Tag: Isaac

Isaac connects with God!

Scriptures for January 10th:  Genesis 25-26

On our farm in Iowa, we had a dug well that was 110 feet deep.  (Not a drilled well!) This well was about 4 feet across and my father and his dad and brothers had helped dig this well and brick it up.  This ties with the story of Isaac nearly 4000 years ago!

Because of a famine, Isaac camped in the Valley of Gerar in the land of the Philistines and reopened the wells of his father Abraham.  Wells were important for several reasons.  They provided precious water in the desert that enabled crops, animals and humans to have refreshing and life.  They provided a gathering place for communities to get this water daily for their use. (Jesus met the woman at the well in John chapter 4.) Wells also provided a means to increase a family’s wealth and provide for offspring.

Because of a famine, Isaac went to Gerar of the Philistines.  God told him to stay there and gave him the promise of the land and descendants as the stars in the sky.   (Genesis 26:2-6) Isaac obeyed and planted crops that year.  God blessed him with a hundred fold return! Jealousy caused the Philistines to stop up the wells of Abraham that Isaac had been using.  He moved on and dug new wells and God provided fresh water every time!  God met him at Beersheba and blessed him! (Genesis 26:24-25)  Isaac responded with an altar and another well.

The lesson for us is to dig for water wherever we are planted.  We dig by going to Jesus and asking daily for His will and provision.  May we, like Isaac, leave a legacy of wells of refreshing and blessing everywhere we go! May we re-dig the wells of our godly fathers!

“Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there.” Genesis 26:19

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

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Faith’s victories!

Scripture reading for November 13th: Hebrews 11:17-31

Faith in God’s word causes us to be winners in life and even death!  In fact, it is impossible to lose when we live by faith.  He watches over His word to make sure it comes to pass!  Reading about these great men and women of God who believed and acted on God’s word should inspire us to live even more passionately by faith!

Abraham obeyed God when he was told by God to take his only son, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice.  Abraham had been told by God that it would be through his offspring that the promises made to him would be fulfilled.  “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” (Hebrews 11:19)   God was faithful to His word, and provided the sacrifice in place of Isaac.  It was through Isaac that the promised seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, eventually came.

Moses was another hero recorded in Scripture who had to live by his faith.  Moses was aware of God’s word about him given to his parents.  He chose to believe God about his mission of delivering God’s people instead of enjoying the passing pleasures of sin in Egypt.  (Hebrews 11:24-28)  He refused the treasures of Egypt while looking for the reward God promised.  By faith he led the people of Israel out of Egypt and persevered as if he could see the invisible God.  He offered the passover lamb, along with others of faith and was spared from the destroying angel!  Faith lead the nation to victory and freedom!

Many others also lived by faith and obtained God’s smile of approval!  Joshua led the nation in circling the walls of Jericho and saw them fall by God’s power.  Rahab, the prostitute, hid the spies knowing God’s word and believing Him.  Gideon, Samson, Barak, David and Samuel all led the nation in victory over their enemies by following God’s infallible word!

“Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:35b)  Hebrews records that faith sometimes looked to the world as failure.  Some chose to suffer rather than deny their faith or violate God’s word.  They looked with eyes of faith for the reward God promised.  All these ancients died in faith, patiently looking to God for the promise.  What an inspiration for us!

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The beautiful land of Canaan!

Scripture Reading for February 24: Deuteronomy 8-11

In 1995, my son and I went to Israel and Egypt on a three week study tour.  In Egypt we visited the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and traced the route of the Exodus.  The land of Egypt was primarily desert and dry rocky mountains until we got to the Nile River where water and irrigation made some green areas and lush groves of tropical plants.  The land was fairly flat and sandy.  Israel, on the other hand was varied in topography and had many different areas of climate and vegetation.  The Jezreel valley was a rich agricultural region with big farms. The vineyard country was terraced and had trees and vines.  The area around the Sea of Galilee was lush and had banana and pineapples growing.  There were herds of cattle and sheep in the Golan Heights.  Shepherds drove their flocks of goats and sheep and camped in tents in the Negev desert.  It was a varied land full of milk (goats and cattle) and honey (bees pollinating vines and flowers).

