“And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.”
Genesis 26:24 KJV
Wow! Just because his father, Abraham, was a servant of the Almighty God, Isaac gets blessed! Furthermore, he gets the same promise as did his father Abraham as Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, will have problems conceiving. Let’s go back to Isaac and Rebekah and their sons, Esau and Jacob, in chapter 25.
One will quickly notice similar problems were with Rebekah as plagued her mother-in-law, Sarah. I don’t know if Rebekah and Sarah ever met, i.e. family reunions, because the Bible (the source for all truth) doesn’t tell us. However, if they did meet, Rebekah would have been a child thus putting an end to the talk that women do around giving birth. This was a fact since, primarily, the distance in age or land that kept the two of them separate. Upon Sarah’s death, in which Isaac was 27 and Ishmael was 40, the Bible doesn’t give the age of Rebekah until she gave birth which is sixty.
Yet, Isaac was “a chip off the old block” as he did what his father did and pleaded to the Lord God for Rebekah’s sake so she might have children. The Lord God heard his plea, and Rebekah had given birth to twins when she was 60 years old. Assuming Isaac was like his father Abraham, Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, was 10 years younger than him. So, if that were true, Rebekah would have been 30 years old when she married Isaac.
Then, she waited to get pregnant with Isaac’s child simply because she did not know that she would later on give birth to twins. Although these weren’t two ordinary twins who had a close bond. Much later on, Jacob made an attempt to capture Esau’s birthright since he was born first by giving him a scrumptious bowl of pottage since Esau was “faint.” To exchange Esau’s birthright over delicious pottage says something about their age. I’m guessing between 17-25 years old since we know how boys turning into young men consume a lot of calories. Anyways, Jacob succeeded; as famished as Esau was coming home from a hard day hunting with zero rewards, he must have regretted selling his birthright for pottage as Rebekah fears for Jacob’s life (click on: Genesis 25:28-34).
And yet there was another famine — a famine that was separate from the famine that affected his father — that affected Isaac’s area; however, Abraham was still alive given that he lived a century and three quarters. Yet, Isaac traveled unto (click on) Abimelech, the king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And take a look at what happens next:
“And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: sojourn 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; 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 that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:”
Genesis 26:2-6 KJV
One will notice that God stops Isaac from traveling to Egypt just like his father Abraham had done simply since there would be no lack of food because Egypt had the humongous Nile River. Instead, Isaac stays in (click on) Gerar just as God commanded him to do so. And like all fleshly men that dwelt there, Isaac was fearful of the men of the land so much so that he lied about the relationship the he and Rebekah had. Isaac blatantly told the men of that place that she was his sister. Like father like son until Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, and it took a long time, sees him “sporting” her. Abimelech flies into a rage, and said “of surety, she is thy wife,” since was “fearful” of Rebekah because she was beautiful for the express purpose of the sin of self-preservation. I don’t know if Abraham,his father, told him that he passed his mother off for his sister twice, but Isaac lied on the behalf of self-preservation which put the Philistine men and Abimelech the king’s life in danger but also Rebekah’s life. That is a lot of life put in danger of one lie specifically Isaac’s purpose was self-preservation.
We will pick it up in (click on) Genesis 26:12-19:
“Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: for he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.”
Wait a minute! It seems like God blessed Isaac for lying, especially for the sin of self-preservation. And, some time, obviously, had passed by. The Philistines grew envious over the success he had in growing his crops — even to a hundred fold. So envious were they that each one of the wells Abraham dug were covered up with earth.
“And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is our’s: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”
Genesis 26:20-22 (KJV)
The events in Genesis have long passed us, so one would be justified in asking what does (click on) Esek and (click on) Sitnah mean. See, Esek means “quarrel” and Sitnah means “strife” which Isaac named them after his herdsmen and the herdsmen of Gerar had a fierce altercation over them. When he got tired of all that quarreling over the wells in which his father had dug, Isaac decided to go elsewhere, far away to a well in the valley of Gerar named (click on) Rehoboth. Rehoboth means “broad places.” Then Isaac said,
“For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. And he went up from thence to Beer-sheba. And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake. And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.”
Genesis 26:22b-25 (KJV)
This is the second time Isaac is given a promise to “fear not” because of what his father, Abraham, did. Remember, Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac, his only son between him (Abraham) and Sarah, until the Angel of the Lord stopped him (click on: Genesis 22:1-19).
“Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army. And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you? And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; that thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD. And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac’s servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water. And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day. And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.”
Genesis 26:26-35 (KJV)
Here is another reference that one can use. It comes from Bible.com:
And if you are looking for references, this comes from (click on) Bibleref.com, outlining the whole chapter of 26. However, I want you to take a look at the end of the page in which this occurs:
Genesis 26 focuses on God’s assurances to Isaac to be with him and to bless him, mostly while Isaac and his household are settled in the land of the Philistines. Just as Abraham did, Isaac fearfully lies about his wife being his sister, nearly bringing disaster on Abimelech and his kingdom. Still, God blesses Isaac with greater and greater abundance to the point that Abimelech sends Isaac away because he has become too powerful. After continued disputes over water rights, Abimelech and Isaac eventually make a covenant of peace.”
If you go on from here, Genesis 27-28 tells you of the blessing that was supposed to be given to Esau but instead went to Jacob. Remember, that Isaac loved Esau, and Rebekah loved Jacob even when they grew up.
~ Darren L Beattie, The Soul Blogger of TrueLifeChristianity.com ~