It is peculiarly comforting to see that God has ever been dealing with men of like passions as we are and patiently bearing with the same failures.
When the believer falls, God is still with him.
1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.
2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
6 ¶ And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:
7 And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.
8 And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife.
9 And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.
10 And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.
11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
15 For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.
16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.
17 ¶ And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.
18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.
19 And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.
20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is our’s: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him.
21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.
22 And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
23 And he went up from thence to Beer-sheba.
24 And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.
25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.
26 ¶ Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.
27 And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?
28 And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee;
29 That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD.
30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink.
31 And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.
32 And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac’s servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water.
33 And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day.
34 ¶ And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:
35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
Genesis 26 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 26:1-5 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 26:6-12 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 26:13-17 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 26:18-35 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 26:1-17 – Isaac Is Blessed and Grows Rich
There was no harm in Isaac’s going to Gerar, as he had a distinct command to that effect, Genesis 26:2, 3. But he does not seem to have been strong enough to stand the test of residence there. He might have received into his soul that sufficient grace which is always within the reach of tempted men; but, like so many of us, he looked down and not up. What could have been more reassuring than the promises of the divine presence and blessing! But he was guilty of incredible meanness to the woman who had come so far to be his wife, and of deceit to Abimelech. Notice how the sins of the fathers repeat themselves in the children! It was a disappointing lapse from the glorious height on which he had stood when he yielded himself to God’s call on Mount Moriah! But we have experienced the same contrasts within ourselves. Now on the mount of transfiguration, asking to live there, and then in the valley, quarreling for pre-eminence. But, notwithstanding all, God’s loving-kindness does not fail. See Genesis 26:12. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Genesis 26:5 – Because that Abraham obeyed My Voice, and kept My Charge.
It is awful to realize how our sins may repeat themselves in our children. Here is Isaac following in the precise steps of Abraham, who had acted in a similar manner towards Sarah when entering Egypt. In each case there was a sad lapse of faith; but it was even worse for Isaac, with Abraham’s example to warn him. But a man may pass blessings on to his children, as well as the sad entail of evil habits.
He leaves the blessing of the divine covenant.—God had entered into covenant with Abraham, and was prepared to fulfill its provisions to his son. “I will…be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee” (Genesis 17:7). So a godly ancestor may be able to secure for all his seed a share in the divine grace and favor. The spirit that is put on him does not depart from his seed, or his seed’s seed for ever.
The blessing of his prayer.—It is impossible to over-estimate the effect of a good man’s prayers; they are as streams or trees, which go on flowing and bearing fruit long after they were originated. The legacy of a good man’s prayers is of priceless worth. He may have long since passed to his rest; but God remembers them, and answers them in blessings to the next generation. How often in this chapter we read that “God blessed Isaac.”
The blessing of a noble name.—We may all leave that, if we can transmit nothing else. To have had a father that knew God, walked with God, pleased God; who was on intimate terms with Him, and could speak to Him, as a man with his friend—illumined the ordinary nature and existence of Isaac with unearthly beauty. Let us live so that our children may be ranked as nobles, because they bear our name. —Our Daily Homily
Genesis 26:18-35 – Isaac’s Wells and Covenant
It is interesting to follow Isaac in his well-digging. Let us also dig wells and set streams flowing, which will bless men long after we have gone home to heaven. The first well was Esek—strife. The second, Sitnah—hatred. The third, Rehoboth—room. Thus is human life, too often, till it ends with Sheba—oath or covenant. But even the outward repose to which life may attain, as the result of the struggles of earlier life, may be interrupted by anxiety and trial, caused by children or grandchildren. Esau’s marriage brought endless trouble in its train. And grief of mind will sow life with thorns. Let children take care lest they give needless pain to those who love them. That which hurts tender and true hearts is not likely to carry with it the blessing of God. As soon as a wandering soul gets back to God even his enemies make peace with him; he is at least secure from their hurt. See Proverbs 16:7. —Through the Bible Day by Day