God guides and blesses
1 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. 2 Then the LORD appeared to him and said: Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land that I tell you. 3 Dwell 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 that I swore to Abraham your father. 4 I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven; I will give your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. 6 So Isaac dwelt in Gerar.
- This advice went against common sense but obeying God is the greater wisdom.
- Trust me! says the One who made all things, the One who controls history. (we walk by faith, not by sight—2 Corinthians 5:7)
- God calls mankind back to Himself through famine.
- Famine is the result of man turning from God.
- In Psalm 1, those who meditate in God’s word day and night are blessed in all things.
- Zechariah 14:17 And it will be that whoever of all the families of the earth will not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them will be no rain.
7 And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, She is my sister; he was afraid to say, She is my wife, because he thought, the men of the place will kill me for Rebekah because she is beautiful to look at. 8 Now it happened when he had been there a long time that Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked through a window and saw, and there was Isaac caressing Rebekah his wife. 9 Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, Quite obviously she is your wife; how could you say, She is my sister? And Isaac said to him, Because I said, That I not die on account of her. 10 And Abimelech said, What have done to us? One of the people had almost lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us. 11 So Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He whoever touches this man or his wife will certainly be put to death.
- Isaac made the same mistake as his father Abraham made. He lied about his wife to protect himself. He put her in danger.
- Notice how this king cares about what God thinks. He had moral conscience before God as well as a sense of responsibility over his people.
- 1 Chronicles 16:21-22 He (God) allowed no man to do them wrong: yes, he reproved kings for their sakes, 22 Saying, Do not touch my anointed, and do not harm my prophets.
The Lord's blessing prospers hundrefold in famine
12 Then Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him. 13 The man grew prosperous and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; 14 he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him. 15 Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells that his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with dirt. 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, Go away from us for you are much mightier than we. 17 Then Isaac left and pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar and lived there.
- Wells were the springs of life. The didn't have faucets with running water. The basic existence of his family and flocks depended on the wells.
- But the Source of all things was with Isaac (Psalm 46:1, Ephesians 3:20).
- Matthew 5:40 And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloak also.
18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water that they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names that his father had called them. 19 Also Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found a well of living water there. 20 But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herdsmen, saying, The water is ours. So he called the name of the well Esek/contention, because they quarreled with him. 21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also. So he called its name Sitnah/hatred. 22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth/room, because he said, Now the LORD has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land. 23 Then he went up from there to Beersheba.
- Digging wells was a long and tedious task. They didn't have
machinery. Some ancient wells have many steps going down to them. This was not a short endeavor or an easy thing to give up.
- Psalm 4:1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: you have enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
- John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
24 And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham's sake. 25 So he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac's servants dug a well. 26 Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, one of his friends, and Phichol the commander of his army. 27 And Isaac said to them, Why have you come to me since you hate me and have sent me away from you? 28 But they said, We have certainly seen that the LORD is with you. So we said, Let there now be an oath between us, between you and us; and let us make a covenant with you, 29 that you will do us no harm, since we have not touched you, and since we have done nothing to you but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed by the LORD. 30 So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 Then they arose early in the morning and swore an oath with one another; and Isaac sent them away, and they left him in peace.
- This oath was a peace treaty.
- Altars in the ancient world were the place to draw near to God. A sacrifice was slaughtered there portraying God’s promised cleansing of our sin so that we are clean to enter His presence.
- Psalm 29:11 The LORD will give strength to his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
32 And it happened the same day that Isaac’s servants came and told him concerning the well that they had dug and said to him, We have found water. 33 So he called it Shebah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba/well of the oath to this day. 34 When Esau was forty years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 And they were a bitterness of spirit to Isaac and Rebekah.
- These pagan women would raise Isaac and Rebekah’s grandchildren in ways that would lead them to eternal death.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Jeremiah 10:10 The LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth will tremble; the nations will not be able to abide his indignation.
- John 7:38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.
- Revelation 21:6 And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely.
The Lord doesn't need us to cheat to bless us
1 And it happened when Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his oldest son and said to him, My son: and he said to him, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Now look, I am old and I do not know the day of my death: 3 So please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me; 4 And make delicious meat for me like I love, and bring it to me so that I can eat and my soul bless you before I die.
- God had foretold the greater blessing would go to Jacob.
- Isaac was going against God’s stated will by intending to bless Esau instead (Genesis 25:23).
- Only God knows the day of our death. Isaac lived 44 more years after this day.
- Revelation 1:18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
5 Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and bring it. 6 Then Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son saying, Look, I heard your father speak to your brother Esau saying, 7 Bring me game and make delicious meat for me so that I can eat and bless you in the presence of the LORD before my death. 8 So my son, obey my voice, do what I command you. 9 Go to the flock, and bring me two good kids of the goats; and I will make delicious meat for your father like he loves: 10 And you will bring it to your father so that he can eat and bless you before his death.
- God had spoken what would be. They did not need to resort to trickery. This was a lack of faith in God’s word.
