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Book by Christian Author Elsa Henderson Casts Light on Family Drama behind Isaac’s Blessing of His Sons

A careful study of God’s Word helps the retired school teacher understand how God used one family’s faith, however imperfect, to please God and to inspire faith in others.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada – WEBWIRE

God chose one family through which to carry out His plan of salvation and bring blessing to all peoples on earth. That family was far from perfect. Their story is one that most of us can relate to.
What better way to appreciate or reflect on spiritual truths than through fiction? Author Elsa Henderson weaved a fictional retelling of the stories of the patriarchs Abraham and Isaac in “By Faith Isaac” (WestBow Press, 2013).
“By Faith Isaac” reads as part Bible history and part family drama, which deserves a TV or movie adaptation. After all, who does not like fictional retelling of Bible stories, like what Mark Burnett and Roma Downey did in the “Bible” series?
The book opens with the story of Abraham recounting a time when he heard God’s voice. Isaac is fascinated by God’s voice, and wants to hear it for himself. Later the story focuses on Isaac and his sons, Jacob and Esau. Why the emphasis on Isaac, whose story is told only as attachments to the stories of Abraham and Jacob?
Hebrews 11:20 says, “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.” This verse raised the curiosity of the author. What is the big deal about Isaac saying a blessing over his sons? Why did it take faith to do so? Why does this blessing merit mention alongside acts which obviously required giant steps of faith—such as Noah building the ark or Abraham believing that his old and barren wife could bear a child?
Seeking answers to those questions, the author turned to the book of Genesis, which proved to be a rich source of material for her biblical fiction, and which provided the plot of “By Faith Isaac.”
Henderson’s effective storytelling unveils the family drama surrounding Isaac’s blessing of his sons and the customs of birthright and blessing. Each parent favored a son: Isaac loved Esau, while Rebekah favored Jacob. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob in exchange for a single meal, which showed how little he valued it. Later, knowing Isaac was about to bless Esau, Rebekah conspired with Jacob to deceive Isaac and steal the blessing. When Esau arrived after Isaac had blessed Jacob, he begged his father to undo the blessing. Isaac refused. Instead, the patriarch gave him a different blessing. An enraged Esau vowed to kill Jacob, who fled for his life.
“By Faith Isaac” intends to drive a point home to readers. God had told Rebekah that “the older will serve the younger.” In effect, God told her that regardless of the fact that Esau was born first, the younger son was God’s choice for “firstborn” and the covenant blessing that went with it. Isaac stubbornly refused to believe his wife. Why should she hear God’s voice and not he himself? After he unwittingly blessed Jacob, Isaac realized that God had overruled his stubborn refusal to admit God’s choice. That is when faith kicked in. So he stood by his blessing of Jacob and acknowledged that Jacob rightfully possessed both the position of firstborn and the covenant blessing. This is Isaac’s ultimate act of faith, which merited him a place in the faith hall of fame.
By reading Henderson’s fictional retelling of Isaac’s blessing of Jacob and Esau, Christians should realize that God moves in mysterious ways. The Bible is indeed rich with accounts of God acting through imperfect humans and imperfect circumstances to carry out His sovereign purpose.  
“By Faith Isaac” is available at WestBow Press ( and Amazon (
Readers should visit the author’s website at 
By Faith Isaac
Written by Elsa Henderson
Published by WestBow Press
Publication date November 1, 2013
Paperback price $24.95

About the Author  
Elsa is the daughter of Percy and Elsie Bromley, lifetime Bible teachers, and missionaries with the China Inland Mission, later known as Overseas Missionary Fellowship. Elsa’s knack for writing Bible stories was caught rather than taught. From infancy, she and her siblings learned Bible stories at the knee of their mother, a master storyteller, who told rather than read the stories. Elsa is a retired high school teacher, and resides with her husband Roy in Calgary, Alberta.

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 Elsa Henderson
 By Faith Isaac
 His sovereign purpose
 Jacob and Esau
 family drama

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