Genesis 26:1-2 says, “1And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech King of the Philistines unto Gerar. 2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:”
Chapter 26 is the only chapter in the book of Genesis devoted exclusively to Isaac. While he is mentioned in other chapters, he is not the focus of attention, in this chapter he is the main person. Here we get a better look at who Isaac is. He is not a shadow of his father, he has his own identity and purpose, as we all do. Although he will take over where his father left off, God clearly uses him differently, and blesses him separately from his father’s blessings. Isaac receives his own inheritance from his Heavenly Father. Isaac undoubtable will know that it was God that has blessed him, and not man.
God give Isaac clear instructions. Abraham went into Egypt. Isaac decided to go down to Egypt just as his father had done (Genesis 12:10). This was not according to the plan which God had for Isaac, and so He appeared to him with this word of instruction and promise. The Lord in essence is telling Isaac, you are not to settle in Egypt (world), you are not to do what your father did. I don’t want you to follow in your father’s footsteps, but follow my instructions.
“3Sojourn 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; Because 5)that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
God gave Isaac a promise. The same covenant promises he gave Abraham, Isaac’s father. But, the Lord makes it clear to Isaac that Isaac’s father was bless because in verse five, “Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws”.
Another words, if you want to receive the promises of God, if you want to be blessed Isaac, then you to will have to obey God’s voice. You too will have to keep His charge “Faithful”. You also must keep His commandments as not to give place to the enemy(devil) in your life. God’s statutes and laws are a reminder of our dependency on Him. Isaac cannot enter the covenant promises based on his father’s faithfulness to God. He too like us, must enter in through the narrow gate, and through the blood (blood sacrifices), keeping the statues and laws.
Genesis 26:1 says, “And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham.” This famine is specified to be a different one than that which happened during the life of Abraham.
We can all agree that famine is extreme scarcity of food, due to unnatural climate condition, human error such as war and plundering, or imbalance in nature (locust). God told Isaac he would bless him, as he did his father. He told him this during the famine, not afterwards. God made a promise to Isaac base on Isaac’s obedience to God, but also based on faith. What Isaac is seeing in the natural does not line up with what the Lord’s promised.
So Isaac has to do something unnatural to receive to receive something supernatural. Verse 12 says, “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year a hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 14For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.” Isaac sowed during a time of great famine. That takes faith to give when you are in dire need. He received a hundredfold the same year. This should encourage us to tithe and sow during times of lack and during times of blessings.
To be continued….