• William T. Howe Ph.D.

January 8, 2021

Daily Reading: Genesis 25-26

Genesis 25:8

Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

Chapter 25 of Genesis is a transitional chapter. Abraham passes away, as does his son Ishmael (25:17) and the focus seems to move to Jacob who is born to Isaac and Rebekah (verse 26). Jacob, of course was a twin, his brother was named Esau, who was the firstborn of the two. The lives of these five men illustrate various states of the human condition and the spiritual walk of a believer. Abraham illustrates faith in God. Isaac illustrates God’s grace and divine intervention. Ishmael illustrates unregenerate man without Christ. Esau illustrates one of the two sides of every believer in Christ, the carnal worldly nature. While Jacob illustrates the struggle of a believer to grow in grace and faith.

Before moving on to Jacob’s story, consider a great lesson that can be found in the life of his father Isaac. In the beginning of chapter 26 we find Isaac living in Beersheba when a famine came to the land; instead of going to God in prayer he went to Abimelech. Isaac trusted in man instead of trusting in God. Yet, the Lord visited him clearly telling him not to go to Egypt but to sojourn in the land (verse 3). Sojourn means to dwell in a place in a temporary fashion and not settle down. However, in verse six it is recorded, And Isaac dwelt in Gerar wherein Abimelech was king. He dwelt there instead of sojourning through. In this land, Isaac encountered many struggles. Isaac and his men first tried to uncap the well that his father Abraham had dug. As his father did, so did Isaac, he lied to Abimelech about his wife, saying she was his sister; this caused a reproach. Yet, because of God’s promise to bless him (verse 3) Isaac prospered. In fact, he became so prosperous that the Philistines grew to envy him.

To get water during the time of famine, Isaac re-dug the wells of water that His father had first dug. The Philistines had filled them in with dirt after the death of Abraham. Yet, the Philistines said that water was theirs, so Isaac and his servants dug new wells which were also taken from him. That is until he dug the well he named Rehoboth. From there, Isaac returned to the place he began, he returned to Beersheba. There, his servants dug a well and found water; Isaac built an altar and worshipped God.

Here is the lesson: the water that Isaac’s servants uncovered in Beersheba was there all the time. Instead of going to the world for answers and help, Isaac could have gone to the Lord in prayer and spared himself all of the difficulties that he and his family endured. He returned to the place he began. Many times, we do the same. Instead of trusting God and putting Him first we wander about in hardships and difficulties of this life only to return to God to find a place of safety and provision that was available to us all the time.

As the old saying goes, “If you are looking for God, you will find Him exactly where you left Him.” Isaac did!

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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