The Book of Genesis

Chapter Twenty Six

Like Father - Like Son

Lesson Verse: 1Cor 11:1    


I.         Lesson Introduction


A.      Not as much is written about Isaac as some of the other characters in the bible. His father has about twelve chapters of Genesis dedicated to him. Isaac’s son Jacob has several chapters. However, Isaac the man is less publicized; even more was recorded about Joseph, his grandson, than the man Isaac.

B.       What is more remarkably about this is Isaac lived longer: Abraham died at the age of 175, Isaac 180, Jacob 147, and Joseph at 110. From our human thinking we are prone to say that Isaac should have the more written about him. This is not the case. Our length of time on the earth means little. What is of the most importance is what we do with the time allotted unto us.

C.       Even though Isaac was and remains a great type of the Lord in Gen. 22 and 24, even though he lived longer, his life was not as prolific as that of some of his immediate kin.


II.       Lesson


A.      Famine.


1.        Isaac’s removal to Gerar, occasioned by a famine, #Ge 26:1;


a.       of the Lord’s appearance to him there,

b.       advising him to sojourn in that place, and not go down to Egypt;

c.       renewing the covenant he had made with Abraham, concerning giving that country to him and his seed, #Ge 26:2-6;


2.        Many times there are disasters that are termed ‘acts of God.’ This is not always the case. In times past and depending on the era in which the disaster or famine occurred, those events would be attributed to God punishing the inhabitants.

3.        In this modern age that we live, we do not blame God as often as some folks did. We watch the Weather Channel and plan our lives accordingly. We became so grace minded that we forget to recall that God uses every thing to get our attention. If we were as spiritually minded as we ought to be we might come to understand that some of the things we endure in these modern times might just be Satan acting within the permissive will of God.

4.        There was a famine in the life of Abraham. When it came, he went down into Egypt. Isaac is heading the same direction when God told him to remain in the land. Thus there is one fact about Isaac that is not reckoned with other great men of this time. He never left the Promised Land.


B.       God Promises To Isaac.


1.        The promises made to the son were basically the same made to Father Abraham: in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed.


C.       The Sins Of The Son. What happened unto him at Gerar on account of his wife, (Ge 26:7-11)


1.        Here once again is recorded an incident that sets the Bible apart from all other books. It reveals how the son sinned in the same manner as did his father in the same country.

2.        This event also reveals to us that just as sure as we have a close experience with God, shortly thereafter the devil will do his best to make us look like fools. Not long after God appeared to Abraham and made promises to him, the devil appeared and tempted him to sin. The same thing happened to Isaac. It happened with Jesus, Mat. 3 & 4. It will also happen to us.


D.      The promises to Isaac.


1.        Summary of events


a.       Notice how the famine appears in v. 1.

b.       God appeared in v. 2 making a promise to Isaac.

c.       God told him to remain in the land and I will take care of you, v. 3. I will perform the oath on you that I made to you father because your father kept my laws.

d.       Here we find an off-spring blessed because of their parents.

e.       Down in v. 4 God told Isaac that He would multiply his seed as the sand on the seashore for number.


2.        These are very important items that Isaac ought to be remembering. If Isaac had kept his mind on the word of God and the promises of God, he would not have been so concerned for his life and wife. If God is going to do all that He said He would do, why is Isaac afraid that someone is going to kill him and take his wife?

3.        Neither Jacob nor Esau are married at the time these promises were made. Neither of them have been blessed with his blessings as receiving the birthright as the head of the household. These seem to be of little concern to Isaac when he feared for his life.

4.        Let us look at Isaac’s reaction and come to understand his actions. If we can, it might prevent us from acting in like manner in similar situations. This is one of the reasons why it is important for us to maintain our testimony and not lose sight of God’s promises. One of the biggest reasons we Christian live defeated lives is because of the way we react to the promises of God.

5.        The famine came to Isaac. Isaac did not run around the country looking for a famine just so he could be blessed by God. Even in the famine God appeared and told him that things would be OK. Behind the scenes of this blight on the country is the hand of Satan.

