Reading: Genesis 26:1-5
God blessed Isaac with the same covenant promises as Abraham. However Isaac had a very unsettled and troubled life. He suffered famine; had conflict with the Philistines about the wells, had to move from place to place. He was a stranger in the Promised Land. Esau married heathen wives which grieved Isaac and Rebecca. So few of God’s promises were fulfilled. In this way God tested Isaac, that we might be taught, by his example, not to be fainthearted under hardship and temptations. God promised to protect Isaac (vs 3). But God also required Isaac to honour God for this by remaining obedient (vs 5) and inwardly peaceful (vs 24), even though he was surrounded by many difficulties.
God wants to encourage Isaac by teaching him that patient labour and obedience are not vain by the example of Abraham. God says “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” I now bless you Isaac. God knows Isaac and we are weak; therefore He promises a reward on obedience. This does not mean we earn God’s blessings. God’s blessings are given on the basis of free grace alone. But sometimes God speaks to us in this way to encourage obedience (for example, Revelation 22:12 “I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work).
Key verse: Genesis 26:24 “And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you.”
Question: God assures Isaac that He will protect him. Isaac must honour God for this by remaining obedient and inwardly peaceful, even though he was surrounded by many difficulties. How do you honour God in this way?