The Restored Orchard

Deeper Roots – Genesis 26:1-14

A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom. Establishing deeper roots requires analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Genesis 26:1-14.

A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived.

2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. 3 Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. 4 I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 5 I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.” 6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar.

7 When the men who lived there asked Isaac about his wife, Rebekah, he said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “They will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful.” 8 But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah.

9 Immediately, Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, “She is obviously your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”

“Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,” Isaac replied.

10 “How could you do this to us?” Abimelech exclaimed. “One of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.”

11 Then Abimelech issued a public proclamation: “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!”

12 When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. 13 He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. 14 He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15 So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham.

Genesis 26:1-14 NLT

Our Deeper Roots passage in Genesis shows that God can still bless us, even when we make mistakes. Our scripture selection begins in a season of famine. Isaac returned to Gerar, a place that his father, Abraham, had once lived. Once there, the Lord confirms the promise given to his father, Abraham, now covers him. Yet, being a foreigner made Isaac fear for his life and he lied about Rebekah being his sister. So when King Abimelech saw Isaac caressing Rebekah, he knew they were more than brother and sister. King Abimelech confronted Issac and Isaac admitted that he was afraid of being killed. So the king decrees that no one could touch Isaac and Rebekah or they would face death. Time passes and Isaac begins to harvest his crops. He gets 100 times more back than he planted and the surrounding people began to get jealous. They begin to sabotage him by filling his wells with dirt.

Isaac had a word from the Lord and yet, he was still afraid. The promise of God being with him was not sufficient enough to quiet his fear of death at the hands of the Philistines. Fear caused Isaac to make decisions that had the potential to defile his marriage or even cost him his life. Yet. the King’s observation protected Isaac’s marriage and also, gave Isaac a false sense of protection, since no one could bother him and his wife. What’s interesting in this passage is that Isaac prospered in times of famine, so much so that his neighbors were getting jealous. The key piece is that the Lord was still with Isaac despite his missteps.

This passage shows that what’s going on around us has no bearing on God, nor His provision. God can provide for us, even in the middle of a famine, drought, or other people’s sabotage. There are numerous biblical examples of God ensuring that His children are provided for even when the world is in chaos. It also demonstrates that when we are afraid and make moves based in fear, God can redeem every single misstep. God’s faithfulness and mercy towards us is on full display when we admit our sins. This is a reminder that repentance (repent means a change in our attitudes and actions away from sin and towards obedience to God) is a catalyst for blessings. Our confession and behavior change demonstrate to God that we are positioning ourselves into a place for Him to do His best work in and through us.

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