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#382 ISAAC, HEIR OF THE COVENANT BLESSINGS, GENESIS 26

This chapter on GEN 26 is noteworthy. Although Isaac lived the longest of the four great patriarchs of Genesis, yet, the least is recorded about his life. There are twelve chapters devoted to the biography of Abraham with a similar number given to the life stories of Jacob and of Joseph. Except for a few brief mentions before and after, the history of Isaac is recorded in one chapter. There are brief mentions of his name in conjunction with the lives of Abraham and Jacob, but as far as being devoted to the life of Isaac, we have only the one chapter.

In luring Rebecca to Isaac, Abraham’s servant, Eliezer, told her and her father that Isaac was the heir of all. We see this in GEN 24:36: "And Sarah my master’s wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath." See this in the context of the New Testament teaching on how the Lord lures the bride of Christ unto her Bridegroom. Take note of HEB 12: "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him [It was for the riches of the reward that was set before Him that Jesus . . .] endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Likewise, in luring the wife unto Isaac, the servant of Abraham tells of the riches of Isaac, "unto (Isaac) hath he given all that he hath." We find this also to be true when our heavenly Father sends His servants to lure His Son’s bride unto Him.

We have the same commission to set forth the riches of our heavenly Bridegroom as the attraction with which to draw the bride of Christ unto Him. The gospel nowhere teaches that we use the law as a whip to drive people to Christ. We are lured unto Christ. We are drawn unto Him, and it is that blessed attraction of the riches of Christ that draws the bride unto the heavenly Bridegroom.

See in HEB 1:1-3 that the Lord Jesus Christ is set forth as the blessed attraction to draw His bride unto Himself: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; [Note that the attraction is the fact that the heavenly bridegroom has become heir of all things. Where did He become heir? See the following verse.] Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person [In our human nature, we see that blessed heavenly Bridegroom has become the express image of the Father. What an attraction that is for His bride, for the Church, that our Bridegroom has become the express image of the Father!], and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins [made us mete to be heirs of that blessed image of God], sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." This blessed attraction is held out as the reward that God has in store for the spiritual seed of Abraham, the bride of His dear Son. This is what the Lord is using to attract you and me to that blessed Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. This is the reward that God has for those who are the bride of Christ. We become joint heirs with Him.

Look at ROM 8:16-17: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." We are joint-heirs with Christ. What is it to which we look forward? What is that precious reward that is held out before us? It is that we might become restored into that blessed image of God, from which we fell, and that our sins might be purged away so that we can be joint-heirs with Christ. As we inherit the blessed image of God, we would be able to spend eternity in a perfect state of conciliation with God.

These rewards are held out before Christ’s church, before His bride as the object of their faith. Faith has an object. There is something that is a source of attraction, which is the object of our faith, which faith the Lord causes to be tried. You and I are going to have many sore and grievous trials of our faith. There has to be an attraction that is so strong that death and hell cannot separate us from that attraction, that drawing power that draws us unto Him.

We see this in HEB 11:6, "But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." The reward has to be the object with the drawing power for that faith. The Lord Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me," JOH 12:32. That blessed Son of Righteousness, Who has restored us in our human nature into the image of the Father, holds that image up before our eyes as the attraction and reward for believing that "he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." That is the faith that pleases God.

We must believe that "he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." What are we seeking? We are seeking to be restored into that blessed image of Christ from which we have fallen. We are seeking to walk in the ways that are pleasing unto Him. These rewards are only to those to whom God gives grace to stand the trials. We are going to have trials of our faith, and this grace is given to those who truly believe that "he is a rewarder" and who endure unto the end. ROM 8:17-18 reads, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." We are heirs together and joint-heirs with Christ "if so be that we suffer with him." We are going to fellowship in the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ, Cf. PHI 3:10. You and I can have the same physical sufferings and not fellowship in His suffering. We can be nailed to a cross, hang there, and die, and not fellowship in His suffering. To fellowship in His suffering means that we have the Spirit of Christ in those sufferings. Note verse 18: " For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." The Lord holds up that blessed reward. He holds up that precious inheritance that stands before us, and tells us that we are going to walk in the way of the cross to get there.

