Tucked into Psalm 23 are these words: “You prepare a table [feast] before me in the presence of my enemies.” The indication is that the Lord extended his favor, blessings, and protection to King David in the plain sight of everyone—even his enemies. This idea of God’s provision and protection, even in the midst of difficulty or among adversaries, can readily be found in today’s passage. We find Isaac in the midst of challenging circumstances and dealing with an avowed enemy, but we also see the feast—the favor of God on display.
- What happens to your trust in God’s provision and his blessing in difficult seasons (especially in difficult seasons)? What do others see of your faith in God during tough times?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 26:23-35 (ESV)
23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
26 When Abimelech went to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army, 27 Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, seeing that you hate me and have sent me away from you?” 28 They said, “We see plainly that the Lord has been with you. So we said, let there be a sworn pact between us, between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you, 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.” 30 So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 In the morning they rose early and exchanged oaths. And Isaac sent them on their way, and they departed from him in peace. 32 That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well that they had dug and said to him, “We have found water.” 33 He called it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
34 When Esau was forty years old, he took Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite to be his wife, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, 35 and they made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- When the Lord appeared to Isaac, what five things did he tell him (vs. 24)? How would these words have reinforced the promise God had made to Isaac and his father, Abraham (Genesis 15:1-4, 26:4-11)? How did Isaac respond to the Lord’s message of blessing and protection?
- What do we learn from the interchange between Abimelech and Isaac in verses 26-30? What agreement did they make, and what did Isaac do for Abimelech?
- What two things did Abimelech affirm to Isaac (vss. 28, 29)? What else happened in verse 32 that signified God’s blessing?
- Do you see yourself as one “blessed of the Lord”? Why or why not? (Also, see Ephesians 1:3 as you think further about this question.)
- When have you received the Lord’s encouragement, protection, and blessing during a difficult season? Which of his promises do you need to be reminded of today?
RESPOND TO GOD
Do you trust in God, in his promises and for his protection, when you find yourself in hardship? And can others around you—even those who might be antagonistic toward you and your relationship with God—affirm that they see something different in you (“see plainly that the Lord has been with you”)? Over and over again in Scripture, God confirms his promises, blessings, favor, and protection for those who trust in him. And, if we live with confident trust in the Lord, as those who have been blessed by him, surely even our enemies will have to take notice.
- In Christ, you have been given “every spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3). Thank God for this!
- Ask God to for his provision and protection, and for him to strengthen your faith and trust in his giving of these things.