Genesis 26:1-14, “2 Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you;…”
In world full uncertainties, we all want to find ways to grow, move, flourish, prosper, and be successful. We have unexhausted list of things to accomplish, achieve, however there are factors that play part in either growth or hindrance. Now some of these are not luxuries but necessities. To lose an income is not about luxury but necessity. To not have food on the table is not luxury but necessity. It becomes harder when you are the leader and the breadwinner for your household.
God in Genesis 12 told Abram (Abraham) to move his family to a land where He would show him and promised to bless him there. At some point there was severe famine in the land of Canaan, Abram decided to go down to Egypt with his family to escape the famine. Years later his son Isaac runs into a similar situation, great famine in the land. He chose to follow his father’s footsteps by planning to go down to Egypt. The situations were the same, the form and the content of the Lord’s command and promise to Isaac and Abraham were the same, and the only difference was the means God used. God told Isaac Genesis 26:2,” Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you;…” Human reasoning would say there is no way a promise could be fulfilled in a land that was barren. Logic indicated that they were better off in Egypt than Canaan as they saw his father benefited there. To stay meant death but God.
This is the struggle even believers face. When there is a famine (lack of anything considered necessity) or anticipating something changing, it’s easier for all of us to think of a plan B, and the plan B here is to run to Egypt. Relocate, start somewhere else. And there are benefits to starting somewhere else, but what happens when the truth of God’s word weighs heavy in your heart to stay because of the prompting of the Holy Spirit. You cannot see a way out, everything looks cloudy, no light at the end of the tunnel but you choose to obey the echo of truth God has placed in your heart and stay. Everyone is giving you this look like “I can’t believe you are staying” however your convictions overrides others opinions. Jesus told Peter to launch into the deep. To cast his nets where he had already tried fishing all night (Luke 5) sounded foolish, “5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” Luke 5:5.
God tried Isaac by His providence. Isaac had been trained to believe and depend on God. As Abraham was going to sacrifice him without him knowing, Abraham believed that God will provide a lamb. Isaac perhaps had lived under the umbrella of his father’s faith, now it was his turn to deal with God directly and trust God and he did, Vs. 6, “So Isaac dwelt in Gerar”. He had to convince his family, servants to trust God with him. Like his father, he too had a weakness in his faith. He trusted God to provide but not to protect him and his wife when he lied about his relationship to her. We sometimes trust God in some areas and not with others but God who is rich in mercy still fulfilled His promise to him and He has done the same for us.
Vs. “12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. 13 The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; 14 for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him”. Isaac had no land of his own; he was a stranger, a foreigner in Gerar. God chose to bless him in a foreign land in the midst of great famine because He was obedient. It was to be a testimony to king Abimelech and his people to recognize a blessed man, highly favored of God and more so the providence of God. Philippians 4:19, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
If you are like me facing some uncertainties with a job situation, not knowing what else to do, my prayer for you and for me is to be calm, launch into the deep, sow in the same ground if the Lord has through His word strengthened your faith to wait on Him where there are no signs of life, abundance, or progress. Where you want to run away from could be the ground of thriving like Isaac and the testimony would be to those in your Gerar who have never learned to trust God because they always had a backup plan. God is faithful. Blessings Ev