“We can’t stay here. There’s nothing left for the animals to eat. This famine is too much to endure. Let’s move west until we find suitable pastures.”
A tear rolled down Rebekah’s cheek as she watched the dust rise from the goat herd as they walked. “I thought this was where God promised to bless your family…our family. How can this be happening?”
Isaac hugged her. “It will be okay. We’ll return after the land has restored. It will. God will provide.”
Rebekah nodded. “Very well then. Let’s move.”
The tents were folded and loaded on the camels. The herds and flocks had gone ahead in hopes of finding food before more of them died.
A herdsman met them two days later. “We found good grass among the Philistines. Abimelech wants to talk to you about arrangements for us to stay.”
Isaac looked at Rebekah. “Looks like we won’t get to see Egypt after all.”
As Isaac was pacing outside his tent that evening Jesus met him. “Don’t go to Egypt with your family. Stay here. I’ll be with you. This is the land I’ll give your descendants. I promised your father, Abraham, a blessing of descendants too numerous to count. Every nation will be blessed by your seed. Because Abraham obeyed me I’ll keep my promise through you, too.”
After a season of great crops Abimelech came to see Isaac. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave here, my friend. You’re becoming to strong for us. The land can’t continue to support us all.”
Isaac shook Abimelech’s hand. “Thank you for supporting us during our time of need. I won’t forget that.”
Isaac moved to the east end of the valley of Gerar and dug a well he recognized as one his father had dug. Once they began to water their flocks from it the Philistines claimed it as their own. Rather than argue with them Isaac moved farther east.
A second well was re-dug with contention. So, Isaac mover farther eastward.
Nobody quarreled over the third well they dug. Isaac spread his flocks still farther eastward.
While Isaac’s men were digging another well Jesus again appeared to him. “I am the God of your father. I will bless you on account of him by multiplying your descendants.”
Abimelech showed up with some other men the next day.
Isaac tilted his head and squinted at Abimelech. “I thought you didn’t like me by the way you chased me off a while back.”
Abimelech stood with the men beside him. “Your God is indeed strong and is blessing you greatly. We desire a treaty between us and you to insure peace. That is all.”
Isaac looked at each man, then back at Abimelech. He smiled and pointed at his head servant. “Prepare a feast for our friends here.”
After the men left the following day Isaac’s servants came to him to tell of successfully digging another well.
Isaac named it Sheba. The town of Beersheba thrived there for several generations.
These are the only two times God appeared to Isaac according to the Bible. Both times He promised to bless Isaac with descendants. Neither time was it dependent on anything Isaac did or didn’t do.
The promise was stated to Isaac as a continuance of the promise made to Abraham. In other words Isaac couldn’t not be blessed by God.
To reinforce that fact God had Abimelech point out to Isaac that he was being blessed by his God.
God stopped Isaac from going to Egypt to reinforce the fact that the land he was in would belong to his descendants.
He promised a place, a people and a Savior to come through Isaac from Abraham.
The ultimate blessing of Abraham and Isaac was the Savior Jesus Christ. Because of what He did we share in a similar promise today.
Jesus said He’s going to prepare a dwelling place for us with God the Father for eternity.
People from every tribe and tongue will be in that kingdom yet to be.
It’s only because of our belief that Jesus is the only way to God that we’ll be a part of it at all.
There’s nothing we can, or can’t, do to make any of this happen.
All the work was done by Jesus on the cross of Calvary.
Once we accept that we can’t not belong to God’s family.
Isaac was far from perfect. Even after God promised to bless him and give him children he lied about Rebekah being his wife to potentially save his life.
That gives me solace for me. I know God will come through for me even when, not if, I fail Him.
I know myself too well. I talk a good talk, but I don’t always come through with flying colors so to speak.
Like Peter after Jesus’s arrest I can fall away to save my own hide. I’m selfish like that.
But I’m promised that I can’t be snatched out of Jesus’s, or God’s, hand.
Peter was used mightily after Jesus’s resurrection.
I have no idea what He has in store for me. I don’t think I’m prepared for it now, but I will be when it comes.
God has big plans for you, too. Brace yourself for it. He’ll surprise you with whatever it will be.
He’s preparing you for it now.
Isaac did have a son whose fourth son was foretold to be in the line of the Deliverer of all mankind.
Isaac’s part to play in this plan was to simply be blessed.
Jacob would have a more difficult part to play.
Both were blessed by God in His time.
You and I will be too.
It may not be as we expect, nor as we desire, but it will be good.
I know because God is good and the giver of perfect gifts.
As His child He’s the perfect Father who wants what’s best for you.
I can’t wait to see how this all unfolds.
I’ll see you later. Wade