Summary: Part 44 of our Genesis series. In this sermon we discuss Isaac and how God preserves him through the famine.
Deja’ Vu (Genesis Part 44)
Text: Genesis 26:1-17
By: Ken McKinley
Well believe it or not, with this sermon, we have crossed the half-way point in our series on Genesis. We’ve done 25 chapters in 44 sermons… not too bad if do say so myself. And we’ve covered a lot of ground and a lot of information. And I don’t know about ya’ll but I’ve been blessed in preaching these sermons for you, and I hope you’ve been blessed in hearing them.
Now if you remember last time; we got sort of sneak peek into the future as Moses gave us a glimpse into the lives of Jacob and Esau, but today we’re back looking at Isaac. And as we read through our text this morning, you might be thinking to yourself, “Man, I’ve heard this somewhere before. It’s like Deja’ Vu.” And if you’re thinking that, then you’re right. We are seeing an almost exact parallel between the life if Isaac and Abraham.
First it starts off with God. In verses 1 – 6 we see Isaac migrate up to Gerar and God confirms the covenant with him. It starts out by saying there was a famine, which is Moses’ way of telling us why Isaac moved. And Moses makes the distinction that this was a different famine rather than the one that brought Abraham to Egypt. But it’s interesting here that God stops Isaac from traveling to Egypt. Now if you remember when Abraham had gone to Egypt, he got into a mess because of his lying, and he also brought home with him a woman named Hagar. So to avoid that mess again, God speaks to Isaac and tells him, “Don’t go to Egypt!” Now this is the first time the Bible records God speaking to Isaac, and God says to him, “Don’t go to Egypt. Live in the land that I tell you to live in.” And its interesting, because all three of the patriarchs faced this problem… they were all faced with the problem of famine in the Promised Land. When Abraham was faced with that problem, God didn’t tell him what to do, and he went to Egypt and God blessed him and brought him out, and back to the Promised Land. When Isaac is faced with famine, God tells him not to go to Egypt, and Isaac obeys, and God blesses him. Then when Jacob is faced with famine, God tells him to go to Egypt and God blesses him and brings him out. So God dealt with them differently. We aren’t told why that is exactly, but I imagine that it had something to do with their personalities and the way each of them were as individuals.
I’ll give you an example using my kids. Leslie has an astute, theological mind, and strong convictions, but she’s not very personable. Gabriel is kind, compassionate and loving, but she has a strong desire to please people. Together… when you have Leslie’s theological mind and Gabriel’s compassion you have an amazing evangelistic mission team. But apart, Leslie is often an outcast because of her unwillingness to bend on her convictions, and Gabriel is often led into situations where sin is knocking at the door because of her desire to please people. And so when situations arise, you have to deal with individuals differently. There isn’t a blanket way to deal with people, and even God deals with us as individuals differently in certain situations.
And I think that maybe… just maybe; Isaac was like Gabriel. We saw that Abraham sent his loyal and faithful servant to get Isaac a wife, rather than sending Isaac himself. And now we see God telling him, “Don’t go to Egypt.” Luckily; Isaac obeys!
Instead; God tells him to stay in the land, and that He will bless Isaac. You know what? Famines can’t hinder the Lord. God can bless you in the famine. God is our source.
How many of you have been watching the stock market? Last Monday it dropped 634 points, then on Tuesday it rose 400 and something points, then on Wednesday it fell 520 points. I got emails and questions asking about it. A lot of people were concerned, but as I was thinking about it and praying about how the Lord would have me prepare myself, and my family, and my church for what might be coming a song came to mind.
It goes like this:
“My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus Name. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand!”
And that’s what we see here in our text. Abraham is gone, but that has no bearing on God’s promise. God is eternal and so His promises are eternal. And so God is reiterating or confirming His covenant with Isaac. And it’s the same covenant. Not a new covenant, but the same one He made with Abraham.