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GENESIS 26:1-3 "And there was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And 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; 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;"

Another famine has occurred in the land of Palestine like the one in Abraham's day. Abraham's son, Isaac, reacted just like his father in that he wanted to leave the area. This caused God to appear to him. God instructed Isaac not to go into Egypt as his father had done. He promised him if he would remain in Canaan, he would have the same promises made to his father. So, instead of going to Egypt, Isaac went west to Gerar, (another place his father had gone.) When he arrived in Gerar he followed his father's footsteps in yet another way. He said that Rebekah, his wife, was his sister; as his father before him, he feared being killed by the Philistines of Gerar over the beauty of Rebekah. Abimelech saw Isaac and Rebekah kissing and rebuked Isaac for his deception. He allowed them to stay in the land, though. Isaac was clearly influenced by his father. He seemed to be affected more by Abraham's weaknesses than his strong points, though. We must be very careful of what we do and where we go. There is always someone who will follow in our footsteps; perhaps even after we are dead!

Abimelech finally must ask Isaac to leave Gerar because of the jealousy of the Philistines for he had many possessions. Isaac moved to the valley of Gerar, not too far away, where he became involved in a dispute over some wells. It seems the Philistines had stopped up some wells Abraham's servants had dug and Isaac opened them back up. They also found a well of springing water in the valley. The herdsmen of Gerar strove with Isaac's herdsmen over the well, saying the water was theirs. He moved on and dug another well and yet another. Sometime after this, Abimelech came from Gerar to Beersheba where Isaac had moved to make a treaty with Isaac. He evidently realized the powerful influence of Isaac and his wealth in the country and wanted to be assured of his good will. Isaac's agreement was signified by a feast.

Meanwhile, Esau had taken a wife. At age forty, he took Judith, the daughter of a Hittite. Verse 35 says this was a "grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah."

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you think Isaac was following his father's example when he let everyone believe Rebekah was his sisters?




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