Isaac, became the heir, not only of all that Abraham had in a literal sense, but also in a spiritual sense. In GEN 17:19, we read, "And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him." Isaac has these promises and the blessed attraction that is held up before his eyes, but now he has to go through the trials of faith to accomplish that promise. It is only as he has endured the cross that the promises become his, and he becomes the heir.

Isaac, as the heir of all the covenant blessings of Abraham, also found the truth of what the apostle spoke in ROM 8:17: "...the heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ," must also "...suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." If you and I are going to be glorified together with Christ, we are also going to suffer with Him. In this lifetime, that is where the Lord separates the sheep from the goats. He does this by bringing trials of faith. Under these fiery trials, are we going to serve the Lord or are we going to serve self? Are we going to desert the things of the Lord, or are we going to walk in the ways of the Lord, which He has ordained, even in the face of our fiery trials?

This one chapter, which teaches us the history of Isaac's life, begins with GEN 26:1: "And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar." The very first thing recorded in the life of Isaac is a trial. As the children of Abraham, we will find, as we enter our life's journey, many riddles that only the Lord can answer. You and I will learn as we go through life that the Lord places these riddles into our life to bring us into dependency upon the Lord. It is to bring us into the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ so that we will be able to give everything into the hand of the Lord and say, "Lord, Thy will be done." We walk into these trials with our eye of faith lifted unto the Lord. Our eye is no longer on the trial or the circumstances; it is upon Christ because we no longer have the answer within ourselves. When you and I can solve our riddles ourselves, we are likened unto the church of Esau, who built in his own strength. When we become the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then we know what it is to have the Lord touch the hollow of our thigh, Cf. GEN 32:32. We know what it is to have to look to the Lord every step of our lives and not have answers to all these things. We start to learn what it is to walk by faith.

As we see, Isaac was confronted with the same trial Abraham had in the time of a famine. Abraham was a type of God’s election, but we see that Abraham failed many of the trials that the Lord sent upon him. In his failures, he brought much grief into his old age. Isaac was confronted with the same trial that Abraham had. Would he also go down into Egypt? Look at GEN 26:2: "And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt [Abraham did not inquire of the Lord. He acted upon human reasoning and brought many grievous circumstances into his life.]; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of." Isaac never left the land. He dwelt where the Lord told him to dwell, and the Lord blessed him abundantly even in the time of famine.

The Lord directs our ways when we call upon His name in a time of need. When we have a time of trial and need, we must wait upon the Lord and call upon Him. We must look unto the Lord to supply our need and give us our direction. We see this in

PSA 119:5-6: "O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! [There is a hunger and desire for the knowledge of the Lord’s will.] Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments." Abraham presumptuously went down into Egypt, but Isaac received direction from the Lord. The Lord told him not to go into Egypt.

The history of Isaac reveals that he was much more a man of prayer than his father Abraham was. When Sarai remained barren, Abraham resorted to human reasoning. We read in GEN 16:2, "And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai." We do not read that Abram laid it before the Lord, entreating the Lord because his wife was barren. We read that he hearkened unto Sarah, and it brought him much grief.

When Rebekah was barren, we read in GEN 25:21, "And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived." Isaac was a man of prayer. He came before the Lord in his time of trial and in his circumstances, and the Lord directed and instructed him. This is a lesson that you and I want to learn from Isaac. Isaac is a type and symbol of the work of regeneration in the hearts of God’s dear people while Abraham is more a type of His electing love. In spite of Abraham, God loved him. Isaac is the type that gives us the instruction for the walk of life of God’s people. We learn here that when Rebekah was barren, Isaac entreated the Lord. After Isaac entreated the Lord, his wife conceived. When Isaac came into a famine, he found the Lord’s direction. The Lord said, "Don’t go into Egypt." Abraham didn’t ask the Lord. Abraham just went into Egypt. Abraham was a man of much human reasoning.

We also see a difference between Abraham and Isaac in their reaction to the famine. GEN 12:9-10 reads, "And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south. And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land." Nothing is recorded to indicate that Abraham inquired of the Lord. Abraham strayed away from the place where he had just had such blessed fellowship with the Lord. He strayed away and journeyed toward the south. When the famine arose, he went on into Egypt.

It is evident that Isaac was a man of prayer from GEN 24:63. "And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide [Isaac was a man of prayer. This gives us instruction for the times of our trials, for the riddles of our lives. We bring it before the Lord in prayer. We wait upon the Lord, coming to Him for His direction and for His spiritual blessings.]: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming." The Lord had fulfilled the desire of his heart and brought him his bride.

