Isaac blesses Jacob, Jacob leaves for Paddan Aram, Esau went to Ishmael, From Genesis 28:1-9 commented by ASV, and questions


A wakeup call

Now Isaac saw the big picture that Jacob was the one to carry the hope of his family to fulfill the promise God gave to his father. He called Jacob, blessed him, and told him to go to the house of Bethuel to find a wife there, one of the daughters of Laban, Rebekah’s brother.

The power of a blessing

Isaac was the only one of the sons of Abraham that could fulfill Gods promise of becoming a nation and nations, however, it seemed to be a long process, and now Jacob was only one to carry on the hope. However, the faith lived on and Isaac said, May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, so that you may become a company of peoples.” 

The Promised Land

Now Isaac was back on track, saw the fulfilling of the hope through the descendants of his son Jacob, and blessed him with God’s promise to inherit the land they had been sojourning in, the land promised to his grandfather Abraham.

The best environment

Jacob kissed his father and mother goodbye and left for Paddan-aram where the Bethuel family lived. It is easy and common to think that Jacob was a young man when he left, but he was actually 77. The blessing and all the words from his father Jacob kept in his heart, and he knew the name of God, but he had no personal relationship with Him. He now was on his own, and being on our own is very often the best environment to start a personal relationship with God.

Esau wanted to please his parents

Now Esau also wanted to please his parents and went to the Ishmael family to find more wives for himself. The difference between his way of doing it, was fulfilling the desire of his flesh, follow his own thinking contrary to seek the spirit of obedience. However Jacob listen to his mother who remembered the words given to her from God, she had first-hand information directly from God when she in her pain asked God why it is like this when you answered our prayer.

Patience and consistency

Rebekah had “a word” from God, she kept it in her heart and never forgot it and acted on it and Jacob obeyed her, the power of the word made it break through the obstacles of the devil. It is no difference today, if you have received a word from God, keep it, believe it and act on it, it is the most precious treasure you have, however, remember that patience and consistency makes it pay off. 

Questions

  • Do you see God’s plan for your life?
  • Do you have a daily relationship with God?
  • Do you feel an inner confirmation in your heart when seeking God?    

Isaac moves to Beer Sheba, Abimelech, Ahuzzath and Phicol visited him, Esau and his Hittite wives. Taken from Genesis 26:26-35, AMP and commented by ASV and questions

Just water and supply for the flocks and herds

All the philistine herdsmen were hostile to Isaac’s herdsmen; there was a constant quarreling about water resulting in that Isaac moved his huge camp to Beer Sheba. Isaac like his father had many well-trained soldiers in his camp and was a threat to the people in Gerar if they had made him their enemy. Isaac was a man of peace; his interest was mainly water for all his flocks and herds.

By His name

However, Abimelech saw Isaac as a possible threat, not only because of his soldiers but mainly they were afraid of his awesome God. Now they came to Isaac, Abimelech, his adviser, Ahuzzath and the leader of his army, Phicol. They said, “We see clearly that the LORD has been with you” God’s blessing of Isaac was so obvious that everyone could see it. In addition, what is notable here is that Abimelech called God by his name; YaHaWaH.

“Friends of Isaac”

People in Gerar as in the rest of Canaan had many gods and rites they believed in and one of the gods was the God of Abraham. What they had experienced with Isaac and his father was that YaHaWaH was more powerful than the other gods they knew and all knew the God of Abraham by His name. What they now came to do was to make a covenant, with not only Isaac but to show his powerful and great God, YaHaWaH that they were friendly to Isaac.

Shibah

Isaac treated his “enemies” with respect and they had food and drink in abundance and swore together not to harm each other, Then Abimelech and his men left in the morning and I think that as a result of Isaac’s good behavior, his herdsmen found water and Isaac called the well, Shibah, which became the name, Beer Sheba.

Esau and his wives

Isaac and Rebekah’s sons were now 40 years of age and Esau took two wives for himself, Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. I think he married them against the will of his parents, they were against it, mainly because of all the false gods, and their rituals they brought with them, and they were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

Questions

  1. How should we treat our enemies?
  2. Why does God love you?
  3. How old was Isaac when his sons were 40? 

Isaac gives the wells of Abraham the same names as Abraham did. Taken from Genesis 26:18-22, commented by ASV and questions

Conquering the land

Isaac with his enormous flocks and herds needed many wells to water his animals, and dug open them that his father Abraham had dug, and gave them the same names as Abraham had given them. This was a way of conquering the land by naming the wells. The philistines didn’t like it and came and quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying that the wells belonged to them.

