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.