The Lord sends these famines for His own good purpose. In truth, most often they become the spiritual wealth of our souls. These natural famines, i.e. the trials in this life, the things that are most crucifying to our flesh, are most often the very spiritual wealth of our soul.

As with Asaph, these trials bring us to see emptiness of the fleeting things of this life, but it also brings us to see the fulness that there is in Christ. Until the Lord empties us of the things of this life, we will never be filled with His fulness. It is necessary to be emptied before we can be filled. This is what we learn from Asaph in PSA 73:17: "Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end." Asaph was coveting the things of this life. He was envious of the wicked and all of their prosperity until he "went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end."

He didn’t have all the things the wicked had, but when he came into the sanctuary and saw the riches there are in Christ, he saw the emptiness of the things of this world.

When God brought Asaph into Christ, then he saw how these trials were for his spiritual good. Asaph understood. Look at PSA 73:21-25: "Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." His grief, his heartache, all of his trials brought him into Christ, and he saw the blessedness of the riches that there are in Christ. See what he says in verse 25, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee." As we learn to see the blessed riches in Christ, we lose all of our gravity for the things of this world. All the things of this world lose their attraction and their drawing power for us.

It was in a time of trial that Asaph received his blessings. It was in a time of famine that the Lord renewed His covenant with Isaac that He had also made with Abraham. To be sure, Isaac had undoubtedly heard Abraham reiterate the blessings that God had promised him, the covenant that God had made with him, and how Isaac would be heir to these covenant blessings. But when the Lord brought Isaac into this trial, a time of famine, He came to Isaac and renewed the covenant blessing to Isaac. He told Isaac in GEN 26:3-4, "Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." He reconfirmed the promises to Isaac personally in his time of trial, the famine.

Isaac received the blessed assurance of the Holy Spirit in his own heart, that "in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." Isaac received it personally for his own soul in a time of trial. You and I may be able to talk of the blessings that our fathers have received. We may be able to say my father received the promise that "All (my) children shall be taught of the Lord," ISA 54:13, and there is consolation in that, but that is different. In the time of struggle within my own trial, the Lord seals it with the Holy Spirit, and He seals it to my soul. It becomes personal to me. In this time of trial, the Lord came to Isaac and sealed that blessed assurance in his own soul.

God uses these times of famine to teach the children of Abraham that these promises are to be the food for which they labour, and upon which they are to live. By nature, we labour for the things of this life, but God comes with His trials and circumstances through which He brings us to see the emptiness of this life. He brings us to understand what it is to labour for the food that doesn’t perish. We see this in what God said in DEU 8:2-3. To hear and understand it from teaching is one thing, but to learn it in that wilderness, when the famine is brought upon us, when you and I are brought into the trials is so precious. "And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." After Abraham was brought into this time of famine and the Holy Spirit came on him and spoke to him, sealing it to his own soul, Abraham commenced to live "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD." Now God’s promises became the food for his soul. They became so personal to Abraham.

Notwithstanding all Abraham's slips and falls, all his ventures without prayer, all his foolishness, and all his human reasoning, we see that obedience was the basis for all God's blessings. This is something that you and I need to learn and learn well. If we are going to learn to live "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD," we must learn that we need to seek obedience. The Lord wants our hearts reconciled unto God, and it is obedience wherein the Lord is so pleased.

See GEN 26:4-5: "And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." See how important it is that we learn to live by the commandments, the statutes, and the laws, and the charge of God. The Lord is so jealous of His Word. Why does He bring you and me into these times of famine? It is to teach us holy reverence for His Word and His commandments, and to walk in His ways and remember His statutes and do them (not only to learn them but also to do them). Note the honour that God places upon obedience because God is so pleased with it.

God's Word is very clear in what manner Abraham was accepted before God. It was not because of his works but through his works. See this in ROM 4:5. "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Abraham realized that he was an ungodly man and that in himself, he had no merit. In the book of Joshua, we read that Abraham was a worshipper of idols, Cf. JOS 24:2. He was ungodly, but God "justifieth the ungodly" by the blood of Christ. So it is by the righteousness of Christ that the obedience of Abraham was acceptable before God. That does not remove the fact, however, that in Christ, we are yet to be conformed to the image of Christ; and it is in obedience that the Lord is so pleased.