6.        God’s promises to us.


a.       Let us look at some promises made by God that some people claimed, and then let us look and see how we pray and claim the promises made to us.

b.       In Deu 31:6, Moses told the people that God would not forsake them and that God would do their fighting. This same promise was made to Christians, Heb 13:5. God already said I am with you, I will not forsake you. These are valid promises from the God of Eternity.

c.       One of our main problems is we give lip service to the Lord when we pray, sometimes. Here is an example: Let us say that we face a particular trial (famine) in our personal lives. What is our prayer during these times? Is it: “Oh Lord! Please be with me!”

d.       Now if that is our prayer, why did we ask the Lord to do some thing that He already said He was going to do? When we pray in such manner we should honestly ask self and answer whether we are we doubting or believing His promise? When we pray in that manner are we praying and believing it will come to pass, Mat 21:21-22? (Mat 28:20 KJV) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Jesus made a direct statement and said He would not leave us. Why is our prayer one of doubt?

e.       Our problem is in how we think of our relationship with God. If we are not careful we will begin to believe that our relationship with God is akin to those folks in the fictional story of Superman. Lois Lane and Jimmy Olson were friends of Superman. However, Superman seldom showed up unless they were about to be killed. Somewhere from very far away Clark Kent would hear a cry of help. Using his super hearing and x-ray vision, he seen his friends in trouble. Jumping into a phone booth he would change clothes come out as Superman and fly to rescue his friends.

f.        Is that how we think of our relationship with Christ? Do we view Him as if He is someone that shows up to rescue us just before we fall off the cliff or be swept away over the waterfall? If we do, then that is why we pray during trials, “Oh Lord, please help me.”

g.       Have you ever though that each time we pray, “Lord give me the strength to resist this evil,” we will fail. The strength is already there. The Lord is already there. He is not slumbering. He is not out of town. He is present. The fault is not in the Lord. The fault belongs to us for we did not use what was already bestowed to us for such situations.

h.       If we had faith in the One that answers prayers, our prayers during our trials would be something like this: “Lord by the authority of your word where you tell me it is impossible for you to lie and that you will never leave me I claim that promise. I do not know the outcome of this particular trial, but I know it is going to be good for me for you will get glory!”

i.         That kind of prayer is a prayer of conviction that God is in control. It is not an impudent prayer. It is a prayer claiming what God already promised. If we would pray in this manner we would be in the same company as Job, Job 19:23-27.

j.         One of the men of Old Testament times that I often wonder about was Joab. He was some kind of a character. One of his greatest achievements is recorded in 2 Sam. 10:9-12. It was here that Joab said I do not know the outcome, but I will fight and the Lord can do that which seems good to Him. That is how we ought to be when famines arise in our lives. We are not told to run around in a circle begging the Lord to help us. We were told to stand and after we have done all we can do, we are to stand.

k.       The writer of Hebrews told us to come boldly unto the throne of grace. Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Instead when we face trials we say as Isaac and Abraham, “She is my sister.”

l.         Isaac did not claim the promises made to him by God. Instead he took a journey.


7.        Not fully obedient.


a.       Another important item regarding Isaac’s presence situation is that he had been in Gerar a long time, v. 8. God did not tell him to remain a long time. He told him to sojourn in this land, v. 3. To sojourn means to stay or live temporarily; a temporary residence or short visit. Isaac dwelt in Gerar. To dwell means to have a fixed abode; reside. Immediately we understand that Isaac is disobedient to the word of the Lord.

b.       His problem was he stayed there too long. Instead of relying on God during this famine, he relied on the bounty of the land of Gerar. He already told the people that his wife was his sister. Now that he has been there a long time his old flesh needs satisfaction and he begins to court a woman that that is reportedly his sister. Even the pagans found this unappealing.

c.       Praying boldly is relying on the Lord to provide.


E.       The Blessings.


1.        Even in spite of his sin, God continued to bless him. His crops came in well and he had a great harvest. Why would God do this? Because our God is the God of His word. He does not lie.

2.        Is it not nice to know that God deals with us in mercy and grace and blesses us in spite of our sins. We should never take the promises of God lightly. If we take the promise lightly that He will never leave us, we will begin to take other promises lightly as well. One day when we stand before God tears will run down our cheeks when we see everything we could have had up against what is given to us


F.       Cleaning Out The Wells.


1.        Cleaning out the wells by Isaac were not only physical activities, but they are also spiritually applicable as well. During his life, these wells were the primary source for maintaining physical life.

