Genesis 26:12ff-the wells of Isaac and the continuance of his blessing

I would say that Isaac was probably marked with an identifier that prevented Abimelech from taking Rebekah as his wife, since he put a death penalty out on anyone who touched either Isaac or Rebekah.  Perhaps the men of the land were rough, violent, or just plain senseless to spiritual things as the Gentiles, who belonged to Paul’s day, and about whom the former Pharisee wrote much.


At any rate, Isaac’s family was preserved in the land of the Philistines, which is infinitely more than we can say about Saul, whom the Philistines caused to tremble under subjugation, until David arose as a Deliverer (1 Samuel 10-16).


I think it benefits the reader of the text of the four books of the kingdoms (1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings) for them to see the interaction between these nations and the nation of Israel, in order for us to understand why Israel dealt with these nations in such a harsh manner.  This interaction certainly gives us an eyeful as to the groundwork that was laid (some in Isaac’s wells), for the interactions between the children of Jacob and the children of the Philistines, particularly v. 16 and v. 26-31 of this chapter.  However having said all that, let us cover the portion of Scripture at hand,  vv. 12-about 15, which precipitates the exile levied upon Isaac’s family by Abimelech.


 12And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him,


So Isaac, whatever he put his hand to in the land of the Philistines, because he obeyed the Lord, and because his father obeyed the Lord, and lived where God told Him to live (vv. 2-3), God blessed him and was with him.


13and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy.


So, the key to the provision of the Lord (being given what you need to sustain the vision you have been given by the lord-provision is for your vision) is obedience.  If we obey in all things the Lord has given us in which to be faithful, then He will bless us, as befits His goodness and our needs.  Blessing is the goodness of God meeting the need of His people.  


A note on this.  The evil and wicked, who rebel and disobey and are still never lacking, that which they are being given is no blessed and set apart.  It is filthy lucre, not dedicated to the Lord, and is a weight to their souls and it will be something for which the justice of God will call them to account.  It is a burden.  The major difference between a blessed person and a cursed person is not the amount they are given, but their willingness to live their life and whatever they are given in obedience to the Lord, obedience reaps the blessing, the true guilt-free blessing, whereas disobedience reaps the guilt-laden gift, which ultimately in some form or another becomes a curse to the individual, who refuses to recognize, by giving back to God in honor for what He has given that individual.  


We can reap trillions, but if we refuse to honor the Lord with the firstfruits, then whether we lose it all or keep it all, in the end, it will be something for which we will one day be called to account.


The pattern of Scripture for the people of God to follow is this.  
1) Person hears the voice of God. 
2) Person responds to the voice of God.
3) Person reaps in reaction to his/her response.


Job is the premier example of this.  Job refused to blame God, and responded as best he could to his accusers (despite some obvious flaws brought on by an excess of innocent pain), and thus reaped the rewards of a double portion.  Saul on the other hand, disobeyed and progressively slid into a place of depravity read the difference between (1 Samuel, chapter 9 with chapter 16, chapter 17 and chapter 20 and following, and you will see a different king Saul, though still given authority and ordained by God for His purposes).  Israel in the Torah, Joshua, and Judges had a similar experience.  Where disobedience was given place, cursing followed and destruction reigned.  Where obedience followed, blessing endured.  And frequently illustrated was the fact that the blessed people returned back to God a the honored first portion of those blessings.  In the Bible, and in many churches, we call this honored first portion a “tithe.”  More on this later in a post about tithing.


 14He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him.


Those who opposed Isaac and saw this sick and obscene blessing opposed and envied the man of God whom obeyed God.


.15(Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.).


This verse showcases a context for the envy of the Philistines.  This is the result of envy.  If we see someone else prospering and we do not, frequently, our response is one of envy, and if we cannot have the blessing, it would only seem fair to us that no one else should have what we do not have.  Envy leads to all sorts of bad things happening, such as what happened to Saul (1 Samuel 17-20).


Consequently, Abimelech told Isaac, out of his people’s (and arguably his as well) envy, to “move away from them, since, in similar words to those of the so-called “Pharaoh of the Oppression,” Isaac had “become too powerful for [them].” (Genesis 26:16 and Exodus 1:9-10)

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