The fear of Isaac


When Isaac’s son, Jacob left his father-in-law, Laban’s house, for whom he had worked twenty years, to return to the land of his father, Laban pursued and stopped him. Jacob told Laban that if it had not been for the God of Abraham and the fear of Isaac, he would been sent to return empty by Laban (Genesis 31:42).

The phrase “fear of Isaac” is intriguing. Why did Jacob not just refer to the God of Abraham as the God of Isaac as well? It is believed that the phrase fear of Isaac is to say, the God whom Isaac feared or dreaded. Some suggest that it was to instill fear in Laban that Jacob used that expression. However, from the statement that “if the fear of Isaac had not been with me”, we can infer that Jacob was referring to a person and not an emotion.

Many centuries later, the prophet Isaiah would write a call to trust in the Lord – the Lord of hosts (heaven’s armies) and sanctify him (set him holy). The prophet would warn that the Lord of hosts must be your fear, and let him be your dread (Isaiah 8:13), who will keep you safe as your sanctuary (Isaiah 8:14). God’s people were not to fear or dread the arising Assyrian army that would invade them.

Who is the Lord of hosts? Who is the commander and chief of heaven’s armies? Revelation 19:11-21 reveals to us that the Lord of hosts is Jesus Christ, the rider on the white horse.

In other words, the fear of Isaac, mentioned only in the first book of the Bible (Genesis),  who is to be feared and dreaded is revealed to be the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in the last book of the Bible (Revelation).

Points to ponder:
Just like Isaac, the father of Jacob, who feared the Lord of hosts, so also must we set Jesus Christ, the Lord of hosts to be holy in our lives and only him must we fear and dread, for only he can keep us safe – safe from death – spiritual death. After all, to fear God and keep his commandments is the sole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Is the fear of Isaac (Jesus Christ) your God?

Genesis 31:42 (KJV)
42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.

Isaiah 8:13 (KJV)
13 Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
14 And he shall be for a sanctuary;