“Remember the Alamo!” “Remember the Titans!” “Remember the Covenant!” There is something very powerful about remembering. Sometimes, remembering can be painful because it reminds us of past mistakes, patterns, hurts. But remembering can also be a positive tool, a rallying cry when things get tough. In today’s passage, God literally appeared to Isaac and told him to remember. Each day as we open his Word, God’s precepts and promises leap off the page, nudging us to remember.
- How often do you intentionally take the time to remember God’s promises to you?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 26:1-5 (ESV)
26:1 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. 2 And the Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 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. 4 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, 5 because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What difficulty did Isaac face in verse 1? What did Isaac do in response to it?
- What did God tell Isaac in verse 2 about his decision?
- Of what did God remind Isaac in verses 3b and 4? Where have you heard these promises before (see Gen 12:1-3, 15:1-6, 22:15-18)?
- Why do you think God reminded Isaac in verse 5 of his father Abraham’s faithfulness?
- How would the daily pressures and stresses of life feel different if you purposed to remember God’s involvement in your circumstances?
RESPOND TO GOD
In these verses, Isaac, like his father Abraham in Genesis 12, was presented with a famine in the land. And like his father, Isaac’s first instinct was not to remember, but to look to his flesh to find a solution. When faced with a trial, both men forgot. We often do the same thing, don’t we? We default to the patterns of our past instead of remembering the promises of our future. Remembering God’s promises during times of trial must be important. God showed up and told Isaac, “DON’T repeat the mistakes of your father—DO remember the covenant.”
- Be still, and ask God if there is something you need to remember right now. Maybe it’s an old, sinful pattern that always heads you in the wrong direction. Maybe it’s the legacy of the obedience of your family that encourages your faith. Maybe today you simply need to remember God’s commitment to you.
- Pray that as you face the “famines” this day will bring, God will nudge you to remember.