In our reading today, Moses describes the land that they are going to.  I thought it was interesting to read Deuteronomy 11:8-12 in light of my own journey to both places. It is a land flowing with milk and honey! (vs.9)   It’s a land of hills and valleys! (vs. 10) God sends the rain of heaven on Israel where in Egypt,  the land had to be irrigated! (vs. 11) In Canaan, God cares for the land and His eyes are upon it to bless His people! (vs.12)

As my son and I traveled through that land, God’s presence was evident to us.  It was a special land, although it is not remarkable or extraordinary.  God’s presence and His promises make it special!  God’s promises to Israel and His faithfulness to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob stand as a testimony to all believers.  Four thousand years after Abraham, his descendants are still in that land and are taking possession of it!  They have defeated armies more numerous and stronger, because God was with them.  (Deuteronomy 11:23,25)  They are still being gathered from the nations and settling in that land after years of being scattered!  It is a land that God cares for and His eyes are upon it continually!  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!  A blessing is promised those who bless Israel!  (Genesis 12:3)

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The laughter of faith!

Scripture reading for January 10th: Genesis 21-24

In 1992 while attending a pastor’s conference in California, a man gifted in prophetic ministry gave my wife and I  a word from the Lord.  He told us we would have children in our later years.  Several months later at our home church, a visiting evangelist picked us out of a crowd of people and gave us the same word.  At this time, we already had three children and had no plans for more.  We chuckled a bit, but mostly wondered at these words and what might come of them.   In August of 1999, we traveled  to Russia and adopted two daughters!  As we had prepared to do this, our son reminded us and I found in my file one of these prophetic words that had been typed out for us.  It confirmed what we were about to do!  We laughed at God’s knowledge and how He had planned this for us!

God promised a son to Abraham and Sarah in their later years.  They waited 25 years and the promise finally came to pass.  God waited until it was impossible for them to have a child and then did the impossible!  Sarah had laughed at the angel’s announcement a year earlier.  Abraham named the child “Isaac” which literally means “laughter”.  In their old age they experienced the sound of laughter–the laughter of faith.  Every time they spoke the child’s name they were reminded of God’s miracle!

Faith puts its trust in an object.  Biblical faith always trusts in God and his ability to bring his promises to pass.  It is not faith in our ability to believe!  When God brings to pass what He promised, laughter is a great response!  God has a great sense of humor!  He always has the last laugh!  He loves making us laugh too!

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead, since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver in unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:18-21

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The Sound of Laughter

Scripture reading for January 7th: Genesis 15-17

Some people think that God’s people can’t be happy because they live in fear of the Lord.  The kind of fear that we have is reverence for God’s person, power, and mercy.  This fear leads to true joy and a life of laughter!  God Himself likes to laugh!  Psalm 2:4 pictures God laughing–at those who would reject His love and law!  Today we get in on a positive laugh that God had with Abram and Sarai after they were old and beyond human possibility of child bearing.

When Abram was 99 years old and Sarai was 90, they were again visited by God.  God confirmed the covenant that He had made earlier with Abram.  He changed their names to Abraham: father of nations, and Sarah: a princess. He promised them fruitfulness, abundant offspring and a relationship with them and their many descendants.  God would be their God and they would be His people in everlasting covenant.  He told them that they must circumcise every male child as a sign of this covenant.  (Genesis 17:10-14)  Abraham, himself was to be circumcised.

Then came the shocker, Abraham was told that his wife, Sarah, would have a son.  Abraham fell face down in reverence for the Lord, but laughed as he considered their ages. He wondered to himself how this could be.  He answered the Lord saying, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing.” (Genesis 17:18)  The Lord reaffirmed that Sarah would have a son and told Abraham that his name would be Isaac.  This name actually means “the sound of laughter”!  The joke would be on them and they would laugh in their old age with God’s promised child reminding them each time they said his name!

