Prospering During Times of Famine

by CoolHappyGuy on March 8, 2009

1 Now there was a famine in the land—besides the earlier famine of Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to  Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.” 6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar. (Genesis 26:1-6; NIV)

Isaac visited by angelThese were difficult economic times to say the least. Yet during this very time, the Lord appears to Isaac with a promise of incomprehensible blessing to Isaac and his family. It is instructive to examine this turning point experience and see what wisdom we can take from it. (When the Lord appears on the scene, wisdom is right there with him.)

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

The grass will not be greener in Egypt. Too often we want to run away from our difficulties rather than deal with them. Sure, occasionally the Lord will tell you to go as he told Isaac’s dad Abram (Abraham) with a similar promise of incomprehensible blessing. In both cases God was commanding them in regard to their current dwelling that was outside their comfort zone. We need to follow the Lord’s direction rather than conventional wisdom. It’s not so much “where you are at” as much as “is the Lord there with you.”

Another insight we can draw from this is that God will give you the revelation to make you succeed. This is quite often different from the advice He gives to others. While the Bible applies to us all, a regular time of prayer (fellowship) with the Lord will enable Him to help you with your next step (Psalm 32:8; Isaiah 30:21). When you obey the Lord, he will bless you coming or going.

Your Father Abraham & The Power of Obedience

Abraham was a very blessed man. He was rich and powerful. Isaac had seen firsthand the God’s Hand at work in his father’s life. He had been a participant of these blessings. Isaac knew the benefits of serving God. When God reminded Isaac of the covenant He made with his dad, it got his attention.

Isaac had an intimate knowledge of his dad Abraham’s devotion to God and the blessings that accompanied his obedience. That is why God reminded him of Abraham’s devotion as He offered the promise of His presence and His blessing (You can’t really separate these two as His blessing inevitably follows a relationship with Him.).

You can be a blessing to those around you. As those around you see how blessed you are by your lifestyle, you can testify to the goodness of God without even saying a word.

The Lord’s blessing is a responsibility as well as a benefit. So, don’t just follow an example – be an example too!

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March 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm

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