Peace before trouble

They had earlier filled the wells with dirt so the water wasn’t that important to them, they just didn’t want Hebrews and their names in their land. Isaac was a man of peace and kept on digging wells until the philistine herdsmen didn’t quarrel any more.

In peace and quiet

The reason for the peace Isaac had in his heart was his faith in God as we can see here; “so he named it Rehoboth (broad places), saying, “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be prosperous in the land.”” Why did Isaac name the well Rehoboth, broad places? It was because the other wells he dug he had to share with the Philistines with all the hostilities and delays, but now he could water all his animals in peace and quiet.

Hebrew text is the original

Isaac said “for the LORD had made room for us”. Isaac waited for the LORD to sort out the problems, Isaac had as his father a personal relationship with his God and he used his name YaHaWaH. The LORD, is not God’s name, the Hebrew word used in the Hebrew text is YHWH and with the vowel a, the name becomes YaHaWaH.

Fit all the pieces together

The only way to keep your calm in every situation in your life is having built up a strong personal faith in God, and then you can leave it to Him, He knows all the details and how to fit them together.

Questions

  1. Is your life too complicated for God?
  2. Do you get angry often?
  3. Are people the reason for your difficulties?
  4. How can we study the word with patience and care?

In times of drought, Isaac planted and reaped hundred times, Taken from Genesis 26:12-17 and commented by ASV, also questions

Wealth and prominence

All the farmers had probably left their land for Egypt and the fields were there for Isaac to put seed in, and Isaac did; “Then Isaac planted in that land and reaped in the same year a hundred times and the Lord blessed and favored him”. In this time of famine people needed bread to survive, and Isaac had lots of grain and he could decide the price and became extremely wealthy and prominent.

Enmity

Isaac had enormous flocks and herds, which occupied the area around Gerar city and consumed lots of water and the philistines didn’t like it, they also had animals and needed water. Therefore, the king Abimelech asked Isaak to leave the area. In everything Isaac did you can sense that He was a man of peace, and when asked to leave he just left and moved down to the valley of Gerar and stayed there. Earlier Isaac’s father Abraham also dug many wells in the area; however, the philistines had filled them with dirt. The enmity with the philistines was there from the time of Abraham when Isaac came.   

Questions

  • Do we need advices when we decide what to choose?
  • Should we seek peace, when opposed or attacked?
  • How should we face injustice?

ASV notes on Genesis 26:7-11 and questions

Abimelech, Isaac and Rebekah

Nobody did

Isaac stayed in Gerar and Rebekah was Isaac’s “sister” and by the moral in the area at that time she could be taken and made love to, but nobody did, they waited to see what the king Abimelech did, maybe he wanted her for his harem.

Fear

After a long time in Gerar Isaac caressed Rebekah, his wife in the open outside Abimelech’s house and the king saw it through his window and understood that Rebekah was Isaac’s wife. Abimelech and the philistines didn’t know the God of Abraham, but they feared Him and knew that He protected Abraham’s family.

Who was the guilty one?

The king called Isaac and in anger, he told him: “What is this that you have done to us? One of the men might easily have been intimate with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.” Abimelech didn’t care about Isaac, but he feared his God and told all his people; Whoever touches this man or his wife shall without exception be put to death.” Isaac like his father made his wife lie, however, God was ready to punish Abimelech if he touched her.

Because of Jesus

The family of Abraham belonged to God as his precious property, and He polished and protected it. If you become the family of God through Jesus, you are His precious property; He will “polish” you and protect you, not because of you, but because of Jesus.

Questions

  1. Do you earn the blessings?
  2. From when, are you blessed?
  3. Why does God look after you?
  4. What is it to be a precious property?

ASV notes on Genesis 26:1-6 and questions

Abimelech, Isaac and Rebekah in Gerar

Well of the living one who sees me

Isaac stayed in Negev at the well where an angel met with Hagar Sarah’s maid, showed her the well and revealed that she was going to give birth to a son, about his future and his descendants and to give him the name Ishmael. Hagar called this well “Well of the Living One Who Sees Me” and she was comforted, and went back to the camp of Abraham and served Sarah her mistress.

