【Bible Study】Genesis 26: We Saw Clearly That The Lord Was With You

Pastor Samuel Sharing

Brother William Sharing

Bible Study: Genesis


Today we will look at Genesis chapter 26. Do you know what this chapter is talking about? It is talking about how we see God is clearly with us. "We saw clearly that the Lord was with you" is the topic. Let's discuss the topic. Do you want other people to say to you: "my friend, I see clearly that the Lord is with you!" Do you want to hear that? If you do, you'd better follow in the footsteps of Abraham and his son, Isaac. If you want to see that God is clearly with you, you have to be someone who walks with God.

Sometimes we ask: "God, where are you?" Do you know what will happen to these people? When God looks for them, they seem to be taking a holiday. They have tours, they are enjoying their own life. So, when they look for God, God is taking a holiday. Sorry, I cannot answer your phone, I don't have time to answer your prayer! Do you want to face this kind of situation? When you are in times of trouble, and you call to the Lord, but the Lord is on holiday. Because when the Lord looks for you, you are on holiday. I don't have time to entertain you! Don't take my time! Do you think God will be with you? No. God won't be with you!

The Lord was with Isaac

People saw God was with Isaac. At the time, there was a famine in the place that was exactly the same place as the previous famine in Abraham's time. It was a similar case. And the father, Abraham, went down to Egypt.

The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants, I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees, and my instructions.” (Genesis 26:2-5)

If you want to walk with God, if you want people to see that God, the Lord, is with you, you have to follow in the footsteps of Abraham. "He kept the commands, the instructions, and the decrees of the Lord, and did everything I required of him." That is very important. And when God says, "Do this", and you say, "No, I do it my way", that's a problem! That is why in Christian life, people only see devils with people. The Lord is not with the Christian.

Firstly, let’s look at verse 12.

Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. (Genesis 26:12-14)

That is why when I read the Bible, a lot of times people say, "Are you preaching a prosperity gospel?" The gospel we preach includes prosperity! The gospel we preach is not the gospel of poverty, suffering, disease, and cancer. Do you want to have that kind of gospel? If you do, I will give it to you. Many people suffer from diseases and believe that’s the king of the gospel.

Isaac Willingly Gave Himself to God

Why did Isaac have God with him? Abraham had plenty of stories, but Isaac did not have as many stories. It is a short chapter to tell all the story of Isaac, only one chapter and no more. Isaac didn't go through many tests, only one test for all. The test he passed was to give himself to God. And yes! He willingly gave himself to God. He was an amazing person. Next time, when God asks, "are you willing to give yourself to me?" Never say, "Let me consider." What do you need to consider? What are your criteria? What is holding you back? Don't ever answer that. If you need to consider, then it's game over. If God says, "Do you want to give yourself to me?" "Yes, Lord! Here I am!" Never think twice. And God will be with you.

And that was the one test for all; the spiritual level of Isaac soared tremendously. He offered himself to God. When I serve my Lord, the God I serve with all of my heart. That is the basic requirement. Nothing to boast about. That is the most wonderful decision ever. It is worth thousands, millions, billions, you cannot even quantify its value. It is the best decision ever. God is with you. If God is with you, even in the time of famine, God will speak to you. "Don't go to Egypt. I will bless you! Don't follow in your father’s footsteps, you are not at the same spiritual level! Even though you and your father are facing the same issue, you aren't on the same level! I will give you a hundredfold harvest. I will let you reap a hundredfold!"

In the time of famine, everyone has sowed their seed, when it is harvest time, no yield is produced. But if everyone reaps a hundredfold, the price of the grain, the food, will drop drastically, because everyone has a good year.

When I was young, I had trouble understanding why a good harvest was the year of disaster, because vegetables would pile up and get rotten. Nobody was buying as too much surplus food was around. The prices plummeted and the farmers would lose a lot of money. But what do you think if no one could produce much food but only you could? The price of the goods you produce will be very extremely desirable because there is a shortage and you are the only one who can produce. That is called "God is with you."

God's Blessings are Visible

I don't think that as a Christian, as a person who walks with God, you would have a problem with money. Money is the smallest issue, the smallest problem in the face of God. The biggest problem is whether God is with you. If you don't see God is with you, what do you value? What is your value system? If God is with you, God will bless you, and the blessing is visible! The blessing is visible! I have never seen invisible blessings. May the Lord bless you! If you suffer from poverty, you’d better examine what is in your mind. "Oh God, let me consider!" But if you consider it for ten years, then God said, "No, you don't need to consider anymore, you're done."

"And Abraham kept my commands, my decrees, and that is why you, as his son, I will bless you. And now, follow me exactly as your father did." That is why a lot of farmers said, "My father, my ancestors are Abraham, Isaac!" And Jesus said, "No, your father is the devil." This is the problem. How come their father is the devil? Because they followed in the way of the devil. Isaac and Abraham followed the way of God. They did not say, "How come things are like this. How come? Oh God, where are you!" God also wants to ask where you are. You do not seek the face of God, you only seek the face of the devil.

Can we make a decision today, a wonderful decision, to devote ourselves to our God? And God says: "Yes! Whatever you do I will bless you."

Abimelek saw that "This guy was blessed by God in what he did"! There was a piece of land belonging to Isaac, and the neighbouring piece belonging to Abimelek. And when it rained, the rain came down to the land of Isaac, and Abimelek’s land had no rain! When the wind blew, it blew onto Abimelek’s crop, and Isaac's land had no wind! This is so wonderful.