God cannot accept the best righteousness from a criminal condemned by the justice of His own holy law, until that condemnation is removed. Let’s say that you and I went from here to New York City and never broke one law on the way. But when we got to New York, we went through a stoplight. The fact that we obeyed the law all the way to New York does not excuse us for breaking the law when we got there. We only did that which was our duty in the law that we kept. It is for the transgression of the law that we are brought under the condemnation of the law. Until we have removed that condemnation by having paid the penalty, all of our obedience has no merit. That price has to be paid. Christ has to intervene, and it is by His perfect obedience and His payment of the penalty that we are brought from under the condemnation of the law. That condemnation can only be removed by payment of the penalty. In GAL 2:16, we read, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ [The Father is looking upon Christ’s obedience of faith.], even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ [Are we justified by our faith? No, it is the faith of Jesus Christ. It was in His obedience of faith wherein He stepped under the Father’s wrath and paid the penalty as an act of obedience. Now God looks upon us, who have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ,] and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

When the Father looks upon His dear children in the blessed obedience of Christ, and then sees Christ formed in them by way of an holy awe for His will, their works become acceptable for Christ's sake. (That is what the Lord was looking at in Abraham, because Abraham obeyed. The Lord looked upon him in Christ.) When the Lord sees Christ formed in His children through reverence for His will, their works become acceptable and worthy of reward. Now, God will reward us because He looks upon us in the perfect righteousness of Christ.

This is how we must understand the exercise of saving faith spoken of in JAM 2:21-23: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? [God was so pleased by the obedience of Abraham, but we must understand that it was only by looking upon him in Christ.] Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."

It is only through God’s respect for the obedience of Christ, which he saw in the circumcision covenant, that Abraham's obedience was honoured with such a high honour. Before Abraham put Isaac on the altar, he had entered into the covenant of circumcision with God. In ROM 4:11, we read, "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also." Every man that is circumcised is a debtor to do the whole law. The righteousness of faith means that Abraham, by faith, saw that Christ would become a debtor to do the whole law. In becoming a debtor to do the whole law for His Church, His Church now could stand righteous before God. It was through faith that Abraham could see that our righteousness is in Christ. That is what made Abraham’s obedience, and ours, acceptable and worthy of reward. It is Christ formed in you, Cf. GAL 4:19.

As God looks upon us in Christ's imputed, and imparted, obedience, our obedience and reverence for His will becomes very pleasing unto Him because it is a reflection of the perfect obedience in Christ. It is "Christ in you, the hope of glory," COL 1:27. It is Christ formed in you that the Lord sees as so pleasing to Him. He sees the image of Christ, the Spirit of Christ, in our obedience.

In GEN 22:15-18, we read, "And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because [Notice the word because; see the contingency upon that word. There is no coming under the blood of Christ for a pardon, outside of the work of sanctification and repentance. It is after the work of repentance that we become possessors of the work of Christ. It is because . . .] thou hast obeyed my voice." It is because God was able to look down on Abraham and see the perfect submission of Christ revealed and reflected in him. That is the reason Abraham could be the heir of all the covenant promises.

As Isaac walked in the way of God's pleasure, he was also blessed in this time of famine. When we walk "in the way of God’s pleasure," we not only have all the spiritual promises and blessings and glorious attraction that we see in our Lord Jesus Christ, but He also blesses us in the work of our labors in this life. See this in GEN 26:12-14: "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. [The Lord’s blessing comes upon Isaac in a literal sense because he stood the trial in a spiritual sense.] And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him." The Lord also blesses literally.

This life is not without its trials even in those times when God is blessing our labours. Take note of this in GEN 26:16-18: "And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. [Even in God’s blessing of a literal sense, the world sees the distinction between themselves and us, and the world will cast us out.] And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them." Here is another precious lesson. You and I are the sons of Abraham if we are in the covenant of grace. We are the spiritual sons of Abraham. It is most significant to understand the names of these wells.

When we see that Isaac named these wells in the land of the Philistines after the same names that Abraham had chosen, then their names become significant when we consider that Abraham is "the father of all them that believe," ROM 4:11. Abraham, the father of all the faithful, had dug these wells originally. Now Isaac has to dig these same wells. You and I will learn by experience as we go through this life that we, too, must dig these same wells, and we will name them by the same names.

