The Lord’s First Promise to Isaac

The words of John Wesley. “As a young boy in the family of a clergyman I had been “carefully taught that salvation could only be obtained by keeping all the commandments of God. I hoped to be saved, by, (1) Not being so bad as other people. (2) Having a kind of religio … More


As we read this we can see how Isaac was a man easily persuaded by circumstances and willing to let these things bend and shape his life rather than forcing them to serve him. He finds himself overwhelmed by a famine in the land and decides to go down to Egypt until it is over (v. 1). A hundred years before this his father Abraham had done the same thing with disastrous results. Despite the warning of Abraham’s experience Isaac set his course for Egypt. In fact we see great similarity of what happened to him and what happened to Abraham. Some of these things are (1) famine, (2) a plan to go to Egypt, (3) the stay in Gerar (v. 2), (4) he called his wife his sister, (5) the wife’s beauty, (6) Abimelech’s concern about committing adultery, and (7) Abimelech’s rebuke.

God promised to bless Isaac like his father Abraham (vv. 3-4). He moved to Gerar with his beautiful wife Rebekah (vv. 5-7). Isaac, like his father, resorted to lies as he told Abimelech that Rebekah is his sister. Deception is ingrained in the very fiber of our beings. As it always happens, lies hurt other people. For a long time the lie was undetected but as time passed Isaac became so used to living with his lie that he became careless in his behavior and acted in such a way that his deception was exposed (vv. 8-9). Abimelech confronted Isaac about what he had done and warned his people not to touch Isaac or Rebekah or they would be put to death (vv. 10-11). Isaac planted grain and the Lord blessed him (vv. 12-13). The Phillistines became jealous and finally Abimelech asked Isaac to leave the country (vv. 14-16).


I need to head the warnings of God in His Word and not fall into the same traps that Abraham and Isaac did. The key is obedience to God’s Word and not the circumstances of life at the time.

Genesis 26:1-16 (English Standard Version)

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