Genesis 26* Isaac, because of famine, goes to Gerar. (1-5) He denies hiswife and is reproved by Abimelech. (6-11) Isaac grows rich, ThePhilistines' envy. (12-17) Isaac digs wells God blesses him.(18-25) Abimelech makes a covenant with Isaac. (26-33) Esau'swives. (34,35)1-5 Isaac had been trained up in a believing dependence uponthe Divine grant of the land of Canaan to him and his heirs; andnow that there is a famine in the land, Isaac still cleaves tothe covenant. The real worth of God's promises cannot belessened to a believer by any cross providences that may befallhim. If God engage to be with us, and we are where he would haveus to be, nothing but our own unbelief and distrust can preventour comfort. The obedience of Abraham to the Divine command, wasevidence of that faith, whereby, as a sinner, he was justifiedbefore God, and the effect of that love whereby true faithworks. God testifies that he approved this obedience, toencourage others, especially Isaac. 6-11 There is nothing in Isaac's denial of his wife to beimitated, nor even excused. The temptation of Isaac is the sameas that which overcame his father, and that in two instances.This rendered his conduct the greater sin. The falls of thosewho are gone before us are so many rocks on which others havesplit; and the recording of them is like placing buoys to savefuture mariners. This Abimelech was not the same that lived inAbraham's days, but both acted rightly. The sins of professorsshame them before those that are not themselves religious. 12-17 God blessed Isaac. Be it observed, for the encouragementof poor tenants who occupy other people's lands, and are honestand industrious, that God blessed him with a great increase. ThePhilistines envied Isaac. It is an instance of the vanity of theworld; for the more men have of it, the more they are envied,and exposed to censure and injury. Also of the corruption ofnature; for that is an ill principle indeed, which makes mengrieve at the good of others. They made Isaac go out of theircountry. That wisdom which is from above, will teach us to giveup our right, and to draw back from contentions. If we arewrongfully driven from one place, the Lord will make room for usin another. 18-25 Isaac met with much opposition in digging wells. Two werecalled Contention and Hatred. See the nature of worldly things;they make quarrels, and are occasions of strife; and what isoften the lot of the most quiet and peaceable; those who avoidstriving, yet cannot avoid being striven with. And what a mercyit is to have plenty of water; to have it without striving forit! The more common this mercy is, the more reason to bethankful for it. At length Isaac digged a well, for which theystrove not. Those that study to be quiet, seldom fail of beingso. When men are false and unkind, still God is faithful andgracious; and his time to show himself so is, when we are mostdisappointed by men. The same night that Isaac came weary anduneasy to Beer-sheba, God brought comforts to his soul. Thosemay remove with comfort who are sure of God's presence. 26-33 When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even hisenemies to be at peace with him, #Pr 16:7|. Kings' hearts are inhis hands, and when he pleases, he can turn them to favour hispeople. It is not wrong to stand upon our guard in dealing withthose who have acted unfairly. But Isaac did not insist on theunkindnesses they had done him; he freely entered intofriendship 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, andstill more in marrying Canaanites, strangers to the blessing ofAbraham, and subject to the curse of Noah. It grieved hisparents that he married without their advice and consent. Itgrieved them that he married among those who had no religion.Children have little reason to expect God's blessing who do thatwhich is a grief of mind to good parents.
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