Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30)

Monday, June 1, 2020

2020.06.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 26:23–25

Questions from the Scripture text: Where does Isaac go in Genesis 26:23? Who appears to him (Genesis 26:24)? When? What does He call Himself? What does He tell Isaac not to do? Why? What does He say that He will do? How does Isaac respond now (Genesis 26:25)? Upon what does he call? What else does he do there? 
It seems like a moment in which things are going well for Isaac. Presumably, he lived at Rehoboth until the famine ran its course, because Genesis 26:23 tells us that he has gone up to Beersheba. Just as when he had first moved to Gerar, Yahweh now appears to him.

Perhaps we would not expect an appearance of the Lord here—when things have already been going well and are now continuing to look up. But the Lord may be teaching us something by the timing, namely that we need Him no less when things appear to be going better with us.

And the Lord does choose when to make Himself known to us. We cannot conjure Him up on command. Sure, there are certain feelings that we might reliably be able to produce with right music and ambience, but this is not the genuine presence of the Lord. The bottom line for Isaac is that Yahweh sovereignly, freely chooses when to appear to him.

There is much packed into His introduction, “I am the God of your father Abraham.” For, God had been a God of mercy, grace, power, faithfulness, promises, provision, and more to Abraham. Isaac had been present for some of his father’s most vivid encounters with this God (cf. Genesis 22). God is emphasizing, “I am still the same God that I was in the days of Abraham.”

And one of the main things that God had shown Himself to be with Abraham was a covenantal God. He is God who binds Himself to particular individuals, and binds particular individuals to Himself. And He includes the descendants of those individuals in this binding covenant. So, God says here, “I am with you” and “I will bless you and multiply your seed” and “for My servant Abraham’s sake.” Not only is God emphasizing that He is still the same God; He is emphasizing that He is specifically dealing with Isaac according to the same gracious covenant.”

Hasn’t the Lord already communicated this content? He has. But we are a people who need reminding. Weekly. Daily. Continually. Isaac is still susceptible to live defensively out of other fears, instead of living dutifully out of the fear of the Lord. He needs the command to be repeated, “do not fear.” And so, he needs the repetition of the theological truth that will strengthen him to keep the command, “I am the God of your father Abraham… I am with you.”

God, of course, comes to us each Lord’s Day, every day in our personal and family worship, and continually in our life of prayer and meditation before God; and, He says something similar but even better. “I am the God and Father of your Lord Jesus Christ. I am Your Father in Him, and I am with You in Him, by My indwelling Spirit.”

We still need reminding, like Isaac. And what glorious truths they are, that God has given to us to remember!
When do you get reminders from God of who He is, and what He is for you/does for you?
Suggested songs: ARP44A “O God, We Have Heard of Your Works” or TPH243 “How Firm a Foundation”

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