Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 24 April 2022 | Lesson 17

Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 24 April 2022

Adult DCLM Search the Scripture 24 April 2022
Adult DCLM Search the Scripture 3 April 2022 | Lesson 14

Adult DCLM Search the Scripture 24 April 2022 | Lesson 17 || God Prospers Isaac

Deeper Life Search the Scripture 24 April 2022

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ADULT STS LESSON 17 | GOD PROSPERS ISAAC

MEMORY VERSE: “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great” (Genesis 26:12,13).

TEXT: Genesis 26:1-35

Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 24 April 2022 | Lesson 17 MESSAGE

This chapter opens with the problem of famine in Beersheba where Isaac lived. The challenge of survival during famine with his wife, twin sons (about fifteen years) and his servants was daunting. Recall that he was the heir of God’s promises and covenant with Abraham. Faced with adversity, his initial response was relocation to Gerar. Our covenant keeping God, who always intervenes in times of need, appeared to warn him against going down to Egypt because of the famine.

He obeyed divine instruction and received the fulfilment of God s promised blessings to Abraham. Amidst trials and temptations, Isaac grew in prosperity as detailed in this lesson. Believers should seek the mind of God in times of hardship so as not to take rash decisions with disastrous consequences. God is faithful and keeps the obedient even during famine.

1. THE GOD-GIVEN PROMISE TO ISAAC
Gen 26:1-11; 12:10-20; Psalms 33:18,19; 37:18,19; Gen 12:1,4; 17:1; 22:2,3; Rev 21:8; 22:15; Jos 1:5-8; Heb 11:9, 13, 16; Acts 7:5

“And there was a famine in the land…” (Gen 26:1). The reality about life is that there are wet and dry seasons, summer, winter, spring and autumn. In human life, there could be a season of abundance and at other times, scarcity. Food is one of the most important and common need. It has a direct link with our health. Famine, a season d by the absence of food, be it physical or spiritual, is a state of dryness and dearth. It can lead to spiritual or physical death.

Thus, “Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar”. He might have toyed with the thought of going to Egypt for greener pasture. But “the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee…” (Gen 26:2,3). God is always ready to guide His people. He uses His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence to guide, preserve, establish, strengthen and bless His children. Ignorance of this truth brought disastrous consequences to the family of Elimelech and Naomi. Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 24 April 2022 | Lesson 17

God assures those who fear and trust Him and lead upright lifestyle by faith in Christ of divine sustenance during famine. “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. The LORD knoweth the days of the upright…and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied” (Psalm 33:18,19; 37:18,19).

God renewed the Abrahamic covenant with Isaac. “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; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws” (Gen 26:3-5).

He highlighted the obedience of Abraham underpinning this covenant for Isaac to emulate. Abraham obeyed God’s call to salvation, entire consecration, sanctification and supreme love (Gen 12: 1,4; 17: 1; 22:2,3). Isaac, no doubt, obeyed God.

The scripture affirms that “Isaac dwelt in Gerar” (Gen 26:6). He heeded the instruction of God and abode in the land. Prompt and complete obedience pleases God. He demands practical obedience to His word in our daily living, relationship, secular engagements, marriage plans, family and spiritual service. Obedience is better than sacrifice and opens the door of divine blessings. (Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 24 April 2022 | Lesson 17)

As Isaac dwelt in Gerar with his wife, a common temptation to lie surfaced. Instead of trusting the sheltering power of God, he decided to deceive Abimelech and his people out of fear by calling Rebekah his sister. Lying was a besetting sin in Abraham’s family as it is in many lives today.

The unchanging word of God reveals that “the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimestone: which is the second death” (Rev 21:8). When Abimelech discovered that Isaac lied to deceive him, he was displeased and rebuked him. Fear of man or death enslaves, but faith in God sets free.

Believers should trust in the Lord for the protection of their lives, loved ones and properties. He has all the power and means to protect His children (Psalm 105: 14, 15). Those who yield to pressure to lie or cover up the truth should urgently return to the Lord, repent and forsake their sins and exercise faith in the cleansing power of Christ’s blood for their salvation or restoration. Believers should be “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:15).

Children, successors and new generations can continue to enjoy the benefits of the good promises and covenant God made with their parents and predecessors so long as they continue in the path of obedience to His word (Jos 1:5-8). Heaven is our goal; eternal inheritances are stored up for us there. Only the transformed, truthful, trusting and triumphant believer will enter heaven and possess the divine blessings. (Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 24 April 2022 | Lesson 17)

2. THE GROWING PROSPERITY OF ISAAC
Gen 26:12-23; 31:6-12; Prov 22:29; 1 Thess 4:11; 2 Thess 3:10; Prov 27:4; Isaiah 65: 13, 14; 1 Cor 3:6,7

“Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord bless him” (Gen 26: 12; Isaiah 1:19). He was industrious and enterprising. Laziness, idleness, slothfulness or procrastination had no place in his life and household. He got everyone occupied. The Lord’s blessing came on all of Isaac’s endeavours, including his flocks and herds. It is instructive to remember that this bumper harvest came at the time of famine in Gerar. Those who labour must remember that it is God who gives the increase.

Therefore, the diligent and industrious must not edge God out of their enterprises. The prosperity of Isaac inspired envy and jealousy from the heathen around him. “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” (Gen 26:13,14). Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 24 April 2022 | Lesson 17

The Lord rapidly increased him from a handful to a hundredfold. This became unbearable for the unbelieving Philistines. They, therefore, conspired to stop him. However, we should remember that “The blessmg of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it” (Prov 10:22). The man that God has blessed cannot be cursed or stopped by mortals. Isaac, in his characteristic manner, demonstrated the fruit of the Spirit when the wells which his father’s servants dug were all covered with earth by the Philistines (Gen 26:15).

