101-126-Genesis Part 2 Chapter 26
Famine returned to Canaan much like back in the days of Abraham. The Lord God told Isaac not to go to Egypt but to go to the land that He would show him. Isaac then went to the land of Gerar and sojourned there. God promised to establish the covenant with Isaac that He had made with his father Abraham.
As his father before him, Isaac became afraid for his life because of the beauty of his wife Rebekah. He told the people of Gerar that Rebekah was his sister. One day King Abimelech, who was not the same King in Abraham’s day but possibly a relation, saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. He summoned Isaac and said surly this is not your sister but your wife. Why have you done this thing to the people? If one had lain with her he would have brought guilt upon us. Then King Abimelech decreed that no one should bring any harm to Isaac or his wife Rebekah. The sins of those who claim to be righteous shame themselves before God and those who are unrighteous.
God blessed Isaac and his wealth and His possessions increased, as he sojourned in the land of Gerar. His Philistine neighbors became envious of his success in their land. It is an example in the vanity of this world that the more men have of it by the fruit of their labors the more other men will envy and covet it. It is a part of the corruptness of the sin nature of man that by the honest efforts of one man he prospers and makes another man grieve at his success. King Abimelech made Isaac and his family depart from Gerar because he feared they had become to powerful. There are times that it is the wiser move to avoid contentions and move away trusting God to provide for us in another place.
Isaac again dug the wells of his father Abraham for the Philistines had stopped them up. The first well dug the herdsmen of Gerar fought over the well with the herdsman of Isaac. So Isaac named the well Esek, which means contention. Isaac moved and dug another well which also brought forth water. The herdsmen came and also fought with Isaac’s herdsmen for that well also. Isaac named that well Sitnah, which means hatred. Again Isaac moved and dug another well and this time no one fought with him over it. Men who study peace seldom fail to find peace. When men treat us falsely and with unkind measures, still God is faithful and gracious. God will reveal Himself as such in the times that men disappoint us.
When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord He will make even his enemies to be at peace with Him. (Proverbs 16:7) The hearts of Kings are in God’s hands and He can turn them to favor His people. We must always be on our guard for the people which have in the past treated us unfairly. Isaac did not hold the unkindness of the past before King Abimelech and accepted his offer of peace. King Abimelech could see by the blessings of Isaac that the Lord God was pleased with him. Jesus teaches us to be neighborly in our relationships with the people around us. (Matthew 19:19)
Esau married two Canaanite women when he was forty years old. This grieved his parents Isaac and Rebekah, as he had married out of the covenant. The Canaanites were subject to the curse of Noah for Canaan’s abuse of him. It grieved Isaac and Rebekah that Esau married without their advice or consent. Children have little to expect from the blessing of God who bring grief to the minds of good parents.