11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth man: 12 Perhaps my father will feel me and I will seem like a deceiver to him and bring a curse on myself and not a blessing. 13 And his mother said to him, Your curse be on me, my son: only obey my voice. Go bring them to me. 14 So he went and fetched them and brought them to his mother: and his mother made delicious meat like his father loved. 15 And Rebekah took the best clothes of her older son Esau, that were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son: 16 And she put the skins from the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck: 17 And she gave the delicious meat and the bread that she had prepared to her son Jacob. 18 And he came to his father, and said, My father: and he said, I am here; who are you, my son? 19 And Jacob said to his father, I am Esau your firstborn; I have done as you asked me: please get up, sit and eat my game so that your soul can bless me.
- The clothes that Rebekah put on Jacob were special clothes related to the head of the household and his priestly function.
- Notice that Jacob wasn’t concerned that he was taking advantage of his father’s poor eyesight. He was only concerned that he not be caught.
- Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean to your own understanding.
20 And Isaac said to his son, How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD your God brought it before me. 21 And Isaac said to Jacob, Please come close so that I can feel you, son, to see if you are really son Esau or not. 22 And Jacob went near Isaac his father and he felt him and said, Your voice is Jacob's voice but your hands are the hands of Esau. 23 And he did not recognize him because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him. 24 And he said, Are you really my son Esau? And he said, I am. 25 And he said, Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son's game so that my soul may bless you. And he brought it near to him and he ate: and he brought him wine and he drank. 26 And his father Isaac said to him, Come close now and kiss me, my son. 27 And he came near and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his clothing and blessed him and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed: 28 Therefore God give you of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine: 29 Let people serve you and nations bow down to you: be lord over your brothers and let your mother's sons bow down to you: cursed be every one that curses you, and blessed be he that blesses you.
- When Jacob lied and said that God brought the game to him, that was a classic example of taking the Lord’s name in vain. God doesn’t want us to use His name for wrong or empty purposes.
- To receive God’s blessing you don’t have to steal it. God has far greater blessings for us than the blessing that Jacob stole.
- Exodus 20:7 Do not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
- Revelation 3:21To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and have set down with my Father on his throne.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
30 And it happened that as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had barely left the presence of his father Isaac, that his brother Esau his came in from his hunting. 31 And he also had made delicious meat, and brought it to his father and said to his father, Father, get up and eat of your son's game that your soul may bless me. 32 And Isaac, his father, said to him, Who are you? And he said, I am your son, your firstborn Esau. 33 And Isaac trembled very greatly, and said, Who? Where is he that has hunted game and brought it me, and I have eaten of it all before you came and have blessed him? Yes, and he will be blessed.
- Isaac trembled greatly. This shows us how much Isaac wanted the blessing to go to his favorite, Esau.
34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceedingly bitter cry, and said to his father, Bless me, even me too, O my father. 35 And he said, Your brother came deceitfully and has taken away your blessing. 36 And he said, Is he not rightly named Jacob/cheater? For he has defrauded me these two times: he took away my birthright; and look, now he has taken away my blessing. And he said, Have you not reserved a blessing for me?
- Esau desperately wanted this blessing from God, but his heart had no thought for God. He just wanted what God could give him.
- Esau took away his own blessing by the choices that He made with His life. God would have given Esau the blessings as firstborn if he had been seeking God.
- Hebrews 12:16 that there not be any fornicator, or profane person, like Esau, who for one scrap of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
- Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted?
37 And Isaac answered and said to Esau, Behold, I have made him your lord, and I have given him all his brothers for servants; and I have sustained him with grain and wine: so what can I do for you, my son? 38 And Esau said to his father, Do you only have one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. 39 And his father Isaac answered and said to him, Behold, your dwelling will be away from the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven above; 40 And you will live by your sword and serve your brother; and it will happen when you have dominion that you will break his yoke off your neck.
- We are all under the yoke of pride and evil until we become strong in faith and break its yoke off our necks through the power of God.
- We become strong in faith by learning God’s word…all of it. Edom, the place that God gave Esau, is rocky terrain rather than rich farmland.
- Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
- Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are close; then will I kill my brother Jacob. 42 And Rebekah was told the words of her older son Esau. So she sent and called her younger son Jacob and said to him, Look, your brother Esau consoles himself about you, planning to kill you.
- Esau’s character becomes evident here. Murder was his solution. God’s choice in choosing Jacob is shown to be right. Esau chose to follow the solutions of evil.
- Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: do not inflame yourself in any way to do evil.
43 Now my son, obey my voice; get up, flee to my brother Laban in Haran; 44 And stay with him a few days, until your brother's fury turns away; 45 Until yo ur brother's anger turns away from you and he forgets what you have done to him: then I will send and bring you from there: why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?
- Rebekah lost the affection of Esau for helping Jacob. If Esau killed Jacob she would have lost them both. She instigated the plot and reaped what she sowed because Jacob, her favorite son, doesn’t return home for twenty years.
46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth like these daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?
- Esau’s idolatrous wives caused Rebekah much stress. If she had put her eyes on God instead of her children then her life would become blessed with the presence of the Almighty.
- We cannot control the choices and actions of people around us. We can guide them to God. If we focus on people instead of God, we are dependent on those people for our happiness. This is terribly unstable, because people change constantly.
- Psalm 16:11You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
- John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
SUMMARY: Genesis 26-27
- God is with us
- The LORD guides and
- He blesses hundredfold in famine
- He sees all things-Proverbs 15:3
- He doesn't need us to cheat to get His blessings
- He corrects His children by letting them reap what they sow or allowing to happen to them what they have done to others