Genesis 27 – Isaac Blesses Jacob

In Genesis 27, we find that because Isaac loved Esau most, he thinks his blessing on him will secure his future as Isaac would have it to be.  But God will have it His way.  Jacobs deception of his father is pretty loathsome, though; and so is the fact that his mother not only came up with the idea – but she helped him carry it out (v 6-17)!  Refer back to Gen 25:25, to explain verses 11 and 16.  Such an elaborate plan from her in short order suggests a thing or two about Jacob being such a “trickster.” Parents “teach” their children in all sorts of ways.

Notice  that Jacob has no problem about lying to his father, and even explains “getting back so quickly” by saying that is was “Because the Lord your God granted me success”, referring to the hunt for game (v 20)!  So, clearly Jacob also was not a perfect man.  But our God is forgiving and merciful.

Esau did not try to hide his hatred for Jacob afterward, as his plans for his brother got back to his mother Rebekah (v 42).  So she makes plans for him to go away to her brother, Laban’s people in Haran.  We were told in chapter 26 that Esau’s Canaanite wives made life bitter for them, and Rebekah uses that to influence Isaac to send Jacob away to get a wife (v 46).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

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Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.
/Robert

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Genesis 26 – God’s Promise to Isaac

Genesis 26 begins with the fact that there was famine in the land, and the writer (Moses) in the first few verses is referring also to the famine that in chapter 12 had Abraham venturing into Egypt.  In v 2-3, the Lord tells Isaac not to go to Egypt, but to stay in the land that He has promised to Abraham and his offspring.   God repeats that promise to Isaac in v 3-5.

Isaac and Abimelech

Isaac settles in Gerar, and in verse 7, he tells the same lie about his wife Rebekah that Abraham had told about Sarah.  Abimilech finds out (might he have been a bit suspicious to start with?), and he is not happy about it.  The Lord is taking care of Isaac as He did his father (v 12-13), and Abimilech sees his wealth and the envy his people have for Isaac, and decides it is time for him to move on.  So he went to Beersheba, where the Lord repeats His promise to him (v 24).

Abimilech can see God’s blessings on him, and so he comes to see Isaac with his commander of the army and his adviser, and makes a pact with him.  They exchange oaths that they will do each other no harm.  That day, his men tell him of the well they have dug that has found spring water.  He names it “Shibah,” which sounds like the Hebrew for “oath,” and the city is thereafter known as Beersheba.  Meanwhile, verse 34 tells us that his oldest son, Esau, has married two women of the land of Canaan.  Chapter 25 makes a point to tell us that Isaac loved Esau, so how this must have broken his heart; and indeed, verse 35 says that they made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.

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Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.
/Robert

Genesis 24 – Isaac and Rebekah

Moving on to Genesis 24, Sarah has died and Abraham is very old.  He makes his oldest servant swear an oath not to let his son take a wife from the land of Canaan, where they still live (the Canaanites are already known to be wicked).  He tells him instead to go back to “his country” and bring a wife back for Isaac. Abraham has not been back to “his country” (in northern Mesopotamia) in nearly 100 years, but that is where his relatives are still, and where he wants Isaac’s wife to come from.  The servant is instructed not to take Isaac back there, though.  God had promised the land where he is now to Abraham’s offspring, and that is where he wants him to stay.

Before the servant left, Abraham had told him that an angel of the Lord will be with him as he chooses the wife.  Take note of the prayer and the faith of Abraham’s servant in vv 11-14, and in vv 26-27.  Abraham obviously had a profound influence on him. We may not know how the way that we live in the presence of others impacts them, but we can be sure they usually take note.  We should strive to act as though the salvation of others depends on how we conduct our lives.

Rebekah (the same one from the genealogies we read in chapter 22) is the woman who will return to Canaan to become Isaac’s wife.  Her brother, Laban, appears to be in charge or perhaps just assisting an ill? father, Bethuel (vv 30-33, and 53).  He will still  play a part in the story of these people later.  Read verse 67 again, and think about the attitude today of most people toward love and marriage. What can we learn from this?

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

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Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.
/Robert

Genesis 22 – The Sacrifice of Isaac

The Testing of Abraham

Contrary to some previous chapters, Genesis 22 shows us that Abraham has really come to trust the Lord.  This is a hard chapter for many to understand. It should be pointed out, especially to children, that God never would have allowed Isaac to be harmed because it is against His very nature (one might even wonder if that certainty was actually part of Abraham’s faith). God finds the sacrifice of humans, especially children (a practice common to worshiping the idol Moloch), to be an abomination; and he makes that clear in other scripture.  Lev 18:21 and 2 kings 23:10 are two of many verses we can refer to.

It is hard to miss the irony of Abraham being willing to sacrifice his only son for God. The second half of God’s promise to him afterward is of an offspring of Abraham in whom all nations will be blessed.  That is Jesus, His only son, who He sacrificed for us. That offspring is referred to in Galatians 3:16-28, when Paul is explaining how we are all heirs to this promise. Reading that passage right after this chapter is enlightening. The genealogies of the last couple of verses may seem irrelevant until we read chapter 24.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

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Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.
/Robert

Genesis 21 – The Birth of Isaac

Genesis 21

In Genesis 21, God has fulfilled His promise to Abraham. Sarah has borne him a son, and Abraham has named him Isaac, as God told him in chapter 17. Isaac means “he laughs” (remember Sarah and Abraham laughing at the idea of people so old having a child in 17:17 and 18:12?). Whatever you sow, that also you reap, and Abraham’s earlier mistake with Hagar brings unhappiness. Sarah has weaned Isaac, and finds Ishmael laughing (the Hebrew suggests laughing as in mockery). She wants Hagar and the boy to leave, which displeases Abraham. But God tells him to do as she says, and he sends Hagar and Ishmael on their way with some food and water into the wilderness.

Beginning in verse 15, understanding has been a little difficult for me, but here is how I have sorted it out. In chapter 18, Abraham was 99 years old when Ishmael was circumcised at the age of thirteen. Isaac was born when he was 100 years old (21:5) So Ishmael was 14 then. The weaning of Isaac in verse 8 could have taken place at the age of two or even three years. So Ishmael would be 16 or possibly even 17 years old when they left.

After they leave, verse 15 says that when the water was gone, she put the boy under a bush. From the text that follows, she clearly expected him or both of them to die. The text does not say so, but it seems likely that Ishmael was either sick or weak from lack of water and food or both. God heard the voice of the boy – v 17- and her crying (Ishmael means “God hears”) and told her not to be afraid because He was going to make Ishmael a great nation – a promise He kept, of course. His Arab descendants are plentiful. When God opened her eyes there was a well of water.  The boy became an expert with the bow and took a wife from Egypt.

Abraham made a treaty with Abimilech after a disagreement over a well, that they would deal fairly with each other. God was still taking care of him. Abimilech and his army returned to the land they came from.  The place of the treaty was named Beersheba in verse 31.

(Side note: Here is an  interesting article about Beersheba.)

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

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Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.
/Robert