In GEN 26:20-22, we read, "And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek [strife, contention, debate. Do we confront this, finding that we have no peace with the men of this world?]; because they strove with him." Isaac rightfully took that well; it was his, but Isaac learned he had to suffer wrong for the name of Christ. He had to learn we must not live in contention. Contentions must cease. If necessary, we must pick up our tent and move away from it. We may not dwell in contention, because it destroys our soul. We must live in a Spirit of Christ where there is love. We must not live where we are constantly in a state of contention. Certainly, we have to contend with the things of this world, but we may not live in contention and strife. What did Isaac do when the world said the water was theirs? He gave it to them.

Verse 21 continues: "And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah [i.e., opposition, false accusations, hatred]." Do we understand what it is to have our names slandered and have false accusations brought against us because the world thinks it can drive us out and again possess the land? What did Isaac do? He didn’t try to defend his name or his honour. He again suffered wrong for the sake of peace, to bring contention to an end. Contention must cease. You cannot live a life of strife with your fellowman. He gave the well to them.

We continue to read in verse 22: "And he removed from thence, and digged another well [after he had come out from among them and became separate]; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth [i.e., room to dwell]; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land." Sometimes, we have to give a matter over. We have to allow man to wrongfully dispossess us. Isaac found a place where he could dwell in peace.

Isaac was not a man of strife. He would never be called Nebuchadnezzar, to be a defender of his own fortress. Isaac understood the principle taught in 1PE 2:18-20: "Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. [In other words, give up your rights. If the world wants to deprive you of that to which you have a rightful title, don’t be contentious. Don’t strive; give it up. Walk away from it.] For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." Isaac illustrates to us a Christ-like Spirit in the work of regeneration. Isaac was able to take the wrongs against him patiently. He was able to give it up and let them have their way. He was able to walk away. "This is acceptable with God." The word "patiently" means cheerfully enduring. It doesn’t mean to bicker, argue, and accuse. No, you cheerfully endure wrong because out of that Spirit of Christ, you’re hoping that by placing coals of love upon their heads that you’ll bring them to repentance.

When Abraham had journeyed through the land of the Philistines he came to Beersheba. Take note of GEN 21:33-34: "And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba [Planting the grove means Abraham set that place up as a place of abode, his habitation.], and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days."

After Isaac had come through the furnace of purification [This life is a furnace of purification.], he returned unto Beersheba where Abraham had planted his grove and found fellowship with his God. When Isaac had completed his journey through the land of the Philistines and through this furnace of affliction, we read in GEN 26:23-25, "And he went up from thence to Beersheba. And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake. And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well." "He went up from thence to Beersheba" to the place of the house of God. He dwelt there and built a well there.

As he was leaving the land of the Philistines, they said to Abraham, as we see in GEN 26:29, "That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good and have sent thee away in peace: thou are now the blessed of the Lord." The world saw that the Lord had blessed Isaac. The worldly saw and asked him to depart out of their midst because they were afraid of him. The world cast him out. In verse 32, we read, "And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac’s servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water. And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day." This well was the place of the Lord’s rest.

We find such blessedness as the Lord brings us through this life’s journey. The Lord has charted our itinerary. The Lord has predetermined every trial and every cross that we are going to carry. By nature, you and I are as an ox unaccustomed to the yoke. We have such a tendency to want to fight off the yoke, but the Lord’s purpose is to bring us under the yoke of Christ. It is the flesh that has to be crucified. God wants to bring us into submission to His will. God leads us through these furnaces and trials to bring us to Beersheba, where the Lord appeared unto Isaac and said, "I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee." Has the Lord ever come to you and said ‘fear not, for I am with thee?’ I had that one time in ISA 41.

The Lord told me several times in that one chapter, "Fear not; I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." The Lord comes to us and gives us Beersheba, the place of assurance, where He comes with the Holy Spirit and seals His promises to our heart. And Isaac "builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there." That’s the important part. When Abraham came to a point where he had found the altar of the Lord and had sacrificed to Him, finding fellowship with Him, it says he journeyed southward. Abraham departed. But with Isaac, it says, he "pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well." There, he found water, and he called the well Beersheba. Amen


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