Land of Gerar

Isaac had his camp there by this well south east of Kiriath-arba, Hebron, when the famine struck this land and He moved his huge camp towards the west to the “land” of Gerar the land of the Philistines, may be they could find more food there for all their flocks and herds.

Who to die and who to live

In Gerar YaHaWaH appeared to Isaac and told him not to travel to Egypt as “all” people did to find food and water, God said stay in the land I am telling you, land here means a part of Canaan like Gerar where the king Abimelech ruled. At that, time the king decided everything, who to die who to live, and who he picked for his harem. Isaac and his huge camp stayed in Gerar, the land of the Philistines and Rebekah was a beautiful lady, and told people that she was the sister of Isaac, this to save his life, she lied.

For you too

YaHaWaH told Isaac about his descendants to be like the stars of heaven and that his descendant, who refers to that Jesus the Messiah, should bless all nations of the world. God protected Isaac, why did He do it, it was not because of what Isaac had done, but what his father had done, and then it must be of vital interest to understand the “work” of Abraham; because Abraham listened to and obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”  The faith of Abraham reflects his obedience, is this valid only for Abraham, no it goes for you too!

Questions

  1. How perfect was Abraham?
  2. Did Isaac order Rebekah to lie?
  3. Did Rebekah know how to cheat?
  4. Do we depend on God?
  5. Are you a good person?
  6. Are children born good?

ASV notes on Genesis 25:19-26 and questions

Isaac and Rebekah, the faith and the Word

60 and 160

It seemed that Rebekah or Isaac was unable to have children, and I am sure that they discussed this with Abraham the father of Isaac and He most likely told them that God would fulfill his promises about Abraham becoming great nations in its due time. However, it took 20 years for Isaac to understand where to turn to for having children. Isaac prayed to YaHaWaH believing in God’s promises and Rebekah got pregnant, Isaac being 60 and Abraham 160.

What does, the faith comes of?

Why did Isaac believe in God’s promises, the only reason is because of all the words he constantly heard from the mouth of his mother and father, they told him day by day about all that YaHaWaH had done for them and why his name was laughter, Isaac. Now he prayed in faith and God answered immediately. 

Faith

Why do we have to pray to God about all the promises in his word? He has promised so why can’t He just do it. It is again, this word faith, is which everything pivots around whether we like it or not. In Hebrews, 11:1 we can dig for the treasures buried there. Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].”

Not blame, and the foundation

First, faith is assurance of things hoped for, “things hoped for” is all the promises in the Bible, however, before that you have to establish the foundation, namely that all the words in the Bible are from God, every single one of them. You cannot blame the translations, because you can always go to the Interlinear Bible and look at the Hebrew text in The Old Testament and Greek in The New Testament. First then, when you have decided in your heart that the words in the Bible are from God, then you can start digging for the true treasures buried in the Word.

That is not faith

Back to faith in Hebrews 11:1;  Assurance is what happens in your heart, not in your brain, it is influenced of what you daily are thinking about, but for the assurance to be established in your heart it takes time, the longest distance you ever “walk” in your life is from your brain down to your heart. “And evidence of things not seen” it doesn’t say things that are not, no those things not seen are in a perfect shape and in a perfect world, not like this imperfect world that we can see. Our problem is that we cannot sense them, not see them, not touch them and we don’t like that, we want to confirm it by our senses, but that is not faith.

From hearing

Our hopes are reality, but we cannot see them. Now you know what faith is, the problem is how to obtain it. To dig further we need more scriptures, Romans 10:16-17; But they did not all pay attention to the good news [of salvation]; for Isaiah says,Lord, who has believed our report?  So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the message concerning Christ.”

A person

Again there are different steps to take, first we need to pay attention, when we read the Bible it is not like reading a newspaper, we have to look for all the buried secrets there, and paying attention also includes having a praying heart to The Holy Spirit for help and guidance; John 14:26. Then we have to listen to the Word, Jesus, they are spirit and they make you come alive on the inside; John 6:63. They also open up the hearing capacity of your heart; “and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message” It is easier to see it in The King James Version; “and hearing by the word of God.” There you can see more clearly that the hearing comes by hearing the Word of God. Let me remind you of that the Word is not a word, it is a person and it is plural and has a name, Jesus.

