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Summary: Even when we are unfaithful, we can count on God to remain faithful.

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GOD WILL STAY FAITHFUL EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT!

Gen 26

I. LAST WEEK WE SAW THAT THE Christian LIFE IS LIKE A MARATHON.

A. The writer of Hebrews exhorted us to lay aside the weights….. Run with endurance the race that is set before keeping our focus on Jesus.

1. Do we run the race perfectly?

2. Do we ever stumble and fall …?

3.Of course we do!

B. Well what happens then?

1.When we are unfaithful does God still remain faithful or does He treat us like we treat Him?

2.Does He ever get tired of our stumbling and just give up on us?

3. Abandon us?

C. Of course not! praise the Lord He remains faithful even when we are unfaithful!

D. Today we are going to see this truth displayed in the life of Isaac, one the Old Testament patriarchs

E. Turn in your Bibles to Gen. 26

1. I want to make sure we have the same understanding of three words

*faithfulness— full of faith

*unfaithfulness— not full of faith all the time, times when our faith falters, is weak

*faithless— without any faith

2. What we are going to see is Isaac was unfaithful but he was not faithless

*he had faith in God

*but sometimes His faith was weak, falters

3. But, despite his unfaithfulness God always remained faithful!

F. You will remember Isaac was the promised son of Abraham by Sarah

1. His birth was miraculous because Sarah was 90 and Ab was 100.

2. Also God promised Abraham that it would be through Isaac that the cov. would continue.

3. It was Isaac that God told Abraham to sacrifice on the altar at Mt. Moriah.

*relate story briefly

4. Isaac married Rebekah and they had twin sons, Jacob and Esau

*they were teenagers in our passage today

G. When you read the Old Testament narratives you want to ask yourself what is the main truth the writer is revealing about God through His working in the lives of the characters in the narrative.

1. The mistake that we often make in Old Testament narratives is concentrating too much on the characters and missing God who is always at work, sometimes behind the scenes.

2. the Old Testament is a record of the workings of God in the lives of people and the nation of Israel

3. When we read our passage today from this perspective we immediate see it is God’s faithfulness despite man’s unfaithfulness that is clearly being presented not just a story of a man who lies about his wife and is mistreated by some people.

4. We are going to see alternating sections of God’s faithfulness and man’s unfaithfulness

µµII. GOD FAITHFULLY RENEWS THE COVENANT WITH ISSAC (1-5)

Our narrative starts with God’s faithfulness to Isaac

1. There is a famine in the land

*Isaac’s natural decision would be to down to Egypt like Abraham had done during the famine in his time

2. But God stops him and tells him to stay in Gerar in the land of Abimelech King of the Philistines

µB. God appears to Isaac and renews His covenant with him. 3-5

C. God promises to:

1.Be with Isaac (Promise of His Presence) 3

2.Bless him by giving him the land (Promise of Provision) 3

µ3.Continue the covenant ( Promise of Perpetuity) 3

4. Multiply his descendants (Promise of Posterity) 4

5. Bless other nations through his descendants (Promise of

D. Notice the basis of these promises: Abraham’s obedience

1. This is very important

2. God makes it clear to Isaac that these promises are not based on Isaac’s faithfulness but on Abraham’s faithful obedience!

3. His blessing are dependent on the faithfulness of the covenant head—Abraham

4. Remember this because I will refer to it …

D. What makes these promises even more significance is that Isaac had heard them before, some 50 years earlier Gen. 22:16ff

1.At that time he was tied to an altar

2.Having just had his life spared by God

3.Image all the emotions these words bring back to him of that day on Mt. Moriah

4.Now God is giving him the same promises He gave his Dad after Abraham gave the ultimate act of obedience.

µIII.ISAAC’S UNFAITHFULNESS TO GOD (6-7)

µIsaac lies about Rebekah being his wife

1.He says she is his sister

2.He lies out of fear for his life

B. Custom was for the men of the land to kill the husband to get his wife.

µ1.Isaac is afraid if the men know she is his wife they will kill …

µC. What do you see wrong with this picture?

1. God had just promised to take care of him, give him the land, multiply his descendants…

2. He could not die then

3. His faith falters, he lies and puts his wife in harms way

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