Have a Mindset of Abundance

How could this happen? God was with him. Let me tell you If you live on the Earth, the most important thing is that God is with you. If God is not with you, the devil is with you and it is the worst thing ever. God was with Isaac and in verse16, Abimelek said to Isaac

Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.” (Genesis 26:16)

Isaac was so powerful for Abimelek that was asked to move somewhere else. After moving from there, Isaac camped in the Valley of Gerar where he settled. He started to dig wells and the first well he dug was taken away by Philistine. Then he dug another well, which was also taken by Philistine. Isaac was a very interesting person as he did not fight with them.

Isaac was remarkable as he let them have the wells he dug. Now, do you want to see if God is with you? Put yourself in Isaac’s shoes, if someone had taken away your well that was full of water, what would be your reaction? In those days, water was a scarce resource. Without water humans and animals were unable to survive. Can you imagine the source of life was taken away from Isaac and the servants who had done all the hard work digging the wells?

It was not easy for Isaac to comfort the servants in his house. The servants might be telling him “Master, how could you let this happen? Take the wells back, fight for our rights and defeat them.” Not only Isaac did not fight with them but also blessed them. What do you see? If you took the well I dug, you could have it and I would dig another one. You will be wondering if Isaac had a strange mind? His thinking was so generous and so open-minded. If they wanted to have the wells, Isaac willingly gave them the wells and dug another one. Isaac was not complaining, murmuring, or having hatred in his heart. This attribute is called the man of God. God bless people like Isaac. Isaac continued to dig the wells and they were taken away until no one took them from him anymore. The Philistines would be wondering why Isaac did not fight with them when they took the wells from him. Isaac was not bothered. They stopped taking the wells from Isaac as they realized they had taken too much.

Jesus taught us that if someone slapped on our left cheek, turned the right cheek to them too. That is called Godly people. Many people said:" how can that be?" You may agree or disagree but look at Isaac, in the end, everyone saw clearly that the Lord was with him. The Bible was written in such a manner to urge us to follow and learn from Isaac. If you are not a generous person, you get cheated because of other reasons. You were conned because you wanted to gain something out of it. When you desire something, you would bite the bait which would be a totally different story. Due to your greed, you bite the bait so you are scammed. That meant God was not with you.

The Lord spoke to Isaac at the time of the famine. When all the wells Isaac dug were taken away, he continued to dig until no one took the well from him. He named it Rehoboth.

He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying ”Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.” (Genesis 26: 22)

Brothers and sisters, you must know that the word “flourish” means to prosper and become wealthy and it will not apply if you are a stingy person. The Lord was with Isaac, that night Lord appeared to him.

From there he went to Beersheba. That night the Lord appeared to him and said “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord. There he pitched his tent, and there his servant dug a well. (Genesis 26: 23-25)

God’s blessing is visible

Blessings are visible and if you cannot see the blessings, you have to ask yourself if you are Isaac, Abraham, or Abimelek? After demonstrating clearly to Abimelek and the Philistines that God was with Isaac. Everyone around him could clearly see God’s blessing was with Isaac. Abimelek came to Isaac to swear an agreement and made a treaty with Isaac in which no harm would be done to both parties. Isaac prepared a feast for them; they ate and drank a lot of wine. On that day, they had a good talk with one another. In verses 30-31, we could see how Isaac treated people and built good relationships with others. The next morning, they swore an oath to each other and Isaac sent them away peacefully.

They answered, "We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, 'There ought to be a sworn agreement between us'-between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD." Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully. (Genesis 26: 28-32)

Fight the spiritual battle and become a blessing to people

We must bear in our mind that we are fighting in the spiritual world but not fighting the war between men. We are fighting against the devils. Many people are not fighting against the devils and they are fighting against men. They do not become a blessing for the people, instead, they become a curse for the people. If they were like Isaac, that place they are in would be a peaceful place. Isaac was not fighting in the secular world, not against the people around him but having a peaceful agreement between them.

That day, Isaac sent Abimelek and his people away peacefully, Isaac’s servants told him they had dug a well with water. Every time when you become a blessing to people and you have a generous mind. You are not behaving like a stingy person. Every time you are following the word of God, you follow his instructions, keep his commandments, and decrees. You will become wealthy and blessed. You will flourish and reap a hundredfold. People around you will see clearly that the Lord is with you.

That day Isaac's servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, "We've found water!" (Genesis 26:32)

Do not receive a second-hand blessing

Do you think it was easy to get water in that place? No, it was not. On that day, he swore an oath with Abimelek and Isaac’s servant came with the news that they found water. Looking at God is with His people and I must remind you to not behave like Abimelek. When he clearly saw that God was with Isaac, what was he supposed to do? He was supposed to receive first-hand blessings from God but not to receive a second-hand blessing. If Abimelek would like to receive second-hand blessings, we don’t want to be like him.

Many people ask if I can bless them or pray for them. I would tell you to be like Isaac. How many people are like Isaac, Apostle Paul, and our Lord Jesus Christ? They would say, I am not Isaac, not Apostle Paul and I am not our Lord Jesus Christ. Are you Abimelek or do you want to be like Abimelek? You’d better say no. You should be saying that you want to be like Isaac, Apostle Paul, and to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to follow in their footsteps. I want to follow God’s instructions, His commandments, and His decrees.

I want people around me to say that they see clearly the Lord is with me and I am blessed in whatever I do. Do you want God’s blessings? If you do, then that is the most wonderful decision ever to offer yourself to God. Do not ask to receive a second-hand blessing. In the Kingdom of God, there are no grandsons or great-grandsons, only God’s children, sons and daughters. Genesis 26 is a wonderful chapter and the story of Isaac was very short. After this chapter, we would be jumping over to the story of Jacob. If you are a spiritual man, you will understand what Isaac had done was commendable and set an example for us to follow.

Thank you very much.

May the Lord bless you!

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