Tuesday – September 24, 2019 – Those Who Have Gone Before
Genesis 26:1-5 (NLT) A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. 3 Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. 4 I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 5 I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.”
God made a promise to Abraham, and He confirmed that promise to Isaac. In other words, the promise was not just for Abraham; it was also for his progeny. Isaac was the child who was born to Abraham and his wife, Sarah. He was the son through whom God promised Abraham that He would bring about a blessing on all humanity. The reason that Isaac would be blessed and bring about a blessing was the result of Abraham’s obedience to God when Abraham was willing to sacrifice him back to God (See Genesis 22). What God had poured out on Abraham continued and flowed through to Isaac. However, that provision was not automatic. Isaac had to appropriate it by faith. Isaac learned a valuable lesson from his father, Abraham. That lesson was to have active faith in God resulting in working to bring about God’s desired results. What God had done for Abraham; He would also do for Isaac.
But Isaac’s promise was based on a condition. That condition was that he dwell in the land that God had promised to Abraham and his descendants.
God confirmed His commitment to Isaac based on the promise that He made to Abraham. When He made that confirmation, the Promised Land was in the midst of a great famine. When Abraham had been faced with a similar situation, he left the land to go to Egypt. That action seems to be contrary to what God wanted and indicates that Abraham was not always perfect in obeying God. It shows that God is merciful toward those who have a heart to serve Him. Two elements stand out, faith and mercy. Since faith is not always perfect, God often steps in with His mercy. Faith (our part) may fail, but mercy (God’s part) will never fail; not just to my father’s generation and not just to my generation, but also to the generations to come.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that Your promises are certain and, when necessary, You will show mercy toward our failure.