Genesis 26 * God Promised Isaac

ISAAC IS TOLD TO STAY PUT

ISAAC GIVES HIS WIFE AWAY

FAMINE AGAIN

During those days it was common to run to Egypt when famine broke out, why?

Egypt has a salt water delta that turns into the Nile. When the Nile River ventures south, it creates a robust ecosystem that is all but famine proof.

Northern California is much the same. In two places, Sacramento and Stockton, the Pacific Ocean cuts deep into the middle of the State, creating a vast ecosystem perfect for farming.

But God did not want Isaac in Egypt, he wanted him to stay put.

LIKE FATHER. LIKE SON

Isaac ventured to Gerar, and just like dad, allowed his wife to be known as his sister.

And just like God, the family is saved from disaster—again.

Verse 8 is fascinating, the ESV translates tsachaq as laughing, a word cousin to yitschaq, Isaac’s Hebrew name, which means as laughter. And you can see why the translators preferred it that way, but tsachaq has a more personal meaning.

The King James Bible says Isaac and Rebekah were sporting, an old english nod toward flirting or foreplay, which was exactly what was going on.

The NIV gets it right, which is rare in my book, the word caressing is used to show the kind of marital interaction Isaac and Rebekah were enjoying.

Isaac tells the truth about his lie, and Abimelech warns his people to leave them alone.

Then a miracle took place, in drought conditions, Isaac soweed into the land and reaped a bounty. Against impossible odds he wins big, the text says he became very wealthy.

WATER WARS

Ancient folks had no plumbing, that kind of a thing was a long way off. Life revolved around wells and other kinds of fresh bodies of water for obvious reasons, humans cannot live without water, and the entire region is constantly hot.

It was common for tribal people to argue about their wells, political arguments that exist all over the world, even to this day.

Isaac moved away from the fight, believing God would lead him to a water source no one would fight about.

God visited him at night and gave Isaac the same blessing as his father, mentioning Abraham by name.

Abimelech finally woke up to the permanent blessing on Isaac, and made peace with him.

A new well is found, they named it Beersheba, which means Well of Oath, or Well of Seven.

The last verse in the chapter is chilling, Esau marries with the intent of making life bitter for his parents, and he does.

But life will only get more bitter for him, for Momma’s boy Jacob is about to steal Esau’s blessing.