26 There was very little food in the land. The same thing had been true earlier, in Abraham’s time. Isaac went to Abimelek in Gerar. Abimelek was the king of the Philistines. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land where I tell you to live. 3 Stay there for a while. I will be with you and give you my blessing. I will give all these lands to you and your children after you. And I will keep my word that I gave to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your children after you as many as the stars in the sky. And I will give them all these lands. All nations on earth will be blessed because of your children. 5 I will do all these things because Abraham obeyed me. He did everything I required. He kept my commands, my rules and my instructions.”
Isaac was a flexible guy. When things were difficult with the famine he headed off to somewhere different that didn’t have that problem. He didn’t stay stuck in a place where things just were not working.
He did get a very clear word from God about where to go (or at least where not to go). He put himself in a place to hear from God and he listened. What an amazing promise came along with the guidance about how to deal with the famine. This is the beginning of everything – the covenant God made with us.
God explained that the promise came because Abraham had listened to God and had been obedient. This passage indicates that Isaac was also listening and being obedient. Both these men sought God’s view on what they should do before they decided what to do. Listening to God is a big thing and through listening we become engaged with God’s plan and blessed by playing out part.
It is easy to think we don’t need to bother God about the small stuff but then we get out of the habit and may forget to include Him in the big stuff. We need to ask God what He thinks in all that we do, even the small stuff. The more we ask God the easier it is to be confident that we are hearing Him correctly.
Dear Lord Thank You for the stories of people in the bible who lived the way You want us to live. Thank You for this story of Abraham and Isaac where they showed consistency in listening to You as they made their way in life. Help us to learn to invite You into our decision making and to listen to what You say. Help us to have confidence that You want to be involved in our lives and that we are actually hearing from You.
Written by Therese Manning