • 00:41 with his divine deliverance.
  • 00:53 David Hart: We are so glad you've joined us today.
  • 00:55 I'm David Hart.
  • 00:56 Kirsten Hart: I'm Kirsten Hart.
  • 00:57 Jeffrey Seif: I am Jeffrey Seif,
  • 00:59 and we are going on a journey.
  • 01:01 It continues from Abraham to Isaac and on into the future.
  • 01:06 Kirsten: Last week was Isaac's father, Abraham.
  • 01:09 And this week is kind of about the relationship
  • 01:11 between the two of them.
  • 01:12 We're focused on Isaac, but it's also
  • 01:15 that father-son relationship.
  • 01:18 Jeffrey: You get some of that going.
  • 01:19 Now, the Bible doesn't give us a lot of information save the fact
  • 01:21 his father was going to kill him once upon a time.
  • 01:24 It's a little bit traumatic, what do you think?
  • 01:26 Would've called the police in today's era.
  • 01:27 Kirsten: See, my mouth is open.
  • 01:29 Could you imagine being Isaac and here's your,
  • 01:32 you know, dad saying--
  • 01:33 Jeffrey: What did I do?
  • 01:35 Kirsten: Right, why are you binding me up?
  • 01:37 It's an interesting dynamic and relationship
  • 01:39 that we see God deliver through Isaac.
  • 01:42 Jeffrey: It's a strange story, it's enigmatic,
  • 01:46 it's mysterious, and it's related to the cross.
  • 01:50 Fascinating.
  • 01:52 'Cause we know a Father who so loved the world
  • 01:54 that he did sacrifice his Son, now don't we?
  • 01:56 David: That's right.
  • 01:58 We're going to hear about that right now
  • 01:59 in our dramatic reenactment.
  • 02:00 Let's go there now.
  • 02:04 male announcer: And the Lord appeared unto Abraham
  • 02:06 in the plains of Mamre.
  • 02:08 ♪♪♪
  • 02:18 ♪♪♪
  • 02:28 ♪♪♪
  • 02:38 Abraham: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 03:17 male: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 03:20 Abraham: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 03:25 male: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 03:29 Sarah: [laughing]
  • 03:35 male: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 03:56 Jeffrey: The word in Hebrew for angel is the word "malakh."
  • 04:01 Comes from the Ugaritic verb "lak," which means to send.
  • 04:06 The word "angel" and the word "messenger" are the same
  • 04:10 in the Hebrew Bible and in Greek, angolos,
  • 04:13 the same word, messenger and angel.
  • 04:15 Why is that?
  • 04:17 Because we're looking at the delivering of messages.
  • 04:21 And oh, what a message we have here.
  • 04:26 Nevermind the word.
  • 04:28 Now, let's take a look at the moment in the book.
  • 04:32 We get to the story in chapter 18 of Bereshit, Genesis.
  • 04:39 It's worth considering what comes before.
  • 04:42 Avraham was just circumcised.
  • 04:45 I don't want to speak in a way that could be construed
  • 04:48 as inappropriate for television or for religious audience,
  • 04:51 but he was in pain considering he just had
  • 04:54 a surgical operation.
  • 04:55 And the way the story is set up, it is the heat of the day.
  • 05:00 I mention that because Jews alight upon the fact
  • 05:03 that Avraham was particularly discomforted.
  • 05:08 And you know what it's like when you're uncomfortable,
  • 05:11 you don't want to reach out to others because
  • 05:14 we tend to turn inward.
  • 05:18 This man was different.
  • 05:22 Discomforted though he was, he sees these messengers.
  • 05:26 He doesn't know they're angels, and he comes
  • 05:28 and extends hospitality to them, refreshment, food,
  • 05:33 the pouring on of water.
  • 05:35 You know, the word "hospitality" and the word "hospital"
  • 05:38 are cut from the same cloth.
  • 05:40 That is to say there's a kind of healing when we're hospitable.
  • 05:43 It's all related.
  • 05:45 What's worthy of note here is the fact that the one
  • 05:48 who's extending hospitality is suffering in the process.
  • 05:53 We read in the newer testament, "Do not neglect to show
  • 05:57 hospitality, for some have entertained angels unaware."
  • 06:02 Not only did they entertain angels,
  • 06:04 they did something else.
  • 06:07 They inaugurate their own ultimate deliverance.
