Week 4: Day 3
“‘Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father.’” Genesis 26:3
Promise Continues: God’s Covenant Established with Isaac
The Genesis narrative continues to focus on the promise of children, though the entirety of the covenant made with Abraham is confirmed to Isaac: offspring, land, and universal blessing (26:3-4). The offspring of the woman (Isaac) was now one man against the world, and the question is whether godly children would survive in a world where the offspring of the serpent desired to annihilate them. The first challenge for Isaac was to find a wife who worshiped the Lord, for if Isaac married a woman who turned his heart and the heart of his children away from the Lord, the promise of future salvation through Abraham’s children would be nullified. Hence, Gen. 24 recounts the narrative of how Abraham’s servant found a wife (Rebekah) from Abraham’s relatives instead of from the Canaanites. Thereby the purity of the line of promise was preserved. Nevertheless, the integrity of the family was compromised when Isaac, like Abraham, lied about whether Rebekah was his wife so that she was taken into Abimelech’s harem (26:7). The Lord showed favor to Isaac just as he did to Abraham, for when Abimelech realized that Rebekah was married to Isaac, God threatened anyone who would violate their union with death (26:8-11). The promise was also endangered because Rebekah, like Sarah, was barren. But the Lord, in response to Isaac’s prayer, granted Rebekah children (25:21). The promised offspring survived only by the intervention of God, underlining the truth that the Lord graciously fulfills what he has pledged.
Thomas R. Schreiner, The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2013), 22. Used by permission.
Connection with Newer Testament
For the Kids
Today, keep your promise that you made two days ago. Explain how keeping the promise had nothing to do with their behavior—no matter whether they were good or bad, you would have kept the promise anyway. Explain how God’s promises to us depend on his perfect faithfulness toward us, and (thankfully) not our faithfulness toward him!
1. Praise God that our sin doesn’t thwart his promises. Even when we sin and make foolish decisions to protect ourselves, God is still sovereignly working all things according to the counsel of his will for his glory and for the good of his people.
2. Perhaps there is sin in your life as a result of Isaac-like self-preservation. Maybe you find yourself grumbling because you believe the Lord has failed to provide you with something you desire. In either case, repent of your unbelief and trust in the sovereign Lord who keeps all his promises for the good of his people.