Summarize what you read in one paragraph: In these chapters, the story of Genesis and of God’s chosen family shifts from Abraham to Isaac and his two sons, Jacob and Esau. We read about the birth of Jacob and Esau, and then see a quick snapshot of the kind of men they grow into, highlighted by the story of Esau rashly giving up his birthright to Jacob in return for a bowl of stew. Then the narrative returns to Isaac, where there are a lot of parallels between his life and the life of his father, Abraham. We see him encounter a famine, but instead of suffering he is blessed with abundance. We see him make the same mistake Abraham made by lying about his wife being his sister. We see him re-dig the wells that Abraham had dug originally. We see him build an altar to the Lord, and we see God promise to bless all nations through him and his offspring.
What is one key verse?
“Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
Genesis 26:3-5 (ESV)
What I noticed in this scripture is that God committed to blessing Isaac and his descendants before Isaac had really committed to God. Isaac doesn’t call on the name of the Lord until later, in 26:25, but he does respond to what God says in this verse with obedience, by remaining in Gerar instead of going down to Egypt. Perhaps it was God’s unwavering commitment to his family that gave Isaac the confidence to trust and obey him, and eventually call on him himself.
How does what you read change your vision of God?
What this passage shows me is that God isn’t waiting for us or depending on us to figure out what he’s going to do next. He follows through on his promises. He is also full of grace and blesses those who haven’t done anything to deserve it.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
God has called each of us to our place in life for a specific reason. He has never made a mistake, ever. This helps me to know that I am exactly where I am meant to be, doing exactly what I am meant to be doing. It also helps me to appreciate and love all of the people who are in my life, in whatever capacity that may be, because they have been intentionally placed there by God.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
I want to be more confident in my standing with God because of this passage. I was not chosen because of my worthiness to begin with, in fact it is God who makes me worthy, and that is not something I initiated. As long as I continue to respond with obedience, and repent when I don’t, I can be sure that God wants to bless me.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
Like Isaac was blessed because of what his father did before him, we are blessed because of what Jesus did before us. God worked through Isaac and his descendants because Abraham obeyed God and was faithful to him. In the same way, we are a part of God’s family because Jesus was obedient, even to the point of death.