Summary: How Isaac avoided quarrels and let things go when God directed
How to Solve Quarrels
1. Aim: To lead the people to know how to follow Isaac’s example of obedience in avoiding quarrels and overcoming the opposition with kindness, hard-work and friendliness.
2. Explanation of the Aim: Even though Isaac has to admit that he sinned, God still uses him because of obedience and faith in the promises given to Abraham. It is encouraging to know that even when we sin the Lord will restore us and bless all who obediently trust Him for Biblical promises. Isaac shows us how to deny ourselves both in our rights and conveniences rather than quarrel.
By giving us an example of one who how a good man would rather go into obscurity than continue to be abused by men of envy, scorn and jealousy. We can find comfort in the fact that when people are false and unkind the Lord’s grace is more than sufficient to restore us to fullness of joy.
3. The Bible Story: Isaac enjoys such great blessings from God that the Philistines harass him out of severe envy. The Bible says, “Who can stand before envy? Since God gave Isaac extraordinary wisdom he knew that out of corrupt sinful natures it is impossible to see any good thing. It is just as Jesus once told the Pharisees, “It is not what is on the outside of person that defiles them, but what comes out of the heart: hate, envy, jealousy, slander…” There comes a time, as Isaac taught us, to resist the temptation to contest with argumentative people and get a fresh start somewhere else. Isaac peaceable departs from the royal city as a foreshadowing of how Christ refused to revile His revilers in return. Oppressors may temporarily think they have won but God’s purposes, power and promises will always be fulfilled wherever godly people reside.
4. The INTRODUCTION helps the people find out their natural reaction to bullies. Ask some of the people how they feel when they are abused by someone who is physically more powerful than they are? Ask the people how Jesus responded to those who sought to do Him harm? How does Isaac give us a foreshadowing of what Christ would do when He would be persecuted?
The BIBLE STORY helps us learn great character qualities from Isaac that are worth emulating. Explore the attitudes and character qualities in Isaac that serve as fine examples for how we should react when we are unfairly abused or oppressed.
The MEANING FOR OUR LIVES gives the people an opportunity to make applications from the life of Isaac to people who try to take advantage of them by sheer intimidation tactics.
(Begin with Prayer)
Ask the people how they feel when a bully abuses them? Find out from the people what they know of how Isaac and Jesus responded to their oppressors? Why did both Isaac and Jesus Christ allow the heavenly Father to fight the battles for them? Why is it sometimes true that conditions may get worse before God can turn them into good with His mighty power?
The Bible Story
1. Our lesson teaches us how God blessed Isaac and prospered him by allowing his work to thrive. When people trust and obey the Lord they can expect to enjoy an inner sense of satisfaction that transcends any earthly reward. The Lord facilitated all of Isaac’s farming by multiplying his crops a hundredfold. All of this came at a time when everyone else suffered through a terrible famine. The Lord provided Isaac with many willing servants to assist in his work that he employed and maintained. Godly people can enjoy sweet fulfillment from the bread of the God’s word and the rivers of life from the Holy Spirit who quenches our thirsty soul. Those who fail to grow in Christ deprive themselves of many heavenly blessings.
2. Isaac opened up wells that his father had dug and even called them by the same names as sign of respect to Abraham. Godly people honor their father and mother out of a sense of respect, gratitude and humility. It is always good to make use of the rich wisdom of the past generations. Isaac found a fresh reservoir of water that provided for his family, his animals and also his crops. Great resources encourage us to be thankful for every good gift that comes from above. By utilizing these wells Isaac demonstrated that he was not willing to surrender to adversaries that would deprive him of a rich resource. Do not let abusive oppressors discourage you from drawing on the Holy Spirit’s living waters of life.
3. Isaac also instructed his servants to dig new wells. It is not enough to simply rely on what our forefathers of the faith have done for us. The Lord wants us to press on to accomplish innovations for the benefit of multiplying His kingdom’s sphere of influence. We must also learn to expect opposition from many who will resist change. He even called the first two new wells, Esek and Sitnah meaning contention and hatred.