Spiritual Inheritance: Blessing of Curse?


We often bear striking similarities to our parents. And it goes much deeper than the color of our eyes and the size of our feet! Whether or not we like it, our reactions and our decision-making are greatly influenced by our parents. Even if we choose not to respond the way our parents did, the first things to pop into our heads in a sticky situation are likely a subconscious result of watching our parents. Today’s passage contains an uncanny resemblance to ones we read in Genesis 12 and Genesis 20, where Abraham presented Sarah as something other than his wife.

  • As you read, ask yourself when was the last time that you may have displayed a “less-than-noble” attribute that reminded you of your parents.


So Isaac settled in Gerar. When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he feared to say, “My wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah,” because she was attractive in appearance. When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing withRebekah his wife. So Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac said to him, “Because I thought, ‘Lest I die because of her.’”10 Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” 11 So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, “Whoever touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”

12 And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him, 13 and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. 14 He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him. 15 (Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.) 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What rationalization did Isaac use for lying about his relationship with Rebekah? When did Isaac fess up to the truth?
  2. What did Isaac’s fear reveal about his true view of God and his sovereignty?
  3. Are your fears, like Isaac’s, causing disobedience in any area of your life? What does this reveal about your true view of God and his sovereignty?


God makes it evident in this passage that blessings come from him and are meant to show his might, despite our consistent failures in handling them. But the passage also makes it clear that we must guard against repeating the same mistakes our parents made. We must be deliberate about casting aside behaviors and mindsets that we don’t want the next generation to repeat. Spiritual lineage is meant to be a blessing. God wants to reveal himself through us to everyone who looks up to us or walks alongside us: our children, our spiritual children, and our friends.

  • Ask God to help you graciously consider both the benefits and the hindrances that have been handed down to you as a spiritual inheritance.
  • Ask him to reveal any strongholds, patterns of sin, or harmful responses you may unintentionally be passing down to the next generation.