Godly Sensibilities Without Godly Energy

Genesis 27  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
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What moral illustrations that beautiful book of Genesis does afford us; what a variety of character is exhibited for our warning and instruction! Isaac takes his place in the midst of these characters thus produced and presented—and for a saint we get in him but a poor sample. He had godly sensibilities, as well as human, amiable, virtues; but he had not godly energy. He reminds us of Jehoshaphat in other days. Jehoshaphat had godly sensibilities, but he failed in godly energy. Through vanity he failed: he joined affinity with Ahab, and had not strength to refuse to go to the battle with him. But still he had sensibilities in his soul that were spiritual and of divine workmanship—for in the midst of the prophets of Baal he was not satisfied. He had a witness within that this would not do, and he asked, " Were there not beside a prophet of the Lord?" But, strange and humbling to tell it, he would still go to the battle in company with the very Ahab who had thus wounded the spiritual sensibilities that stirred in his soul, and who had thus, in infidel revolt from the God of Israel, consulted the prophets of Baal (2 Chron. 18). This was terrible; but this was that king Jehoshaphat.
Isaac, so, on this occasion, had his sensibilities, but not his corresponding energies. It was not ' through vanity, as did Jehoshaphat, that he failed: it was rather through a general relaxed moral tone of soul, that sought ease and indulgence; but while Isaac, with a godly mind, could grieve over Esau's marriage with a daughter of Heth, one of the people of the land, yet, that very Esau is Isaac's object, and keeps and holds the dearest affections Of his heart, so that Isaac cannot give himself back for God. He is answered by an earlier Ahab, though the witness within tells him that it is an Ahab that is doing it. He would fain help the profane Esau to a blessing, as Jehoshaphat would help the idolatrous Ahab to the victory.
What sights are these, and what lessons and warnings to our souls!
It is practically important to remark that worldliness or any allowance of what is not of God, by a godly man, gives the weight of his godliness to the evil he allows.