Genesis 26: Isaac's Path

Genesis 26: Isaac's Path

The plan is simple.

  • Read through the book of Genesis, ONE CHAPTER A DAY.
  • Restate 5 things you learned (that you previously didn't know).
  • Ask 5 questions about the chapter that you'll ponder all week.
  • As the Holy Spirit gives you wisdom and insight, ACT ON IT.  

Genesis 26:1-35

INSIGHT 1: It would seem that in the book of Genesis, any journey that involves going "down to Egypt" is generally frowned on by God.

  • Abraham went there in Genesis 12 and Sarai was temporarily taken from him. Hagar the concubine, who was the cause of much headaches for Abraham and Sarai was from Egypt.
  • In Genesis 15:13, God foretells the 400 years of bondage that Abraham's descendants would suffer (which would end up taking place in... you guessed it, Egypt!).

For these reason, God's warning to Isaac in verse 2 to "not go down to Empty" must be taken seriously. 

INSIGHT 2: While God will remain true to His promise and oath to Abraham (v.5), Isaac's portion of the blessing seems dependent on his obedience to God, "Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you.  Sojourn in this land," (v.2-3).

INSIGHT 3: Both Sarah's (12:14) and Rebekah's (24:16) beauty have caused headaches for Abraham and Isaac (12:10-20 and 26:6-11). Ironically, both men follow the same sinful pattern of lying about their true relationship statuses with their wives.  

INSIGHT 4: Abimelech continually shows up as a man of discernment, who, at the minimum, recognizes God's hand of favor over Abraham and Isaac. He's seen enough of God's hand over their lives that he is willing to acknowledge that "their God" is greater! (20:14-18 and 26:28). Both Abraham and Isaac made covenants with him.

INSIGHT 5: God's favor rested mightily on Isaac, so much so that in ONE YEAR, his business grew exponentially! Genesis 26:12-14, "And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him, and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him."

INSIGHT 6: Beersheba is an important location because it is where Abraham called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God (21:33). God just so happened to meet with Isaac in this same location many decades later. Both men planted/built memorials in this location to remind them of their encounter with God.

INSIGHT 7: The prediction at birth about Isaac and his twin brother's conflict is coming to fruition. Esau's disregard and sale of his birthright is a sign of a greater loss to come.

QUESTIONS

QUESTION 1: Why must Isaac not go down to Egypt? 

QUESTION 2: Had Abraham verbally conveyed the promise God made to him to Isaac, or is verse 2 the first time Isaac was hearing of this covenant?

QUESTION 3: Could Isaac have "lost out" on this promise if he didn't do what God instructed him to do? If he had gone down to live in Egypt, might he have forfeited his inheritance from God? Was God's promise conditional upon his behavioral holiness or what the promise his regardless of what he did (positional holiness)?

QUESTION 4: If Rehoboth was a great location with no conflict (people weren't arguing about wells), why move on to Beersheba in verse 23?

QUESTION 5: Where was Esau during all this? Would he experience/receive a portion of any of Abraham's promise? 

QUESTION 6: Why and how did Esau and his Hittite wives make life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah?

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