He did not retaliate in consonance with the word of God that a servant of the Lord must not strive but be gentle and meek towards all men. Despite the trial, God multiplied his possession to the extent that Abimelech confessed: “Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we” (Gen 26:16). Isaac therefore moved away to the valley of Gerar.

There, his herdsmen dug two wells named Esek and Sitnah, meaning ‘contention’ and ‘hatred’ because they were violently taken from them. These two vices characterize our world today but they must not be found among the children of God. As light of the world, we are peacemakers and loving people. Isaac moved away from there and dug another well, which they did not strive for. He, therefore, called it “…Rehoboth …For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land” (Gen 26:22).

This account of Isaac’s prosperity teaches us: one, the faithfulness of God; two, total obedience to God’s word; three, diligence and hard work (Hebrews 6: 12); four, perseverance in the face of provocation; five, faith in God in difficult times; six, divine favour and preservation; and seven, the virtues of gentleness and meekness. As a man of spiritual understanding, Isaac knew the envy of the Philistines only helped to move him far away from them to “Rehoboth” where God made room for him. He was given a land for his flocks and herds, and his wife and household were protected. Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 24 April 2022 | Lesson 17

In like manner, though envied by his brothers and sold into slavery, Joseph understood that God sent him ahead of them into Egypt and promoted him to preserve their lives. So, “All things (persecution, trials, envy, attacks, and so on) work together for good” for those who love, trust and obey God (Rom 8:28; 12:17-19).

3. THE GRACIOUS PROVIDENCE TO INHERITORS
Gen 26:24-35; Exo 23:30; 32:13; Psalm 25:13; Prov 9:11; Matt 19:29; 25:34; 1 Cor 6:9; Gal 3:13-17,29; Rev 21:7

After God had settled Isaac and his household in the valley of Gerar, He reappeared to reassure him of the Abrahamic blessing and His presence. “…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” (Gen 26:24). Obedience to God qualified Isaac to be heir of the Abrahamic covenant.

Thus, he built an altar and called on the name of the Lord there. God’s love, care, benevolence and providence should drive us to the altar of salvation, restoration and consecration. Sinners and backsliders should turn away from all sins to Christ in penitence and faith. God will then make them heirs and joint heirs with Christ. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:29). Our final inheritance is in heaven which Christ has gone to prepare for us.

Afterwards, Abimelech came to Isaac in the company of Ahuzzath and Phichol, having discovered the mighty presence of God with Isaac. Isaac challenged and rebuked them for their contention and hatred towards him and his household. “And they said, We saw certainly that the Lord was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee” (Gen 26:28). They could not withstand the God of Abraham and Isaac. Therefore, they came to make peace. They even called him “the blessed of the LORD” (Gen 26:29).

Being a peaceful person, Isaac entered into a covenant with them after which they parted in peace (Gen 26:30,31). This is an evidence of the grace of God in the life of Isaac. He received his enemies and persecutors, entertained them and made covenant of peace with them. Every believer should emulate this virtue in the life of Isaac in relating with their enemies and persecutors (Heb 12:14). Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 24 April 2022 | Lesson 17

Another well, Shebah, was dug by the servants of Isaac (Gen 26:32,33). It should be noted that the growing prosperity of Isaac did not becloud his spiritual sensibility and sensitivity to God and His word. Esau’s marriage to two women, Judith and Bashemath, who were Hittites contrary to the word of God brought grief to his parents, Isaac and Rebekah (Gen 26:34,35). Believers should always grieve when there is flagrant disobedience to God’s holy standard in marriage and other areas of life (Matt 5:4). It is obvious that Isaac’s life and experiences in this chapter bear some similarities with that of Abraham in chapters 12,20 and 21.

Both went through famine (Gen 12:10; 26:1); had encounter with Abimelech the king of the Philistines (Gen 20:1,2; 26:1) had wives that were fair to look upon (Gen 12:11; 26:7); lied about the status of their wives for fear of being killed (Gen 20:1,2; 26:7); were rebuked by Abimelech for deception (Gen 20:9,10; 26:10); had covenant relationship with God (Gen 12:2,3; 26:3,4); suffered opposition as wells were violently taken away from them (Gen 21:25; 26: 15,18,20-22); received affirmation of the divine presence with them by Abimelech and his people (Gen 21:22; 26:28); entered a non-aggressive act with their host communities (Genesis 21 :22; 26:26-58) and built altars unto the Lord after encounter with Him (Gen 12:7,8; 26:24,25).

Both were also prospered by God. Believers need to watch and pray to avoid reliving negative experiences of parents and predecessors. We should emulate the virtues of saints of old and claim the promises of Scripture by faith in Christ. Above all, Christ is our perfect Example in all things. Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 24 April 2022 | Lesson 17

QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW:
1. What do we learn from the intervention of God when Isaac sought a place of plenty during famine?
2. How should believers handle seasons of adversity?
3. What is the secret of enjoying continual blessings from the Lord?
4. Identify some salient virtues in Isaac that are worthy of emulation.

  1. How can wealthy saints maintain their integrity in Christ?
  2. What do we learn from the common life’s experiences that happened to Abraham and Isaac?
  3. Why did Isaac prosper in a strange land?

Thanks for reading Adult DCLM Search The Scripture 24 April 2022 | Lesson 17

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