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Genesis 26:1-33

Genesis 26:1-33

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Published by John Shearhart
God convinces Isaac of the Promise to receive land and children.
God convinces Isaac of the Promise to receive land and children.

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Published by: John Shearhart on Sep 26, 2013
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09/26/2013

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Genesis 26:1-33
September 24, 2013
We’re going to continue through the book of Genesis, and we’re now officially inthe second half of the book. Chapter 26 is the only chapter dedicated entirely tothe life of Isaac, and we’re going to see that he struggles with some of the sameissues he father did.
 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in thedays of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistinesunto Gerar.
Abimelech and Phicol (:26) are probably titles so don’t get them mixed up with themen from chapter 21. There’s a famine in the land again and Isaac moves hisfamily and livestock to a better place.
2
 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
3
Sojourn in this land,
Apparently his original plan was to go all the way down to Egypt but the Lordwon’t let him. Instead He tells him to stay within the Promised 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 shallall the nations of the earth be blessed;
He doesn’t need to leave Gerar because the Lord is with him and (as we’ll see bythe end of this chapter) He’ll bless him. This is the Promised Land and Isaac is thepromised son that God promised to Abraham. And so God says, “Sit still and wait here. I’m fulfilling the oath I made to your father.”
5
 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
If we put this with Genesis 22:16-19 we see that it’s a result of the events on Mount Moriah. If we then look at Hebrews 11:17-19 we see that the basis of it is faith, andthat’s really the keyword for understanding this whole chapter. God’s intention isto convince Isaac that He has established a covenant that’s already well underway,so Isaac needs to stay within the Promised Land.
 
But faith doesn’t go long unchallenged:
6
 And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:
 And the men of the place asked him 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.
So, Isaac has a circumstance similar to Abraham’s and he does the same thing. It’sproof in my mind that God doesn’t call the just but rather justifies the called. WithAbraham God let things appear to get more out of hand, but things don’t go so farthis time:
8
 And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaacwas sporting with Rebekah his wife.
9
 And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife; and how saidst thou, She is my sister?  And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.
10
 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 uponus.
11
 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
Part of God’s provision is to let Isaac be caught in his lie, but the result issomewhat baffling. Abimelech seems (and has the right to be) a little angry, but instead of punishment he issues an edict of protection. Seeing that the king’s heart is like a channel of water turning wherever God turns it (Prov. 21:1), we know that this is sovereign protection from God.
12
Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
13
 And the man waxed great, andwent forward, and grew until he became very great:
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 For he had possessionof flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants:
God has a covenant to keep with Abraham and it must be through Isaac. If thisman is to be turned into a great nation, then it stands to reason that he will begreatly blessed. God does all this in giving him great success and possessions. But all this doesn’t come without a price:
and the Philistines envied him.
This alien comes in merely to escape a famine and instead receives favor from theking and abundance from God. They don’t do well with it and want to harm himany way they can:
 
 
15
 For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of  Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them withearth.
Of course, you remember that Abraham had a water-rights dispute and it was a bigdeal. A man can’t live or succeed without water, and this is how the Philistines canget to him. Well, there’s enough envy and trouble going around that the king hasto get involved:
16
 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.
17 
 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.
So Isaac leaves the city and heads for the outskirts where he’ll be free to growwithout the jealous eyes of the city folks:
18
 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in thedays of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after thedeath of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.
19
 And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.
20
 And the herdmen of Gerar did strivewith Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him.
21
 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.
Well, things aren’t really working out for him are they? First he has to re-dig someold wells and then he faces opposition over some new ones. He names the first one“argument” and the second “hostility.”
22
 And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they  strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
He finally finds a place and he names the well “open space.” But the real questionis why do we read about all these wells in the first place? Why not just skip to theend? I think it’s important because it shows you the opposition to his possession of the land. The residents weren’t willing to give it him. God said one thing, but theyplanned another.But this opposition isn’t out of God’s control. Rather, God continually guides Isaacto the place He intends:

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