Isaac is just as essential to the study of tithing as Abraham, because there isn’t a single scripture to show he paid tithes. My own pastor used Abraham over and over for lessons in tithing, while leaving out Isaac’s complete lack of tithing and the specifics of why Abraham’s line never had to “pay” for their blessings, except in obedience.
“What would a man take tithings for, if he had any…If he never was born, and never will die, and was from beginning to end, and—and never had no father or mother or descent, and owned the whole Heavens and earth and all in it, why would he take tithe? Why would he ask Abraham to pay tithes? You see what a strict thing it is to pay tithes? Tithing is right. Every Christian is duty bound to pay tithe. That’s right. Never has been changed.”
57-0915E – William Marrion Branham
Lessons from Isaac’s life are more about his warring children or the servant’s journey to bring him Rebekah. Yet when he took over his father’s house, he was so like Abraham in bearing and running his affairs that kings asked for the same peace with him as they had with his father (Gen 26:26-33). It’s no surprise that God reaffirms his covenant with a man who followed the teachings of Abraham so closely. God is even clear as to why: obedience to every law, every statute, every commandment. If tithing were included, it would be here.
Isaac must have grown up hearing the stories of his miraculous conception. He would have known the issues behind the expulsion of his step brother Ishmael, and every other step sibling as Abraham would not allow any of them to share in the blessing with his heir (Gen 25:5-6). Isaac was taught of Abraham’s blessings and to obey God in every aspect, to reap the blessings offered to them. In Abraham’s eyes there was nothing else as dear to him as the fulfillment of God’s word. Isaac was born only through that covenant that Abraham shared with God.
Abraham was given a promise from God himself, and he made sure to remember it. He knew it would take care of his children and all those who would come after. Abraham’s covenant required action of himself and his line, to separate themselves from others with a mark. Abraham made sure Isaac was circumcised on the eighth day, so in Chapter 26 of Genesis, God confirms to Isaac that the covenant will continue to bless and protect his line. Abraham gave willingly of a merry heart for celebration, and it ends there. God is consistent and follows through (Numbers 23:19) and will always prefer the obedience of a willing heart over the giving of worldly things (I Samuel 15:22).
Isaac was known for his unfailing faith in God’s plan for his family (Heb 11:20). Abraham and Isaac both followed His will when it was most painful to them. Because God’s will always came first, Isaac was spared. When Isaac married Rebekah, they were unable to have children, just as his parents, Abram and Sarai, were. He begged the Lord for a child as his father had, and she was able to bear twins. The Lord promised him, “Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham” (Gen 26:3). Isaac followed in his father’s footsteps, every step of the way, continuing his very successful and wealthy line, with God’s blessings and protection. If we take Abraham and his son, Isaac, for examples in tithing, all we pay to God is our obedience.