Verse 1a describes two famines – the famine Abraham underwent and the famine of Isaac’s time.The Bible says that God never forsakes the righteous or their children (Psalm 37:25). Why then did God send a famine (or allow a famine to occur) in the land of Isaac, the son of Abraham, a righteous man?
Verses 1b-6 show us that Isaac obeyed God’s direction (“Do not go down to Egypt”) in the time of famine. It was not an easy command for anyone to obey. Yet, how do you think he was able to obey? Why is this obedience important? What spiritual application(s) can we find in Isaac’s example?
Think about the episode described in verses 7-11. The word “thought” is repeated twice (7b, 9b), indicating that it was this “thought” that caused Isaac to almost lose his beloved wife Rebekah. What warning is there for us to heed in conducting ourselves as God’s children?
The phrase “in ‘that’ land” (verse 12) indicates that Isaac planted crops when the famine was still raging. How could he do this? How did the Lord bless him (12b-14)? What lesson(s) is there for us to learn in living a fruitful life despite difficult times?
Verses 14-33 describe the way Isaac related himself to Abimelech. What does Isaac’s example teach us about the way of a blessed life in the Lord?
In verses 34-35 the “Hittites” are referred to twice.The Hittites were one of the seven Canaanite nations which the Lord commanded Joshua to drive out from the Promised Land (Joshua 3:11), emphasizing that Isaac was not as careful as was his father Abraham in ensuring that his son marry a believing wife. How can we overcome a problem like this?
Read Psalm 126:4-6. What does Isaac’s example teach us about the practical meaning of “sow in tears” or “goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow”?What seed are we to sow as God’s children? (Luke 8:11; 1Pe 1:23)
** Think about the practical decision(s) (or resolutions) you want to make in the year 2006, to ensure a fruitful life in the New Year.