  • 06:13 It's a fascinating story that Avraham
  • 06:15 and his wife were vexed for years.
  • 06:20 Not all trials go our way with,
  • 06:22 "In the name of Jesus be healed."
  • 06:24 Well, I want to go to a church that can really make
  • 06:25 the mad man stop.
  • 06:27 You know, truth be known, some things linger.
  • 06:29 It doesn't mean there isn't a breakthrough,
  • 06:31 it doesn't mean there's no deliverance to come,
  • 06:34 but there is suffering.
  • 06:35 And there's a biblical promise about those who,
  • 06:37 through faith and patience, inherit a promise.
  • 06:43 Seemed to me that Sarah was a little--she had lost patience
  • 06:47 a little sooner in the game, and so when she first hears
  • 06:50 of that she's going to be pregnant, she laughs.
  • 06:56 The word Isaac or Yishaq comes from the word meaning to laugh.
  • 07:03 We live in a world today when many think that deliverance,
  • 07:07 biblical deliverance, is in fact laughable.
  • 07:10 Not so.
  • 07:13 I read the text and read stories of God breaking through.
  • 07:19 And by the way, the word "breakthrough,"
  • 07:20 as in waiting for the breakthrough, means just that.
  • 07:23 There's something that, for all intents and purposes,
  • 07:26 is impenetrable.
  • 07:29 And you know what happens, God breaks through.
  • 07:34 Is it just for the Jew, or is it for you?
  • 07:37 It's a reasonable question.
  • 07:38 It's a rhetorical one because the answer is for all.
  • 07:41 Well, you say, "Yeah, maybe that's from the Jewish people."
  • 07:44 It's for those who walk by faith.
  • 07:50 There is a great reward.
  • 07:52 And after a series, a sequence of sufferings,
  • 07:56 after being tested by time and circumstance,
  • 07:59 finally the miracle child is going to be born.
  • 08:04 It's not just good news coming to these ancient Jews.
  • 08:07 All of us are reminded that there's good things to come
  • 08:10 when we walk by faith.
  • 08:16 male announcer: And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said.
  • 08:19 And the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
  • 08:23 For Sarah conceived and bear Abraham a son in his old age,
  • 08:28 at the set time of which God has spoken to him.
  • 08:35 Sarah: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 08:37 Abraham: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 08:57 Sarah [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 08:59 Abraham: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 09:16 Abraham: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 09:23 Sarah: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 09:30 Sarah: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 09:49 Jeffrey: When you get a professor type or a theologian
  • 09:53 to talk about childbirth, it really is the potential
  • 09:58 of missing the moment by a long shot, you know?
  • 10:03 The intellectual jargon, there's a certain kind of tenderness.
  • 10:07 There's a certain experience that the movie captures,
  • 10:12 that gentle moment, that mother with child.
  • 10:17 I think it's hard for a male to understand that,
  • 10:20 and it's easy for a theologian just to dive into the text
  • 10:22 and the contents and-- context and word studies,
  • 10:25 and just miss the tenderness of the moment entirely.
  • 10:30 I don't want to apologize for who I am, I got to run with it,
  • 10:34 but there's something about seeing it.
  • 10:37 There is a kind of soulish beauty there.
  • 10:40 Certainly it's the story of a mother with a child,
  • 10:43 but in conjunction with that, if not beyond that,
  • 10:46 it's the story of a dream come true, a miracle
  • 10:51 that's happened, the end of a journey, a long wait.
  • 10:56 There's a sense of fulfillment.
  • 10:59 When I think of fulfillment, I think of being full
  • 11:04 and being filled.
  • 11:06 There's biblical language, "My cup runneth over,"
  • 11:10 to use the old classical King James talk.
  • 11:12 And that certainly is Sarah's feeling,
  • 11:16 it's her mind on the matter.
  • 11:18 In chapter 21, we're told, "Adonai visited Sarah
  • 11:23 just as he had said."
  • 11:26 There's that moment of deliverance
  • 11:29 when it all comes clear, the sacredness of a moment.
  • 11:34 The Hebrew "paqad," as in the Lord visited,
  • 11:38 it's also the Lord remembered.
  • 11:42 And this speaks to me of a question that we ask,
  • 11:47 if not verbally, at the feeling level.
  • 11:50 Sometimes we wonder, "Does God really remember?"
  • 11:57 It's a question we ask as sometimes we're in a wilderness.
