Saturday, January 24, 2015



So Isaac dwelt in Gerar.  And the men of the place asked about his wife.  And he said, “She is my sister”; for he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” because he thought, “lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to behold.”  (Gen.26:6-7)

If this story sounds familiar, that’s because it is.  Abraham has already carried out a similar deception among the heathen—in fact, he did it twice (Gen.12:10-20; 20:1-18)!  The old saying is, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”  This is proof of it.

In the first instance with Abraham and then with Isaac, a famine drove them to seek a solution apart from God in a pagan land.  How often do we get into trouble when we run ahead of God!  It is easy to rely on worldly wisdom and look to the world’s resources to solve our problems.  Far from solving them, they become exacerbated.  For Isaac, it was out of the frying pan and into the fire!  He jeopardized his family by dragging them into Philistine territory also.

God reminds Isaac of His promise to bless him.  It is at once a rebuke for trying to work things out for his own way and a reminder to encourage Isaac to trust in Him.  But, rather than follow his Heavenly Father’s exhortation, He follows his human father’s example.  He lies about his lovely wife, and only when King Abimelech sees the two of them “being frisky,” does he realize that Rebekah is not his sister as he has claimed, but is his wife.  The Scripture warns, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”  (Num.32:23).  What we think is a secret sin on earth is an open scandal in heaven.  God has a way of exposing our cover-up and He doesn’t do it to harm us, but to help us—to bring us to repentance and back into the way of blessing.  Here is what the Word of God says,

He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. 

Isaac, God’s child, is rebuked for his cowardice and deceit—and that by a heathen king.  How sad when our hypocrisy is on display for the world to mock!  That is one of the sad consequences when a believer stumbles.  Why should the world listen to our message of the transforming power of the Gospel when we do not display such life-change?

All of us have weaknesses.  More often than not, we can study the frailties of our fathers and know where the soft spot is in our defenses.  Be vigilant.  Lean on God and not your own understanding.  It is wise to learn from our mistakes, but wiser still to learn from the mistakes of others.  Learn from Isaac’s failure, and be a man or woman of integrity.

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