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Genesis 26

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

Monday, AUGUST 21

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 26

By: Josh Boles

At first glance there may not seem to be a whole lot to unpack in Genesis chapter 26. A good portion of this chapter is about the treaty between Issac and Abimelech. Issac enters the land, is asked to leave, and then is asked to come back. I’m sure there is a lot regarding these matters we could talk about but I’d like to talk about something else.

If you read closely you will notice how closely this chapter in Issac’s life closely resembles stories we read about Abraham’s life. There is much to discuss, so let’s dig in!

This chapter opens up with the fact of a famine in the land. “now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham.” Verse 1. This is alluding to the famine we read about in Genesis chapter 12 where Abraham was instructed to go to Egypt. Issac remains in Gerar and thus begins this chapters confrontation with Abimelech. We don’t know on exactly what timeline this chapter is written but we could assume that this Abimelech was likely a grandson to Abimelech known by Abraham. So, Abraham’s journey began with famine, and had dealings with Abimelech. Issac’s journey here is beginning with a famine, and has dealings with Abimelech.

The next thing we see happen is Issac tell the men of Gerar that Rebekah is his sister. I wonder where we have seen this before? Issac is doing the same thing here for almost the exact same reason as Abraham in Egypt (chapter 12), and in Gerar (chapter 20).

Even considering this messed up situation, the very next thing we read about is how Issac was blessed beyond measure. There is a lot more to this than perhaps Issac was just really smart, or maybe he was just a really hard worker. More than anything this confirms the divine promise that God gave Abraham that he, and his descendants will be blessed.  It is evident in reading this that Issac is indeed heir to the promises God gave to Abraham.

There are still several similarities in this chapter we could talk about, but lets stop and think for a minute how this relates to us. If we see the Bible as one book with sixty six chapters, which we should, we can see a bigger picture here. We can see a grand narrative here how God can take the broken pieces, just like we talked about Sunday, and put them together. He can take our sin, redeem our souls, and make us new.

We have to realize though that this is not because of anything we have done. It is also not because of anything Abraham or Issac has done. It is the redeeming grace of God unfolding throughout the entire narrative of the Bible. Again, we know that Issac is heir to the promises of God. We know that Abraham’s bloodline will eventually lead to the long awaited Savior. This means by the grace of God through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ, we too are heirs of this promise!

Romans 8:17  says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Do you see that wonderful promise? That we are heirs of God, and co-heirs with Christ! What a glorious savior we serve! Let us never forget that our citizenship is in heaven and our reward is eternal. Let us not live in vain, but share this great news with the world.

Posted by Josh Boles with 0 Comments

Genesis 25

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, AUGUST 18

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 25

This is a pivotal chapter in the Biblical narrative.  Abraham dies and the story quickly moves to Isaac.  And then just as quickly the story moves on to Esau and Jacob.  As space permits, I would like to talk about all three of those transitions.

First, Abraham died at the age of 175.  That means Abraham had been following God for at least 100 years.  Imagine having a century of experience with the one, true God.  As Abraham grew closer to death, he made sure that his children through a second wife named Keturah were taken care of.  He gave them great gifts and sent them to live in the east country.

The Bible says Abraham died in a good old age.  This speaks of the quantity of life.  Verse 8 says he died full of years.  That speaks of quality of life.  

It is important to notice that Ishmael came back home to help bury his dad.  That is fitting.  It is also important to notice that God blessed Ishmael with at least 12 sons and many years of life, 137 to be exact.  Although Isaac was the son of promise and the child of the covenant, God was good to Ishmael as well.

When we get to verse 19, it almost seems like same song, second verse.  Isaac and Rebekah were childless.  But in that same song, second verse Isaac and Rebekah kept their faith like Abraham kept his.  God honored that and Rebekah became pregnant with not one but two children.  

Those two kids were Esau and Jacob.  As is often the case, those two could not have been more different.  One was hairy and had a red complexion.  The other had a fair complexion and smooth skin.  One was a great hunter.  The other liked to stay around home.  One was loved more by his dad.  The other one was loved more by his mom.  One would represent the natural, unsaved person. The other would represent the saved.

Those differences were the source of conflict that began in the womb and would characterize most of their lives.  Esau was born first and as he was being born, Jacob followed, literally hanging on to his brother’s foot.

The name Jacob means deceiver.  Most believe that his hanging on to his brother’s foot even at birth was symbolic of the fact that he would trip up his older brother.  That first happens in the part of the story that begins in verse 29.  Jacob got Esau to give up his birthright for a bowl of lentels.

The birthright was a most important thing.  It was a spiritual legacy in that the blessing of Abraham would flow through that birthright.  It was a physical legacy in that the at least a double portion of the father’s possession would flow through that birthright.

But Esau allowed his immediate hunger to overwhelm his long term satisfaction.  Esau basically said he could not live on promises and he treated his birthright with great contempt.  He sold it his deceptive brother.  

From our angle, it appears that neither one of the boys deserved the birthright.  But God was working through it all.  The physical linage through which Jesus would come was continuing to be built.  And Jacob would be the next link in that chain.

 

Posted by Joe Ligon with 0 Comments

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