  • 12:01 We can go to church and it's always preached that
  • 12:04 walking with God is the oasis, and the oasis is here.
  • 12:07 I'm not to say there's no watering holes to speak of,
  • 12:10 but sometimes it's a long journey.
  • 12:13 But God watches over his Word to performance,
  • 12:16 and he brings about a great deliverance.
  • 12:19 In this case, a woman who could not bear a child.
  • 12:23 And deliverance would come through this womb
  • 12:27 that wouldn't open.
  • 12:29 And there's a child who would come, who then,
  • 12:31 as we'll see, is going to be offered up to be sacrificed.
  • 12:35 This is a story about a woman's struggle,
  • 12:38 this is a story about God's plan,
  • 12:40 but it's a story that points to another story,
  • 12:43 when the Father of us all, through a woman who couldn't
  • 12:46 bear a child, is going to bring forth a great deliverer.
  • 12:58 announcer: If you only watch us on television,
  • 13:00 you're missing additional content available only
  • 13:03 on our social media sites: Facebook, YouTube,
  • 13:06 and Twitter.
  • 13:08 You can always visit our website,
  • 13:09 which is home base for all of our ministry activities
  • 13:12 and information.
  • 13:14 There you can sign up for our free monthly newsletter,
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  • 13:33 Kirsten: We would love to connect with you
  • 13:35 on our social media sites.
  • 13:37 Now, here's Abraham's toughest test.
  • 13:43 announcer: And it came to pass after these things
  • 13:47 that God tested Abraham.
  • 13:52 Abraham: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 13:54 Isaac: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 14:02 Abraham: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 14:11 male announcer: And God said, "Take now thy son,
  • 14:14 thine only son, Isaac whom thou lovest,
  • 14:18 and get thee unto the land of Moriah.
  • 14:21 And offer him there for a burnt offering upon
  • 14:24 one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
  • 14:28 Then on the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes
  • 14:32 and saw the place afar off.
  • 14:47 Abraham: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 14:59 Isaac: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 15:06 Abraham: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 16:06 Abraham: [speaking in Hebrew]
  • 16:43 Jeffrey: I find it very interesting that Avraham,
  • 16:47 when he heard God tell him to go sacrifice Yishaq or Isaac,
  • 16:52 there's no record of him telling Sarah on the front end.
  • 16:56 After the fact when the boy's brought back,
  • 16:58 then you can tell the story.
  • 17:01 But on the front end, I think not.
  • 17:06 I mention that because I was pleased to develop
  • 17:09 the story of the tender moment between a mother and child.
  • 17:12 After all that she had been through,
  • 17:15 if her husband came around and said,
  • 17:17 "Honey, I heard the voice of the Lord.
  • 17:19 I'm going to go kill Junior," I think she would've taken the
  • 17:22 knife and stuck it in him and would've been forgiven for it.
  • 17:27 Well, nevermind my conjecture.
  • 17:29 Sometimes, God beckons us to do things that don't comport
  • 17:33 with sensibilities.
  • 17:35 This story in the book Bereshit in Genesis in the Hebrew world
  • 17:40 is called the Akedah, which means the binding,
  • 17:45 particularly the binding of Isaac.
  • 17:48 And what a story it is that this man who's the father
  • 17:52 of the nation is going to take a miracle born son and have him
  • 17:58 carry the wood up to a place where he is then intended to be
  • 18:03 sacrificed, only to be stopped in mid act and told that God
  • 18:10 will himself provide a lamb.
  • 18:14 There's a few things at play here.
  • 18:16 One, in chapter 22, we're told that the Lord
  • 18:19 tested Abraham in this way.
  • 18:23 And it can be said that if there isn't a test,
  • 18:25 there ain't a testimony.
  • 18:28 There are tests.
  • 18:29 I wouldn't suggest you endeavor to do this with your own.
  • 18:33 One of the upshots of all this is clarifying in no uncertain
  • 18:37 terms that God does not want child sacrifice.
  • 18:41 I mention that because in antiquity in North Africa
  • 18:44 and in the ancient Near East, there are many examples
  • 18:48 of the ancients offering up child sacrifices, the firstborn,
  • 18:53 it's to placate a deity.
  • 18:54 If you look in the Hebrew Bible, individuals are beckoned
  • 18:57 to offer the firstfruits.
  • 18:59 There's grain products, there's animals,
  • 19:01 not your own children.
