November 23, 2014

Commentary on the Book of Genesis

By: Tom Lowe

 

PART III: HISTORY OF ISAAC AND JACOB. (Genesis 25:19-36:43)

Topic #A:ISAAC'S FAMILY AND SOME TROUBLES. (Genesis 25:19-26:35)                                                                                           

 

Lesson III.A.5: Trouble about Wells. (Gen. 26:12-33).                                                                                       

Part 1: The Blessing (12-14)

Part 2: The Conflict (14-17)

Part 3: The Search (18-22)

Part 4: The Assurance (23-25)

Part 5: The Agreement (26-33)

 

Part 1: The Blessing (Genesis 26:12-14) (KJV)

 

12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.

13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:

14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.

 

 

Introduction

Isaac inherited flocks and herds from his father, who had lived a nomadic life, but now the wealthy heir settled down and became a farmer, remaining in Gerar “a long time” (v. 8).

 

 

Commentary

12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.

 

Isaac and his neighbors had access to the same soil, and they depended on the same sunshine and rain, but Isaac’s harvests were greater than theirs, and his flocks and herds multiplied more abundantly. The secret?  God kept His promise and blessed Isaac in all that he did (vs. 3-5). God would give a similar blessing to Jacob years later (chapter 31).

 

God blessed Isaac, and made him wealthy. He had no land of his own, but took land from the Philistines, and sowed it with seed. That should be an encouragement for all those poor tenants who farm other people’s lands, and are honest and industrious; that the Lord blessed Isaac with great harvests.

 

The message of verse 12 is “the LORD blessed him.” That is the blessing that God promised these people from the day he called Abraham. It was an earthly blessing. Later on when God put them into that land, He told them that He would bless them in their basket; that is, it would be filled with foodstuff. God made that promise good when they were walking in fellowship with Him.

 

We must remember that He is not promising us that blessing. He has promised spiritual blessings to us. We are told that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings, and that is our portion today. But that blessing is on the same terms. It depends on our walk with God. If you will permit Him, he wants to bless you abundantly in your spiritual life. We find in this section that Isaac is greatly blessed.

 

 

13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:

 

With what we have learned about Isaac, that he was a deceiver, we wonder how God could bless somebody who claimed to be a believer and yet deliberately lied to his unbelieving neighbors. Because God is always faithful to His covenant and keeps His promises (see 2 Tim. 2:11-13); and the only condition God attached to His promise of blessing was that Isaac remain in the land and not go to Egypt.

 

It’s hard to miss the fact that Isaac was greatly blessed. His fields yield a hundredfold (v.12)! The impression some of us have is that Abraham was outstanding, and Jacob was also, but not Isaac. Let me say that Isaac was also outstanding.

 

It is significant that the life of Isaac is tied in with that of Abraham. Isaac’s birth and his life are interwoven with Abraham’s experiences. Although Isaac was important when he was offered there upon the alter, again it was Abraham and Isaac together. Why should it be presented that way? Well, we have already seen that all these things happened to them for examples to us. It presents a wonderful picture of the intimacy between the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father. Jesus said, “. . . he that hath seen me hath seen the Father . . .” (John 14:9). And in the high priestly prayer of Jesus, He said, “. . . I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do (John 17:4). Also, He said, “. . . My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17). Therefore, it is very proper that the story of Isaac and the story of Abraham be linked together. One of the first things we notice is the similarity between the experiences of Isaac and Abraham in going to Gerar and meeting with Abimelech, and in passing off his wife as his sister, he was repeating Abraham’s experience; but he did not go to Egypt as Abraham had done, nor was Rebekah taken like Sarah into the royal palace.

 

Now here in the chapter before us we see Isaac standing on his own two feet, and he doesn’t look too attractive. He exhibits a weakness and repeats the sin of Abraham. However, the word of God makes it clear that Isaac was a very great man in that land.

 

 

14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.

 

God also blessed Isaac because of Abraham’s life and faith (see Gen. 26.5), just as He blesses us for the sake of Jesus Christ.  We’ll never know until we get to heaven how many of our blessings have been “dividends” from the spiritual investments made by godly friends and family who have gone before.

 

The Philistines became envious of Isaac’s wealth and resorted to damaging his property, as we shall see in Part 2.

 

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