Genesis 26:4-5 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed. (This is another reference to the coming Messiah).
Read Genesis 26:1-6 This is where God appears to Isaac, son of Abraham, to renew the covenant that he made with Abraham.
Genesis 26:1-6 New International Version (NIV)
Isaac and Abimelek
26 Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,5 because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” 6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
Read Genesis 26:7-11 Isaac lies about Rebekah being his wife, and says she is his sister instead because he is afraid of being killed because men will want her due to her beauty.
Genesis 26:7-11 New International Version (NIV)
7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”
8 When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.”
10 Then Abimelek said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.”
11 So Abimelek gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who harms this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
Read Genesis 26:12-35 This is where God blesses Isaac for keeping his covenant, he blessed Isaac with generally a long and peaceful life, with the exception of Esau’s marriage to the Hittite women.
Genesis 26:12-35 New International Version (NIV)
12 Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.
16 Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.”
17 So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar, where he settled.18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.
19 Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20 But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek,[a] because they disputed with him. 21 Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah.[b] 22 He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth,[c] saying, “Now the Lordhas given us room and we will flourish in the land.”
23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”
25 Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.
26 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the Lord was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the Lord.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Jacob Takes Esau’s Blessing
34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
Read Genesis 35:27-29. Issac lived 180 years.
Genesis 35:27-29 New International Version (NIV)
27 Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron),where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 28 Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years. 29 Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
God not only renewed his covenant with Isaac, but he also uplifted and blessed him throughout his life, and included him in the ancestry of Jesus. God made a promise with Abraham, and he renewed the promise with Abraham’s son to show the world that even if the person with whom the promise is made passes away from the earth; God doesn’t forget or forsake his promises. Sometimes, human beings do forsake a promise if no one is there to remember it, or demand it be kept. This is not the case with God. God always remembers his promises, and he always keeps them. A new covenant, or new promise does not do away with the old promise. God is not like us who sometimes say, “well, that old agreement didn’t work out, so let’s make a new agreement!” This type of thing happens frequently in the world today, and has happened frequently through out history. We need look no further than some of the leaders we have in our countries, and some of the historical wars we have seen. Unlike us, God keeps his promises, from generation to generation when it is a multi-generational promise. We can take comfort in that; especially, when we read the Bible and see the promises laid out for us. Especially in our prayer lives…we pray for those around us to come to know God and draw closer to Him. Sometimes, we pray for that for the entire course of our lives, and we don’t live long enough to see it come to pass. Though we may have had it be made known to us that God has it in hand, and it will come to pass…we may not see it…however, we can count on God to keep his promise to us! Even if we are not here to see that promise be fulfilled!
Isn’t that a marvelous thing! To be able to have God be that reliable and trustworthy?!! We can always count on God to have our best interests at heart…even when we are going through a really hard time where every day seems like a major chore….God really is watching out for you, and being with you. It is just that sometimes we feel overwhelmed by life and fail to notice that God is still there.
Last night I had a dream. I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonged to me, the other to the Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of suffering, when you could see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”