  • 19:03 But offering up children was part and parcel
  • 19:06 to ancient religion.
  • 19:09 This certainly offers a challenge to that
  • 19:11 in no uncertain terms in the biblical economy.
  • 19:13 But more than that, there's a picture here
  • 19:16 of the ultimate redemption.
  • 19:18 Why do I say that?
  • 19:20 Again, to repeat there is the father,
  • 19:24 who is working with the woman who cannot conceive.
  • 19:29 It takes divine agency, it takes miracle,
  • 19:33 subsequent to which she gives birth.
  • 19:37 In the wake of this special son, who is the carrier
  • 19:42 of the promise of redemption through Abraham,
  • 19:46 blessing to the world, this son is going to be taken
  • 19:49 and sacrificed, only to be stopped.
  • 19:53 It begs the question, what's at play here?
  • 19:57 Beyond offering a corrective to a sacrificial practice that
  • 20:02 existed in antiquity, there's something here
  • 20:05 that telescopes into the future to my way of thinking,
  • 20:09 that beckons an individual to understand something about
  • 20:12 the redemption to come, when God the Father will effect a miracle
  • 20:18 through a woman who cannot bear a child.
  • 20:22 And by the way, messengers come and speak to her and Joseph
  • 20:25 and say as much, that a miracle child will be born,
  • 20:28 and you're going to name him Yeshua or Jesus.
  • 20:32 And by the way, the word "Jesus" is a word meaning to save,
  • 20:35 to deliver, or to redeem.
  • 20:39 To me, it's tragic the word "deliverance" has been hijacked.
  • 20:43 There's a famous movie "Deliverance," and it has themes
  • 20:46 that aren't really appropriate for a biblical audience,
  • 20:49 so we have to preface by saying divine deliverance.
  • 20:53 This, friends, is a picture of divine deliverance,
  • 20:57 and we find it in the Hebrew Bible.
  • 21:00 It's at play in this text, and I hope it's at play
  • 21:04 in your own life.
  • 21:06 That is to say there is this God the Father who so loved
  • 21:09 the world that he sent his only begotten Son,
  • 21:13 who carried his wood to a cross, and in so doing became
  • 21:18 the sacrifice and the deliverer for us all.
  • 21:25 Kirsten: This series is titled "Divine Deliverance."
  • 21:28 And today, we see the divine delivering Isaac
  • 21:34 from being a sacrificial child.
  • 21:38 I mean, a sacrifice on the altar, that's intense.
  • 21:41 Jeffrey: Yeah, and I can tell just in the total inflection
  • 21:44 and the facial expression, mom, what do you think about that,
  • 21:47 you know, putting your kid on an altar like that?
  • 21:49 Kirsten: I got to tell you, this is horrible to say,
  • 21:50 if God told me to sacrifice one of my sons, I'd be like,
  • 21:53 "Okay, thank you, bye bye. No thanks."
  • 21:55 Jeffrey: Wouldn't happen, yeah--
  • 21:57 Kirsten: I don't think so.
  • 21:58 Jeffrey: Here, there's so much riding in that promised son.
  • 22:00 God had promised a son and Abraham waited so long.
  • 22:03 And that willingness to offer, you know,
  • 22:05 it really says something about Abraham.
  • 22:07 And it says something about Isaac,
  • 22:09 he was willing to go along with the program.
  • 22:11 David: So, there was a vision from God.
  • 22:12 It makes me think as we're sitting here how many times
  • 22:14 maybe all of us have missed that vision that God had for us.
  • 22:19 Jeffrey: Yes, and sometimes it's a trying vision.
  • 22:21 It's not an easy piece of demand, you know?
  • 22:23 That--and it's a testing moment here.
  • 22:26 And if you're going to have a testimony,
  • 22:27 you got to have a test.
  • 22:29 And you know, Abraham passed, and so did Isaac.
  • 22:31 And praise God, divine deliverance
  • 22:34 has gone on through the ages.
  • 22:35 Kirsten: And at the last minute.
  • 22:38 I mean, you see this whole scenario in your mind
  • 22:41 with Abraham with this--the knife up here just ready,
  • 22:44 and then there's the ram and the thicket kind of thing.
  • 22:47 Jeffrey: You know, and if there's a complaint box in
  • 22:49 heaven, it's going to be filled with a lot of people that say,
  • 22:51 "God, why do you wait to come through
  • 22:52 just in the last minute?"
