Genesis 26

* Isaac, because of famine, goes to Gerar. (1-5) He denies his

wife and is reproved by Abimelech. (6-11) Isaac grows rich, The

Philistines' envy. (12-17) Isaac digs wells God blesses him.

(18-25) Abimelech makes a covenant with Isaac. (26-33) Esau's

wives. (34,35)

1-5 Isaac had been trained up in a believing dependence upon

the Divine grant of the land of Canaan to him and his heirs; and

now that there is a famine in the land, Isaac still cleaves to

the covenant. The real worth of God's promises cannot be

lessened to a believer by any cross providences that may befall

him. If God engage to be with us, and we are where he would have

us to be, nothing but our own unbelief and distrust can prevent

our comfort. The obedience of Abraham to the Divine command, was

evidence of that faith, whereby, as a sinner, he was justified

before God, and the effect of that love whereby true faith

works. God testifies that he approved this obedience, to

encourage others, especially Isaac.
6-11 There is nothing in Isaac's denial of his wife to be

imitated, nor even excused. The temptation of Isaac is the same

as that which overcame his father, and that in two instances.

This rendered his conduct the greater sin. The falls of those

who are gone before us are so many rocks on which others have

split; and the recording of them is like placing buoys to save

future mariners. This Abimelech was not the same that lived in

Abraham's days, but both acted rightly. The sins of professors

shame them before those that are not themselves religious.
12-17 God blessed Isaac. Be it observed, for the encouragement

of poor tenants who occupy other people's lands, and are honest

and industrious, that God blessed him with a great increase. The

Philistines envied Isaac. It is an instance of the vanity of the

world; for the more men have of it, the more they are envied,

and exposed to censure and injury. Also of the corruption of

nature; for that is an ill principle indeed, which makes men

grieve at the good of others. They made Isaac go out of their

country. That wisdom which is from above, will teach us to give

up our right, and to draw back from contentions. If we are

wrongfully driven from one place, the Lord will make room for us

in another.
18-25 Isaac met with much opposition in digging wells. Two were

called Contention and Hatred. See the nature of worldly things;

they make quarrels, and are occasions of strife; and what is

often the lot of the most quiet and peaceable; those who avoid

striving, yet cannot avoid being striven with. And what a mercy

it is to have plenty of water; to have it without striving for

it! The more common this mercy is, the more reason to be

thankful for it. At length Isaac digged a well, for which they

strove not. Those that study to be quiet, seldom fail of being

so. When men are false and unkind, still God is faithful and

gracious; and his time to show himself so is, when we are most

disappointed by men. The same night that Isaac came weary and

uneasy to Beer-sheba, God brought comforts to his soul. Those

may remove with comfort who are sure of God's presence.
26-33 When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his

enemies to be at peace with him, #Pr 16:7|. Kings' hearts are in

his hands, and when he pleases, he can turn them to favour his

people. It is not wrong to stand upon our guard in dealing with

those who have acted unfairly. But Isaac did not insist on the

unkindnesses they had done him; he freely entered into

friendship with them. Religion teaches us to be neighbourly,

and, as much as in us lies, to live peaceable with all men.

Providence smiled upon what Isaac did; God blessed his labours.
34,35 Esau was foolish in marrying two wives together, and

still more in marrying Canaanites, strangers to the blessing of

Abraham, and subject to the curse of Noah. It grieved his

parents that he married without their advice and consent. It

grieved them that he married among those who had no religion.

Children have little reason to expect God's blessing who do that

which is a grief of mind to good parents.
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