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In Genesis chapter 26 we can see where the old adage, "like father, like son" could have come from. Isaac like his father Abraham told foreigners that his wife was his sister. However, the artist Raffaello captured verse 8 from King Abimelech's perspective in this painting from the year 1519 below: "But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out a window and saw Isaac fondling Rebekah."
Today's Genesis chapter 26 readings open up with Isaac digging wells - and then moving on when the Philistine's contest the wells. This shows an incredible amount of patience on Isaac's behalf. In this arid region of Gerar, water was like gold and people often battled over water. Filling in someone's well was akin to declaring war. Below is an aerial map of where Gerar and Beersheba are located, just on the northern edge of the Negev desert (see lower left corner of map):
Verse 22 stood out to me in these readings about the wells: "Abandoning that one, he dug another well, and the local people finally left him alone. So Isaac called it "Room Enough," for he said, "At last the LORD has made room for us, and we will be able to thrive."" For me this was reminiscent of Abraham giving Lot the choice of lands when there was disputes between their herdsmen. Abraham was confident that God would provide even with "2nd choice" of the lands - and Isaac here seems to be following in his father's footsteps of wisdom. I also like the naming of the well - "Room Enough." I think sometimes in our world today we can get so competitive with each other, thinking that there is a limited sized pie and we have to get our piece of it! "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" author Steven Covey calls this the "scarcity mentality" - and he encourages us to instead operate with an "abundance mentality" - that there is ultimately enough pie for everyone. That there is Room Enough. How do you find yourself operating in your own life - more often out of the scarcity mentality or the abundance mentality? Do you see the risk of the scarcity mentality? And the blessing of the abundance mentality? Do you believe that there is Room Enough? Below is a modern day photo of a well near the entrance to Beersheba that is believed to be the well Isaac and his servants dug in chapter 25 verses 23-25: "From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, where the Lord appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.” Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well."
Genesis chapter 27 today is a very interesting and challenging chapter... both Jacob and Rebekah are deceitful. And Isaac is suspicious of the whole charade. And yet, Jacob receives the verbal blessing from Isaac, which was binding back in those days. I think this chapter is challenging in that it can bring up the question of sin - and can sin be used to fulfill God's will? You know I'm going to defer to our resident-expert on Genesis - Bob Deffinbaugh from bible.org. :) Check out this quote from Bob in his summary of this chapter: "The purpose of God as expressed to Rebekah in Genesis 25:23 was perfectly accomplished without one alteration. The sins of Isaac and Esau and Rebekah and Jacob did not in any way thwart God’s will from being done. In fact, their sins were employed by God in such a way as to achieve the will of God. God’s sovereignty is never thwarted by man’s sin. To the contrary, God is able to achieve His purposes by employing man’s sinful acts to further His plans." Then, check out everything Bob has to say on this challenging chapter at this link. Surf down to Bob's Conclusion at this link if nothing else - it is very intriguing! Please let me know your thoughts on this chapter in the Comments below. Below is an oil painting from 1639 by Dutch Baroque painter Govert Teunisz Flinck (who was a pupil of Rembrandt) of Isaac blessing Jacob:
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Genesis chapter 25 titled "The Principle of Divine Election" is at this link and commentary on chapter 26 titled "Isaac Walks in His Father's Steps" is at this link.
Worship God: Today's readings reminded me of Michael W. Smith's song "You Won't Let Go:"
Do you know our God who won't let you go? Click here and be held by Him forever!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed." Genesis 27:29 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that the nations may serve and bow down to Jesus. Pray that all peoples will acknowledge Jesus as Lord.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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