Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: Exodus 3:16 KJV
All throughout the bible, God introduces Himself and is introduced as God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Family lineage is an identifier whether it be good or bad. I recall as a child being “labeled” as one of those “Nelson children”. Mind you, my name is Nicholson, but once it was discovered who my “folk” were, It was widely accepted that I was well-behaved, smart, talented, and could probably sing even though they hadn’t yet heard a note. You see, there had been a long line of “Nelson” children who had matriculated through Carrie A. Tuggle Elementary and A. H. Parker High School. They knew the matriarch very well….Johnnie Mae Nelson, my grandmother. She didn’t drive, but you’d better know that if she was called, she would be up to that school in a minute and it only took one time if you know what I mean.
Neither Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob were perfect children of God. In fact, the Bible often discloses some of their imperfections. Each of their names had specific meanings. Abraham meant father of many nations. his name was changed from Abram which meant fatherless. Isaac was the “son of promise’ and Jacob’s name was changed to Israel after an encounter with God. What’s interesting is that God never referred to Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Why? Jacob was a trickster, a hustler, a conniver. Well maybe a junior hustler, because when he met his uncle Laban, “the player got played”. Yet,God chooses to identify Himself with his birth name— the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! There’s a message for us here.
God is not only our Father when we are pleasing Him. He is our Father when we disappoint Him and sometimes our actions disprove that we even know him. He is our Father when we struggle with the same issues over and over. He never gets tired of re-teaching a lesson unlearned. Thank God for His amazing grace and his tender mercies that are new every morning! Thank God that He blesses us even when we don’t deserve it! That’s because He’s a good, good Father!