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His Canaan Famine - Faith Test

Now when it came to Isaac -- he too, knew that the land of Canaan had been promised to his father Abraham, and to the generations that were to come after him. And yet, Isaac still decides to leave the land, just like his father Abraham had done. And sort of like God had done with Abraham, the Lord would come and pay a personal visit to Isaac -- by reminding him of that same Abrahamic Covenant.

(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 26:1-6)

Short Recap?

In the last article, we'd taken a look at how different Esau and Jacob would be, even though they were born as twins. And this would become even more apparent, as they grew into men.

For we find that Esau was far more daring and adventurous than Jacob was. For he was a hunter and a conquer of sorts.

But when it came to Jacob, the Sacred Record informs us, that he'd kept more to himself:

"The boys grew up, and Esau became a skilful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents." -- Genesis 25:27

Make no mistake, the Sacred Record makes it quite clear -- that the two men were definitely, headed in different directions.

We'd had also taken a look, at how Esau (in a moment of weakness) had basically given away his birthright, for a bowl of stew.

And although Jacob is constantly slammed for doing this to Esau -- we must keep in mind, that Jacob didn't force Esau to do anything.

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In Fact -- Esau Despised His Birthright?

As a matter of fact, Esau was his own man, and did he did things when he wanted to do them. And actually, there was no way that Jacob could have forced him to do anything. And perhaps, this is why the Sacred Record makes it clear, that when it was all said and done -- Esau had despised his birthright. For he'd deemed it, as being useless: "Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright." -- Genesis 25:34

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Isaac's Canaan Famine -- Faith Test?

However that may have been, we now begin to move forward from within our journey. And it's at this time, that we're now told, about a famine that was manifesting from within their homeland of Canaan. Now understand, that this famine would come at a time, when Isaac's household was just starting to get settled. Also keep in mind, that Isaac would now find himself faced with the same type of "faith test" that his father Abraham had faced, when he'd first came to Canaan.

Now remember, when Abraham had first faced his "faith test" -- he would immediately head toward the land of Egypt, so that he could avoid it. And make no mistake, just like his father before him, Isaac would consider doing the same. But first, Isaac would make a stop at his birthplace, which was called "Gerar" -- so he could talk to Abimelech, the king of the Philistines.

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Not the Same Abimelech?

Now before we go further, I would like to point out -- that this Abimelech, is not the same Abimelech, that had lived back in the days of Abraham. For I want you to understand, that this particular scene -- would take place, about 100 years later, after Abraham and Abimelech had first met.

For it would seem, that the name Abimelech -- was some type of surname, that the kings of the Philistines had went by. Know that this wasn't different than the Romans -- who too, used a surname, that was known as Caesar. Or the Egyptians -- who too, did with the surname, that was known as Pharaoh. So this Abimelech, would perhaps -- be a son, or a grandson; who had descended from the one, that Abraham had to deal with.

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Abraham Placed His Trust In Egypt?

Now when it comes to the similarities, that had taken place between the events, that happened between Abraham and Isaac? Know that I personally find it, to be very fascinating? For I want you to understand, that when Abraham had first entered the land of Canaan -- remember that God had spoken to him, by letting Abraham know; that Canaan was the land, that He'd promised to him.

And right after Abraham had received this message from the Lord, he then realizes -- that the land that was promised to him, was dealing with a serious famine. And because of this -- Abraham decides to immediately leave that land, and go to a more fertile area at the time, a place that was known as Egypt.

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Isaac Faced With the Same Choice?

Now when it came to Isaac -- he too, knew that the land of Canaan had been promised to his father Abraham, and to the generations that were to come after him. And yet, Isaac still decides to leave the land, just like his father Abraham had done. And sort of like God had done with Abraham, the Lord would come and pay a personal visit to Isaac -- by reminding him of that same Abrahamic Covenant. Take note, of what the Lord had instructed, and reminded Isaac of:

"Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 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. 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 will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws." -- Genesis 26:2-5

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In All Fairness to Abraham?

Now before we go further, I want to try to be fair, when it comes to Abraham? For we must keep in mind that God had only showed him the land, that He had promised him. God did not specifically instruct Abraham, not to go down to the land of Egypt, like he did with Isaac. For I would like to give Abraham the benefit of the doubt, and state -- that I believe, that if God had done so; Abraham would have perhaps: listen, and obeyed the Lord, just like he had done many times before and after.

But God knew, that Abraham survival instincts would take over. He knew that Abraham would probably head to a place, that would be better suited, to be able to provide for him and his family. Also keep in mind, that if Abraham didn't go down into the land of Egypt -- so many of the tests, and rewards, that the trip would later provide for him -- would not have taken place.

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Who Will Isaac Trust -- Egypt? Or God?

Now don't get me wrong, the decisions that Abraham had made -- weren't necessarily in line with God's plan, and yet, God still blessed him as he went through his ordeal. For you must also understand, that the plans that God had for Abraham -- were so great, that Abraham himself, could not derail them.

So that brings us to the question: "What will Isaac do in the face of this famine?" Will he base his decision, on him fully trusting God, when it comes to the survival of his family? Or will he base his decision, by placing his trust, in his natural survival instincts -- just like his father had done before him, a head to Egypt?

In the next Bible Study Online Article

So not only do we see similarities between the events that had taken place between Isaac's and Abraham's dealings with the Philistines. But in the next article, we'll also take a look, at how Isaac tried to follow the same deceitful playbook -- when it came to his wife Rebekah? The same deceitful playbook, that his father Abraham had used, when it came to his wife Sarah, some 100 years before.

May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support

Related - Bible Study Online Articles - Links

Start Reading a Different - Bible Study Online Series:

God Creates the Earth

The Sons of God - The Daughters of Men

The Introduction of Abraham

The Birth of Isaac


Jacob - The Path of Uncertainty

Jacob - Wrestles with God

Joseph the Favorite Son

Joseph the Overseer of Egypt

The Unveiling of Joseph

Continue Reading - Current Bible Study Online Series:

28) The Twelve Rulers of Ishmael

29) The Birth of Esau & Jacob

30) Esau & Jacob - The Birthright


32) Isaac Caught in a Lie

33) Isaac and the Envious King Abimelech

34) The Battle of the Wells

Added to Page: 34) Abimelech & Isaac Makes An Oath

35) Esau the Rebellious

36) Isaac's Favorite Son Esau

37) God has Checkmate

38) Rebekah's Reaction

39) Jacob - Loyalty or Deception

40) Deceitful Hearts

41) Esau the Son of War

42) Esau's Heart of Vengeance

43) Jacob - The Path of Uncertainty

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