  • 22:54 He seems to have a habit of that.
  • 22:56 You know, we all wish trials would go away on the quick.
  • 22:59 God does come through, sometimes it's the 11th hour to be sure.
  • 23:03 Kirsten: And I was just going to say the flip side,
  • 23:06 but if we look down history, there was a Son, God's own Son,
  • 23:12 on that supposed same spot, that there was not
  • 23:17 a sacrificial lamb, it was actually him.
  • 23:19 He went through and the sacrifice was made.
  • 23:22 Jeffrey: It's quite the picture.
  • 23:23 I endeavor to tell the story and it's worth telling.
  • 23:25 We see it in Genesis, we see it in the New Testament,
  • 23:28 God giving up his Son.
  • 23:30 David: I think in this whole series,
  • 23:31 there's a lot of last minute answers not just
  • 23:35 with this character, but in many of them.
  • 23:37 Jeffrey: Well, the nature of deliverance.
  • 23:39 You know, we cry out and, you know, God delivers.
  • 23:43 But sometimes, you know, we can just be in a pinch
  • 23:46 and be there for a while.
  • 23:47 And it's a testing moment, it's a sifting moment.
  • 23:51 Some of you may be going through it, tell you the truth.
  • 23:53 I mean, right now, it's a reasonably good season
  • 23:55 in my life, all things considered.
  • 23:57 But there's mountains and valleys and desserts,
  • 23:59 and we go through all of it.
  • 24:01 And if you're feeling that pinch, keep on looking
  • 24:03 to the Lord because he is the divine deliverer.
  • 24:06 Just like David said, he does come through.
  • 24:08 David: That's right.
  • 24:10 Thank you so much for that insight today.
  • 24:11 More to come, we'll be right back.
  • 24:14 ♪♪♪
  • 24:34 ♪♪♪
  • 24:43 ♪♪♪
  • 24:47 Jeffrey: Around 35 years ago, I, a young intern,
  • 24:51 pitched something to a guy named Zola Levitt.
  • 24:54 I was working for him at the time and said,
  • 24:56 "Listen, let's put together this program for people that can't go
  • 24:59 to Bible college or seminary.
  • 25:01 Let's bring it to them."
  • 25:03 He went with it.
  • 25:04 It was expensive at the time.
  • 25:06 Someone, God bless him, he's in heaven now,
  • 25:08 Thad Wazawatski donated the money to start it all up,
  • 25:12 and we created, Zola and I did, this Institute
  • 25:15 of Jewish Christian Studies.
  • 25:17 Thousands and thousands and thousands of people
  • 25:21 have tapped into it because they want to go deep.
  • 25:25 They want to look at the good news through the eyes
  • 25:27 of the Jews.
  • 25:28 And if that's you, do consider the offer because it's rich.
  • 25:33 I'm not saying that to be self-serving,
  • 25:35 it's just the story to press into the Jewish roots
  • 25:39 of the Jesus story.
  • 25:41 Goodness gracious, it's fantastic
  • 25:43 and it's there for you.
  • 25:44 Today's offer, Institute of Jewish and Christian Studies.
  • 25:48 Kirsten: Can I just do a quick applause?
  • 25:51 We've walked through that, we've done all 12 courses.
  • 25:53 I know today they're talking about the first three courses.
  • 25:56 Do this, this will change your life.
  • 25:59 Your insight, your knowledge changed our lives,
  • 26:03 and we are for the better because of it.
  • 26:06 So, thank you for 30 years ago doing what you did.
  • 26:08 I promise you will not regret investing in this ministry,
  • 26:12 first three courses.
  • 26:13 But get them all, all 12 are available.
  • 26:17 David: It's great.
  • 26:18 We end our program today with a song from our founder,
  • 26:20 Zola Levitt, "A Thousand Years.
  • 26:23 Jeffrey: And a word till then, sha'alu shalom Yerushalayim.
  • 26:27 Kirsten: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
  • 26:30 ♪♪♪
  • 26:34 [singing in Hebrew]
  • 26:45 ♪ You're king who came before ♪
  • 26:50 ♪ You're king forevermore ♪
  • 26:54 ♪ A thousand years, a thousand years ♪
  • 27:00 ♪ you're king forevermore ♪♪
  • 27:12 ♪♪♪
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  • 28:04 ♪♪♪
  • 28:25 announcer: This has been a paid program brought to you
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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

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