According to

Now when faith has established your prayer according to the Word, God will answer all the time because He is good.

Questions

  1. Does watching TV affect our faith?
  2. Do books you read affect your faith?
  3. Do people who you listen to affect your faith?
  4. Is the world on your side?
  5. Who is running this world?
  6. How many real friends do we have?

ASV notes on Genesis 24:62-67 and questions

Isaac and Rebekah, when God is in it

Kiriath–arba and Beer-lahai-roi

Isaac was now in the huge camp of his father Abraham at Kiriath-arba, he had just returned from Beer-lahai-roi in Negev where he lived temporarily feeding his flocks and herds. It was evening the sun was setting and Isaac walked in the field to worship YaHaWaH, his God.

Expectation

Isaac of course knew of Eliezer traveling to his family in the east to fetch a wife for him. Moreover, I believe he had high expectation in his waiting for Eliezer to return with his bride. Now in the cool of the evening he saw camels coming, he must have been excited and started to walk towards them.  

Perfect setting

I believed that Rebekah knew that they now were approaching where Abraham had his camp and on her camel, she must have felt the excitement when gazing into the mountain land ahead. From the top of a camel, you have a good view of the terrain in front, and there a man came towards them. I think she jumped down from the camel, she probably didn’t wait for the camel to kneel, she just jumped in excitement onto the ground and said to Eliezer; “Who is that man there walking across the field to meet us?” God had picked the perfect setting for two people to meet; they both had high expectations, excitement, with some uncertainty.

A young girl and the man that longed for her

Except Eliezer and his men, Rebekah and Isaac were alone, a young girl, may be 14 or 15 as the custom was when marrying, and the man Isaac, 40 who probably had been longing for God to give him a wife for many years. Finally, she was there on the mountain area of Kiriath-Arba, in the evening under the stars, and I believe the moon did shine too. 

He loves you

My advice to young men and young girls is to be patient, wait for God to pick the place and time, He knows both of you, and He knows all that surrounds you, what you have been through, good or bad. He is the God who heals you, and prepares you, He has all the information to set it up with perfection, He is the master and He loves you.

 A gift from God

Then Isaac took Rebekah into his mother’s tent and he loved her. The Hebrew word for love here is aheb; it means to love emotionally, but also to be a friend. Isaak loved Rebekah as a wife, but he also became a good friend to her, treating her with respect because he knew she was a gift from his awesome God. 

Questions

  1. Was Isaac a rich man?
  2. Why did not Isaac pick a wife himself?
  3. What should people do today to find a mate to marry?   

ASV notes on Genesis 21:1-13 and questions

Isaac and Ishmael

Not prepared

God in his grace came to Sarah, what He did we don’t know, but God kept his promise and the laughter Isaac was born. When Isaac was about 3 years old Sarah and Abraham stopped nursing him as a helpless child and started the teaching and demanding period. Today they nurse children far too long; the children enter school not prepared for it.  

He did it again

Isaac was now at least 3 years old, probably 5 or 6, that made Ishmael about 19, 20 years old. Ishmael was grown up; he was old enough to know not to mock the 5/6 year old Isaac. The normal scenario would have been that Ishmael bothered Isaac and Sarah talked to him and Ismael stopped doing it, but when he thought nobody saw him, he did it again.

As an inferior

Then Sarah talked to her maid Hagar, and she also talked to Ishmael, but in a respectful way, Ishmael was about 20 and Hagar knew that God had promised to make him a people. Ishmael also knew he was to become the father of a nation and I think that his high thoughts of himself made him treat Isaac as an inferior.

Family matter

When the mocking didn’t stop Sarah went to Abraham asking him to send Hagar and her son away from them. This bothered Abraham and he didn’t know what to do, he loved his son Ishmael also. This was just a family matter, quit normal for a family to have some trouble like that, especially if you have two wives.

The blessing

However, God found it important enough to intervene; He spoke to Abraham and told him to listen to Sarah and do as she said. God was to look after both Isaac and Ishmael not because of them, but because of Abraham, God blessed the descendants of His prophet. Abraham was in the center however, God blessed all around him also. It is the same with you today, if you follow Jesus God will bless all connected to you too, and they are a blessing to you, it is not because of them, but it is how God relate to you through Jesus.

Questions

  1. Do God love you?
  2. Do God understand You?
  3. Do God have a way to all your problems?