Be ye followers (imitators) of me, even as I also am of Messiah.
When Abraham arrived in the Land, an idol-worshipping Philistine ruler took notice of the patriarch’s godly ways. The relationship between the two men grew into a binding inter-generational covenant in the following terms, Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my descendants or with my posterity, but as I have dealt kindly with you, so you will deal with me and with the land where you have sojourned" (Genesis 21:23). Several years later, due to a famine, Isaac, the inheritor of Abraham's legacy, finds himself in the position of claiming the privileges of this covenant. There was a problem though: the new Philistines of that generation did not really know Abraham or Isaac, so they started plugging Isaac’s wells and contend with him. Finally, feeling threatened by Isaac’s prosperity, the Philistines ask him to leave. For all good purpose, the covenant was broken and now invalid.
The Genesis narration continues. Phicol continued watching Isaac and his tribe. After awhile, the Philistine general came to the conclusion that the God of Isaac was the same as the God of Abraham so he asks for the treaty to be re-enacted as if nothing had happened with the wells. As ludicrous as it sounds, Isaac accepts.
This teaches us that the deeds of the parents are portents to the children. It teaches us that though we may automatically inherit the reputation and hard work of our fathers, we must show ourselves of the same spirit if we want to enjoy their privileges. In this case, it is not until Phicol carefully observed Isaac that he recognized that the God of Isaac was the same as the God of Abraham, therefore, Isaac could also be trusted with the same covenant.
Maybe this is a lesson for our people today: it may not be until the worldly powers in the land recognize the ways of Messiah in Israel that they will see in them the ways of theGod of Abraham and that they will concede to the re-instatement of the covenant (John 8:56)!
Shlomo Carlebach, an Orthodox Rabbi was known in Israel and the U.S. as the singing and dancing Rabbi, but in Apartheid S. Africa he was known as ‘Master Jesus’. The black people of S. Africa surnamed Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, ‘Master Jesus’. They did so because of his loving and caring inter-action with them. Just as by observing Isaac Phicol recognized the God of Abraham, the people of S. Africa saw Yeshua in the inter-actions of this Orthodox Rabbi who, not knowing Him personally (and who am I to even say that) knew about Messiah’s nature and character solely by studying the Word and obeying it.
Someone said one time that discipleship is the art of imitation. When was the last time someone mistaken you for Yeshua just because they observed the way you lived and couldn’t make out the difference?