Jul. 24. Promise to Isaac; Struggles with Abimelech

Gen. 26:1-33

Due to a famine in Canaan, Isaac and Rebekah went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines in Gerar. God instructed Isaac to stay in the land of the Philistines instead of going farther into Egypt.

At that time, God made the same promise to Isaac that He had made to Abraham. He promised blessings and lands to him and to his descendants. His descendants would, “Multiply as the stars of heaven…and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”

Rebekah was a beautiful woman. Because of her beauty, they used the same scheme that his father and mother had used against Pharaoh and Abimelech many years earlier. Upon learning of Isaac’s fears of death because of her, Abimelech said, “He who touches the man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”

God blessed Isaac with bountiful crops, flocks and servants. This produced envy among the Philistines—to the point that they filled the wells of Abraham with earth. Abimelech then said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”

After a series of moves, Isaac settled in Beersheba. Abimelech realized that God was with Isaac and came to him to make a treaty. They did swear an oath with one another and separated in peace.