Looking back for a moment at Abraham’s life – he was wealthy, he was important; he was the patriarch of the family and the employer of many (MANY) servants. Abraham, although the only piece of land he owned was the piece he purchased for his wife Sarah’s grave, was a VERY wealthy and important man.
Now before I allow myself to be sidetracked…
Isaac was heir to all of this…
the wealth, the position… and the responsibility for all these people who worked for him.
And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac Gen 25: 5
It seems that Isaac never took advantage of his position as being the son of the most important man in the area between the Tigris/Euphrates basin and Egypt.
To use an Australian term, Isaac did not ‘big note’ himself.
He went on living, watching his herds, caring for his people, loving his one wife, and sons, and fearing God. Thus reinforcing what God said about his father Abraham…
I have known him that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice…Gen 18: 19
So had Abraham done that? Had he passed on his faith to his son Isaac?
Look at this and judge for yourself…
There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, in Gerar. Gen 26: 1
It seems that Isaac, following his father’s pattern, planned to go down to Egypt in the time of famine.
Then 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 bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. Gen 26: 2,3 Bolding mine
Does Isaac have the faith of his father?
Isaac wanted to take his family, his flocks, and all his dependants to where he knew there was grain.
God told him to stay where he was.
In the land of the Philistines, Isaac was neither in his ‘home territory’ at this time, nor was he where he thought best to go.
What did Isaac do?
In trusting, and faithful, submission to God, he remained where he was.
However, there was one imitation of his father that was not so worthy. He did the same as his father, in that he claimed that his wife was his sister. Abimelech accepted his reasoning and warned his people not to touch either Isaac or his wife or they would be put to death.
Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold and he Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him. Gen 26: 12- 14 Bolding mine
Next time we will see how the Philistines acted out their envy, and how Isaac handled it.
Tread softly, you may be treading on someone’s dreams.