OceanSide church of Christ

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Genesis 26

Victor M. Eskew


I.          The Title of Genesis 26


A.   A Famine, A Promise, and Many Wells

B.   Famine and Fountains of Water

C.   Isaac:  A Lie, A Promise, and Wells of Water

D.   Isaac Moves Three Times (Gen. 26:1, 17, 23)


II.        The Key Verse of Genesis 26:  Genesis 26:3-4


Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless 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 nations of the earth be blessed.


Why these verses?  God renews the land promise and the seed promise to Isaac.  The Messiah would now come through Abraham through Isaac.  God now speaks to Isaac as the family head.


III.      The Outline of Genesis 26


i.             ISAAC’S LIFE IN GERAR (Gen. 26:1-16)

ii.            ISAAC’S LIFE IN THE VALLEY OF GERAR (Gen. 26:17-22)

iii.          ISAAC’S LIFE IN BEERSHEBA (Gen. 26:23-35)


IV.       The Lessons of Genesis 26


A.   Circumstances outside the family’s control can cause them to move (Gen. 26:1).


And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham.  And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.


B.   Question:  Was this the same Abimelech that Abraham dealt with in Genesis 20?  Most do not think so.  We are told that Abimelech was a title much like “Pharaoh,” and “Candice.”


C.   Why wasn’t Isaac permitted to go into Egypt as Abraham did? (See Gen. 12:10).  Egypt does not appear to be a righteous nation.  The previous Abimelech of Gerar proved to be righteous and favorable to Abraham.  There was no need for Isaac to subject himself to the dangers of Egypt.






D.   The promise of Abraham is now extended personally by God to Isaac


Isaac                                                                           Abraham


1.     I will be with thee                                                           Genesis 21:22

2.    I will bless thee                                                               Genesis 12:2

3.     I will give thee all these countries                               Genesis 12:1; 15:7, 18

4.    I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven            Genesis 15:5

5.    In thy seed shall all the nations be blessed                 Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18


E.   Isaac, as well as we, learned the basis of receiving the promises of God.  Isaac was pointed to the obedience of Abraham (Gen. 15:5).


Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, and commandments, my sta-tutes, and my laws.


1.     Abraham’s obedience is said to have been complete, not partial.

2.    “Those who fancy that Abraham was saved by ‘faith only’ should read this verse.  God’s fulfillment of his promise to Abraham was here said to have been ‘because,’ that is the result of, Abraham’s obedience.  The sequence here is not that God saved Abraham, and then Abraham obeyed because God saved him; but that Abraham obeyed and because he did so, God saved him and fulfilled his promise (Coffman, 332).


F.    Isaac, too, obeys God (Gen.26:6, note Gen. 26:3).


And Isaac dwelt in Gerar.


G.   Fear is often the driving force behind lies (Gen. 26:7).


And the men of that place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister:  for he feared to say, She is my wife, lest, said he, the men of his place should kill me for Rebekah because she was fair to look upon.


H.   Abimelech understood some things about marriage, adultery, and sin (Gen. 26:10).


And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us?  One of the people might lightly have lain with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.


I.     Abimelech believed that the death penalty would defer crime (Gen. 26:11).


And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.


J.    God can bless a man with physical abundance (Gen. 26:12-14).



K.   Great blessings to one can bring out envy on the part of others (Gen. 26:14).


For he (Isaac) had possession of flocks and possession of herds, and great store of servants:  and the Philistines envied him.


1.     Envy defined:  zealous (in a bad sense), envy, to excite to jealous anger

2.    Proverbs 27:4


Wrath is cruel; and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?


3.     We see the truthfulness of Proverbs 27:4 in the next two verse of Genesis 26.

a.    The Philistines stopped the wells dug by Abraham’s servants (Gen. 26:15).

b.    They sent Isaac away from them (Gen. 26:16).  See Isaac’s thoughts about this (Gen. 26:27).


And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye that me, and have sent me away from you?


L.   There are times when the wells of old need to be re-dug (Gen. 26:18).


And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham:  and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.


1.     There are times when spiritual wells that have been closed need to be re-dug.

2.    Our children may have to re-dig some wells regarding instrumental music, the women’s role in the church, fellowship, and, perhaps, homosexuality.


M.  Moves will sometimes involve struggles with some who have been long-term residents (Gen. 26:19-22).


N.   God’s blessings lead the man of God to worship (Gen. 26:24-25).


And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, 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.  And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there:  and then Isaac’s servants digged a well.


O.   Agreements that bring peace, unless they violate the will of God, should be desired by all (Gen. 26:26-31).


P.   Genesis 26:32 indicates that a second well was dug at Beersheba (See Gen. 26:25).  The reality of all that happened here is born out in the fact that “the two wells are in existence still…” (Kiel, 273).


Q.   When a child makes an unwise choice of a spouse, it impacts many within the family (Gen. 26:34-35).


And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bathshemath the daughter of Elam the Hittite:  which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and Rebekah.


1.     The Hittites

a.    The Hittites were descendants of Heth, the second son of Canaan.

b.    The Hittites were idol worshipers.  They were not followers of Jehovah.

2.    “…Esau by these marriages furnished another proof, how thoroughly his heart was set upon earthly things” (Keil, e-sword).

3.     Grief of mind

a.    Literally:  bitterness of spirit

b.    This marriage was the cause of deep trouble to his parents.