26 Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. 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 in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”
This passage starts quite bleakly – a famine has struck the land and Isaac is looking for relief for him and his family. The benefit of hindsight is that things quickly seem to work out alright; but we can only imagine the fear, the questioning and the doubt that could have arisen due to the famine.
But God’s response is direct and powerful. He says for Isaac to stay and live in Gerar. God says He will bless Isaac and his descendants. He says that He will confirm the oath He made to Isaac’s father Abraham, because Abraham was obedient and did everything God required of him.
I’m struck by the truth that blessing follows obedience. We don’t obey in order to get something good out of the situation – we obey because we know and love God. But we can be confident that just like Abraham and Isaac, blessing follows our obedience.
Lord, please speak clearly to us this day. Help us to hear You and to obey. Thank You that blessing pours out of who You are. We ask that we may humbly live in Your blessing as we continue to obey and follow You.
Written by Ps. Matt Samperi