Blessing and Joy in the Lord

Genesis 26:7‑18  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Genesis 26:7-18
Isaac failed in the same way as his father had done when among the Philistines many years before. Whenever any one of us tries to go on with the world, we, too, deny our proper relationship to Christ, just as Isaac denied Rebekah his wife in our chapter. We find, however, if true Christians, that we cannot go on this way indefinitely. It must come out. A real believer can never deny Christ from his heart, and so here Abimelech saw Isaac enjoying his wife’s company. He truly loved her in spite of his lip denial, just as Peter loved his Lord although his lips denied Him. God used Abimelech to rebuke Isaac for the lie he had told, and surely this was a humbling experience. May the Lord help us to walk in such a way that we do not bring dishonor on His blessed name.
Isaac had planned to go down into Egypt to escape the famine, but when he listened to the voice of the Lord, and remained in the land, the Lord blessed him. He had his testing and trial, dis­covering his own weakness, but God was faithful and gave him a won­derful harvest. He could never have expected to reap an hundredfold in Egypt. Egypt, which speaks to us of this world in its glory, is a poor place to go to get out of trouble. Isaac proved that the path of obedience was the best.
Wells of Joy in the Lord
The Lord’s blessing upon Isaac made him the object of the envy of the Philis­tines. When the Lord is blessing one of His children, the enemy often brings on a special attack, and we need to be on guard. When Job was prospering so wonderfully, Satan was preparing his great assault. When Peter was on the mount, he made one of his worst blund­ers and would have put the Lord on the level of Moses and Elias. Here, too, when Isaac had increased in wealth and been blessed so richly, he neglect­ed to look after the wells his father Abraham had digged, and the Philis­tines had filled them up with earth. Many of our young readers have Christian fathers and mothers who have digged “wells.” Yes, they have taught us the truth from childhood, and the Philistines, who typify the flesh, have been filling up these wells while we have been resting on our oars and thinking all is well. We need to be on our guard all the time, for there will always be warfare as long as we are in this world, and Satan knows our unguarded points. He wants to rob us of our “wells” — our joy in the Lord — and then he can lead us still farther away from Him. If we are not finding our happiness in Christ, we will assur­edly be seeking it elsewhere, because we all want happiness. No one wants to be miserable!
At last Abimelech asked Isaac to leave, because he said, “Thou art much mightier than we.” Yes, we read in 1 John 4:4, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world,” and the world knows it! Let us draw on our blessed source of strength in Christ, and we will have the victory. In the energy of faith Isaac digged again his father’s wells, which the Philistines had filled up and called them by the same names as his father had called them. The great tendency today is to say that times have changed and to try to make the truth more popular by calling things by different names. God’s truth does not change with man’s changing ideas. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
Further Meditation
1. What happened when Isaac neglected to look after the wells Abraham dug?
2. The Philistines in this chapter are mentioned as one of the enemies of the Lord’s people who represent the flesh. What are some of the things they did in the book of 1 Samuel to disrupt the Lord’s people?
3. The flesh is one of the believer’s greatest enemies. An excellent pamphlet that presents God’s way of dealing with the flesh as well as with the world and with the devil is found in The Christian’s Three Enemies: God’s Way of Victory Over Them by B. Anstey.