Isaac willingly laid down his life believing God would raise him from the dead. Abraham had the knife in hand to make Isaac a sacrificial offering when God stopped them. God’s intervention made one thing abundantly clear. Isaac was not the “one seed” the fulfillment of the promises belonged to. Isaac was not the king of the city God is building. He was born through divine intervention but he was not superior to anyone else. He thought he would walk down the mountain clothed in immortality. He walked down the mountain a mere mortal with a promise God would keep his word.
Abraham and Isaac returned home to break the news to Sarah. Sorry, you did not give birth to the Messiah. Seven years later, Sarah died and Isaac married a barren woman. Isaac heard God swear an oath to multiply them into a great multitude, yet twenty years of marriage later Isaac and Rebekah had not produced one child. God’s actions speak louder than his words. The multitude God promised will not come through Isaac because Isaac was not the “one seed” everyone, Jew and Gentile, will inherit the promises from.
God had not promised Isaac that Rebekah would have a child as he had promised Abraham Sarah would have a child. Isaac was sixty years old when he prayed for a child. God responded by giving him twins, but Isaac and Rebekah did not know twins were in her womb. When the children wrestled within her, she asked God why there was so much activity in her womb.
God’s response tells us volumes about God and how he thinks.
Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger. Genesis 25:23
If I had looked at the ultrasound, I would have told Rebekah not to worry. Two babies are wrestling for space in your womb. God looked in her womb and saw two nations. This is one reason God’s words can be difficult to understand. God and I look at the same things but we don’t see the same things.
The Hebrew words translated elder and younger in verse 23 have another meaning – greater in number and few in number. The nation Esau became would be greater in number of citizens but they will serve the nation Jacob/Israel became with fewer citizens. Israel has always been a small nation but that won’t stop them from ruling the world when the “one seed” the promises were made to returns to rule the world.
 All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.