Memorise Genesis 26:24
“Fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee”
Although Isaac had sinned, the Lord dealt very mercifully with him and increased him materially, such that he became a very prosperous man. The Lord blessed him not because of what he did, but because of his gracious covenant with him. Thus the land yielded him bumper harvests, and his flocks and herds increased greatly. However, this caused the Philistines who were the inhabitants of the land, to become very jealous of his success, and he was asked to leave the city. As a result, Isaac had to depart and start afresh in the valley of Gerar.
However, the strife did not end there. Soon after re-digging the wells his father used to maintain, and also digging some new ones, the people of Gerar came and claimed the well for themselves (Genesis 26:20). Leaving it, Isaac dug another one, but they came and strove for that as well. Though he could have asserted his rights, and bring up the agreement that was made between his father Abraham and the King of Gerar (ref Genesis 20:15, 21:25-30), yet he chose to yield to them, perhaps mindful of the previous injustice that he had done to them in lying about his wife.
The Lord then appeared to him and reaffirmed the covenant with him, reassuring him that “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” (Genesis 26:24). This was a timely comfort to him, to remind him that it did not matter how unjustly he was being treated, or what strive and contention he had to endure, for God was with him, and He would certainly bless him and fulfil His covenant with him. To remind him of this promise, Isaac erected an altar unto the Lord, and stayed there.
Perhaps fearing reprisal from Isaac, seeing that he was “mightier than we” (Genesis 20:16), Abimelech and his captain came to Isaac to seek for a peace treaty. Even they acknowledged that the Lord was with him, and for that reason they wanted to ensure that they would stay on good terms with him. Isaac agreed amicably to their terms, and they went away in peace. Thus in all this, Isaac dealt wisely and kindly to his neighbours, and he bore a good witness and testimony for the Lord.
Thought: Are we assured of God’s presence in our lives? Do the people around us acknowledge that the LORD is with us?
Prayer: Lord, may I always delight and take comfort in Your presence