God has a sense of humor.  He knows how to best accomplish His purposes.  He desires us to trust Him and believe His promises.  Physical limitations and natural abilities never limit God.  As we read these ancient stories, we learn to trust God and believe that we can laugh, knowing that He will bring His promises to pass.  Issac had Jacob and Esau.  Jacob had twelve sons who became the nation of Israel.  Abraham’s son Ishmael multiplied and formed nations as well.  God’s word is true and is still producing!  Let laughter mark your walk of faith today!

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Isaac the farmer and well-digger!

Scriptures for January 10th:  Genesis 25-26

On our farm in Iowa, we had a dug well that was 110 feet deep.  (Not a drilled well!) This well was about 4 feet across and my father and his dad and brothers had helped dig this well and brick it up.  Occasionally, we would set up a tower with a rope and a basket and my dad would be lowered into the well to check the bricks and eliminate roots that were growing in through the wall.  It always amazed me that Dad said he could see the stars from the bottom of that well in broad daylight.

Because of a famine, Isaac camped in the Valley of Gerar in the land of the Philistines and reopened the wells of his father Abraham.  Wells were important for several reasons.  The provided precious water in the desert that enabled crops, animals and humans to have refreshing and life.  They provided a gathering place for communities to get this water daily for their use. (Jesus met the woman at the well in John chapter 4.) Wells also provided a means to increase a family’s wealth and provide for offspring. They were also a source of quarreling in Isaac’s day.  Rather than fight over the wells, Isaac went to another location and dug a new well.  God blessed him to find a fresh supply of water wherever he went.

Because of a famine, Isaac went to Gerar of the Philistines.  God told him to stay there and gave him the promise of the land and descendants as the stars in the sky.   (Genesis 26:2-6) Isaac obeyed and planted crops that year.  God blessed him with a hundred fold return!  It wasn’t his farming skill but God’s blessings that made the difference!  Jealousy caused the Philistines to stop up the wells of Abraham that Isaac had been using.  He moved on and dug new wells and God provided fresh water every time!  God met him at Beersheba and blessed him! (Genesis 26:24-25)  Isaac responded with an altar and another well.

The lesson for us is to dig for water wherever we are planted.  We dig by going to Jesus and asking daily for His will and provision. If we seek the Lord for direction, he will bless us, even in a famine!  When you dig a well and the hole is deep, look up and see the stars and remember God’s promise to Abraham and Isaac!  May the laughter (Isaac–Ha ha ha) of faith fill your life!  May we, like Isaac, leave a legacy of wells of refreshing and blessing everywhere we go! May we re-dig the wells of our godly fathers!

“Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there.” Genesis 26:19  

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

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The Laughter of Faith

January 9th Scripture Reading:  Genesis 21-24

In 1992 while attending a pastor’s conference in California, a man gifted in prophetic ministry gave my wife and I  a word from the Lord.  He told us we would have children in our later years and that they would be a blessing.  Several months later at our home church, a visiting evangelist picked us out of 700 people and gave us the same word.  At this time, we already had three children and had no plans for more.  We chuckled a bit, but mostly wondered at these interesting words and what might come of them.  Seven years later, in August of 1999, we traveled  to Russia and adopted two daughters!  As we had prepared to do this, we had forgotten the words of prophecy.  Our son reminded us and I found in my file one of these words that had been typed out for me.  It confirmed what we were about to do!  God does know the end from the beginning!  (Isaiah 42:9)

God promised a son to Abraham and Sarah in their later years.  They waited 25 years and the promise finally came to pass.  God waited until it was impossible for them to have a child and then did the impossible!  Sarah had laughed at the angel’s announcement a year earlier.  Abraham named the child “Isaac” which literally means “laughter”.  In their old age they experienced the sound of laughter–the laughter of faith.  Every time they spoke the child’s name they were reminded of God’s miracle!

Faith puts its trust in an object.  Biblical faith always trusts in God and his ability to bring his promises to pass.  It is not faith in our ability to believe!  When God brings to pass what He promised, laughter is a great response!  God has a great sense of humor!  He always has the last laugh!  He loves making us laugh too!  Who wouldn’t want to walk with a God like that!

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead, since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver in unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:18-21

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