2.        The same can be said for maintaining our spiritual lives. We drank one time from the life giving spring offered through Jesus Christ. However, we must continually renew our spirit with the things of God. It is up to us to clean out, not necessarily the well, but keep our lives clean. We must keep our spirit clean of contaminates and pollution; else the flesh dominates everything we do.

3.        Isaac cleaned out the wells dug by his father and he had trouble. He dug new wells and there was trouble. Throughout recorded history there has been many conflicts over water rights.

4.        God was trying to get Isaac back to a place where He could bless him. Isaac dwelt in the valley of Gerar. He is supposed to sojourn the land.

5.        The Wells of Gerar.


a.       Some of these wells represents a different aspect of God caring for us. Some can relate to events in our lives. With Isaac they were a means by which God moved him out of Gerar and back to Beersheba. Isaac lived a defeated life in the Gerar and the valley of Gerar. Each time he dug a well the enemy came and possessed it. Abimelech tried to take a well from Abraham, but it did not work, Gen. 21:31. Isaac was a pushover for the enemy. Why? Because he was not where God wanted him.


6.        Some were filled by the enemy.


a.        Isaac’s great prosperity and success, drew the envy of the Philistines upon him, #Ge 26:12-15;

b.       Those that were filled, Isaac cleaned them out. Here is something we can relate to our daily lives. The enemy fills our lives with many, many things. We just do not have the time for the things of God. We live by the clock, but seldom do we fill out a time for the Lord. Why is this? Our time is filled with things that pollutes. It is no wonder we live defeated lives if we only make room for God once or twice a week.

c.       Each of us must examine self in light of the scriptures and understand what has filled our well. When we are on the job do we have a message of living water to that one that is disgusted with life? To that sister that has not matured enough to handle her load, do we offer words to encourage or discourage? If that message of hope does not spring forth, let us look at the mouth of our spring and see if something has filled the way. Does the message of living water spring forth from that eternal well in our hearts? If not, then guess who has to clean out the wells?

d.       Those that live in the city do not clean out the well. Instead when we turn the water faucet on and if the water does not flow what do we do? Check and see if the check to the city bounced or clean out the lines? Water is our life line, without a clean abundant supply we will die. Too many Christians are dying spiritually because their life line is plugged with things of the world.

e.       His departure from hence to the valley of Gerar, at the instance of Abimelech; and of the contentions between his herdsmen, and those of Gerar, about wells of water, which caused him to remove to Beersheba, #Ge 26:16-23;


7.        New wells, v. 21.


a.       Isaac dug new wells and these efforts caused him some strife. This is nothing new. Each time we dig down into the Foundation and begin a new work we can expect confrontations. The devil does not want us to begin a new work. These contentions arise as means of discouragement’s. Three times he dug new wells.

b.       Have you ever cleaned up your calendar and vowed that you would dedicate time to personal reading and prayer time? What happened? Interference begin immediately. Why? You dug a new well down to the Eternal spring and some thing is trying to discourage your growth.


G.       God appears to Isaac, v. 24. The Lord’s appearance to him there, renewing the above promise to him, where he built an altar, pitched his tent, and his servants dug a well, #Ge 26:24,25;


1.        All those many years Isaac was in Gerar God was wanting to bless him. Isaac came up and out of the valley of Gerar, v. 23, to Beersheba. This was the same place that Abraham dug a well, Gen. 21:30, 33, and planted a grove and called on the name of the Everlasting God. Once Isaac was where God wanted him, God appeared unto him.

2.        Abimelech success.


a.       Abimelech tried to take a well from Abraham and failed. Abraham reproved him, Gen. 21:25.

b.       Isaac made a feast for his enemy. Abraham told him enough was enough.

c.       Abimelech’s coming to him thither, and making a covenant with him, #Ge 26:26-31;

d.       which place had its name from the oath then made, and the well there dug, #Ge 26:32,33;


3.        Our success.


a.       If we are going to be bold Christians we must not remain out of fellowship. We should not be so busy cleaning and digging wells that we fail to enjoy what the wells supply. We must not make a feast for enemies. We must let them know our stand.

b.       Our success is based on claiming the promises made by God to us.


H.      The marriage of Esau, which was a great grief to Isaac and Rebekah, (Ge 26:34,35)


III.     Conclusion