Let’s return to Abraham. Well actually Abraham’s son, Isaac. You know the story of Isaac. God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and Abraham was in the process of carrying out God’s request when God stopped him and gave him a ram to sacrifice instead. Well Isaac grew up and Abraham sent his servant back to the land of his kinsman to get a wife for Isaac. The servant did just that and asked for God’s guidance and God did just that and the servant returned with a wife for Isaac. Her name was Rebekah. And it was love at first sight for Isaac and Rebekah!
Now I have given you that little story in a nutshell. The truth is there is much more to it. But let’s suffice it to say that these people were walking in obedience. They asked God for guidance and they received guidance. That is a lesson for us within itself. I know that for me when I posture myself in a position where I am asking the Lord to guide me in my day to day, in the big things in life as well as in the little things of life, He always comes through for me and shows me my way. Sometimes I get impatient and take matters in my own hands but if I wait for His direction He always comes through. Well that is what Isaac and Rebekah as well as Abraham and Sarah before them had done. This is not to say that they were all perfect. Oh no, if you go back and read, you find that their obedience was not always complete. They were humans, they were people, they made mistakes. Yet God recognized that their heart was turned toward Him and because of that God kept His promises to Abraham and they carried on to the next generation to Isaac.
Isaac was living in the land that God had promised to Abraham, and you would think that because this was the land God promised that it would all be without problems. But even though Isaac was sitting right in the middle of God’s will, there were still challenges. Isaac’s challenge came in the way of a famine, just as Abraham had gone through. So Isaac, without consulting God, decides to pack up and head towards Egypt. Have you ever done that? Have you ever headed in a direction before you consulted with God about it? And then you wondered why everything didn’t seem to be working out quite like you planned it. I know I have. And sometimes God blesses me in spite of myself but if I have gotten off track of what God’s plans for me are/were there is always something that just makes it harder. Well Isaac was getting off track by heading to Egypt.
“And the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father.” Genesis 26:2-3
God is telling Isaac, stay put. Sometimes when life seems to be getting hard, we just have to stay put don’t we. Well these verses are God confirming His promise to Abraham to Isaac also. And all Isaac has to do to receive this promise is to stay put and to be obedient. There were no other stipulations put on this promise. God carries on:
“I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statues, and my laws.” Genesis 26:4-5
I love the faithfulness of God from one generation to the next in this story. Because Abraham had been obedient to God, the promises that God had given Abraham would be carried on to the next generation. This does not mean that we can carry our kids on our coattails so to speak, but it does mean that our faithfulness will be remembered with the next generation and the next and the next. When God promised Abraham that his offspring would be blessed what we see here is God carrying out His promise and blessing Isaac. It is important that we walk with God and show our children how to walk with Him also. So that they will see when God makes a promise He is faithful to carry it out.