Bible Devotions

A Deeper Look at Genesis 26

on May 9, 2011

The Bible doesn’t tell us if Abraham spent time telling Isaac of God’s wonderful deeds towards him or not.  Although, I imagine Abraham and Sarah probably did tell Isaac some outrage stories of how God was active in their lives.   They had plenty they could have shared with Isaac about the miracles of God.  After all Isaac, himself, was a miracle given to them by God, at very old age! 

What about the time God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and seeing that Abraham was faithful to the Lord, an angel told Abraham not to harm the boy and the Lord provided himself a sacrifice!  Isaac, surely, would have remembered that!  How about when Abraham journeyed into the land Gerar and was afraid for his life because of Sarah’s beauty, that he made Sarah lie to Abimelech king of the Philistines saying she was Abraham’s sister?  Even in that situation, God was with Abraham, because God came to Abimelech in a dream telling him not to touch Sarah.  I wonder whether Abraham told Isaac about this or not. 

So here we are in the opening scene of Genesis 26 and there was another famine that caused Isaac to go to Abimelech king of the Philistines in the land ofGerar.  Wow!  Check this out, this the same king Abraham had dealings with back in Genesis 21!  Can you imagine, King Abimelech’s response “So, you’re Abraham’s son!”  Maybe Abimelech had one of those “flashbacks” as he remembered the oath he made Abraham swear in Genesis 21:23.  Having remembered it I wonder if Abimelech was thinking about whether Isaac was going to honor the same oath or not. 

Back to the story, since there was famine in the land Isaac was probably tempted to take matters into his own hands by go into foreign lands looking for food for his family.  But wait, the Lord appears to Isaac telling him not to go down intoEgypt but instead to dwell in the land which He will tell  him.  What a blessing!  Before Isaac could make a bad decision, the Lord appears to him giving him guidance!  What an awesome God we have!

Next the Lord reconfirms the promise Him made with Isaac’s dad, Abraham.  Genesis 26: -4 NKJV3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;” As if that wasn’t enough reassurance for Isaac, God goes on to tell him why He’s going to do all this:  Genesis 26:5 NKJVBecause that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Apparently, the Lord convinced Isaac because in the next scene we see Isaac stayed where he was just as the Lord had directed him. 

The next thing that happens is hilarious to me.  Genesis 26:7 “And the men of the place asked him [Isaac] of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.”  Does this sound familiar?  Abraham did the same thing to these same people back in Genesis 20.  Here we have the next generation, Isaac, following in Abraham’s footsteps quite literally!  Did Isaac know his dad did that too?  Or was Isaac simply operating out of the same selfishness his dad operated out of at the time?  We don’t know. 

Oh but I love how this turns out! Abimelech says to Isaac in Genesis 26:10-11 “And Abimelech said, “What is this thou hast done unto us? One of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us. 11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”  Even though Isaac lied, God used his lie to cause Abimelech to command his people not to touch Isaac or his wife!  That meant Isaac and Rebekah were protected in that land.  What a blessing!

As time went on God had blessed Isaac so he became great with possessions of flocks, herds and servants, so much so the Philistines envied him.  King Abimelech saw Isaac was mightier than them, so he sent Isaac away from them.  However, when Isaac began to re-dig the wells his father had dug previously, the Philistines came and claimed it.  Isaac didn’t complain, he just moved to the next well and re-dug it.  Again, when he found water, the Philistines came and claimed it.  Isaac patiently endured this, even though it seemed unfair. 

On the third time digging a well, Isaac found water and the Philistine did NOT steal this one.  Isaac named this well “Rehoboth” saying the Lord has made room for us.  That night the Lord appeared to Isaac again reminding him of the promise to him and his seed after him.   Isaac built an alter to God and worshipped the Lord there. Isn’t it beautiful how the Lord provided for Issac?  Abimelech and his people could definitely tell the Lord was with Isaac.  No matter how many times they stole Isaac’s wells, the Lord provided other wells.

In the next scene we see Abimelech coming to Isaac. Genesis 26: 28-29And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; 29 That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD.”  Having a little deja vu?  Abimelech, knowing the Lord is with Isaac and he would never be able to overthrow him, decides to make a deal with Isaac just like he did with Abraham.

I enjoy reading how Isaac lived his life before the people of the land and how everyone could tell the Lord was with him.  It’s the same with us.  When we walk humbly with our Lord, the world around us will be able to tell.  We don’t have to say a word because our way of living based on God’s Word will be the only testimony we need.  I don’t know about you, but this gives me great comfort and relieves me of the burden of trying to convince anyone to come to the Lord because if I am faithful to obey God’s way then it will be the evidence of God working in me.   People will be able to see God is real simply by seeing the change in me.  The Holy Spirit may use my life to draw people closer to God.

What have we learned from Genesis 26? 

1) God keeps his promises and rewards those who follow Him.

2) Sometimes we follow in our parent’s foot steps unknowingly.  This should cause us to think about the legacy we are leaving our own children.  Hopefully, we are pointing our children to God by how we live. 

3) Even if we slip up or make a mistake, God is able to bring good out of it.

4) We need only to live our life in obedience to God to become a witness for Him.  It’s not what we say, but how we live that makes the greatest impact in the lives of others. 

Lord, thank you for your faithfulness to us.  Help us live a life in obedience to You.  Thank you for bringing good out of our mistakes. May Your good work in and through us be used by the Holy Spirit as a light drawing others to a saving faith in You, Jesus.  In Jesus’ name Amen.      

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God's Word.
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One response to “A Deeper Look at Genesis 26

  1. […] A Deeper Look At Genesis 26 – on Think On It […]

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