Title: When God Goes with You!
Text: Genesis 26.1-35
CIT: God promises his presence as Isaac sojourns.
CIS: God’s presence is a powerful reality in our lives.
Introduction: I think the last couple of chapters have been about trusting God.
Learning to Trust – Gen 25
Growing as you Trust – Gen 26
1. The Promise of God’s Presence (1-5)
- God’s Presence in Problems
i. Problems: A Famine; rd v 1;
- So, to stay meant a struggle to find food and water
- God gives Isaac some instructions for enduring this problem
- Do not…
ii. Promise: “I will” be with you; I will bless you; I will give; I will establish; I will multiply; I will give; I don’t know if this is a principle for life or not, but it seems to me that God always gives more than he asks;
- Gen 26.3 – to Isaac
- Gen 31.3 – to Jacob
- Ex 3.12 – to Moses
- Deut. 31.23; Josh 1.5; 3.7 – to Joshua
- Judges 6.16 – to Gideon
- 1 Kings 11.38 – to Jeroboam
- Isa. 43.2 – to Israel; to the Church
iii. God’s Faithfulness in Abraham’s Faithfulness (5)
- The Practice of God’s Presence (6-25)
- God’s Presence in Sin; God’s doesn’t abandon Isaac the 1st moment he messes up!
i. Isaac’s foolish decision made in fear (6-7)
ii. Abimelech confronts Isaac (8-10)
iii. Abimelech’s wise leadership (11)
B. God’s Blesses Isaac
i. He prospers and is sent away (12-16)
ii. He prospers and experiences conflict (17-22)
iii. Lesson: There is a famine in the land and Isaac:
– Finds water in a time of famine
– Experiences growth in his flocks, herds and workers
C. God Reiterates His Promise
i. I am with you – the promise reiterated from v 3;
ii. Isaac’s Response – ‘called upon the Name of the LORD’; Isaac does as his father and his
- Gen. 4.26 – Seth, Enosh; Seth was Adam’s son
- Gen. 12.8; 13.4 – Abraham
- Deu. 4.7 – Israel
- Judg 15.18 – Samson
- 1 Sam. 12.17, 18 – Samuel
- The list goes on: I think it means to pray, to lay your requests on him.
- The Proof of God’s Presence (26-35)
- Proverbs 16.7: When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
- Rd 26-29: we see plainly that the LORD has been with you; you are blessed of the Lord.
- Isn’t this what God promised: Future – I will be with you (v4), Present – I am with you (v24), Past (v 28) – The Lord has been with you.
Conclusion: So, we see God’s blessing in material ways with Isaac. Is it still that way today? Yes and no. I don’t think you equate spiritual blessings and the presence of God in material things. 1st, non-believers are the recipients of financial windfalls. You could argue that they are reaping the benefits of a godly heritage. But that isn’t always the case. 2nd, I know godly people who’ve been blessed by God, but they’re not rich.
Listen to Hughes in his commentary on Genesis: Today God’s presence in the lives of believers cannot be determined materially as it was with the patriarchs in the old economy, but by more profound, searching means. God’s presence will be seen by unbelievers as we Christians navigate the ups and downs of life. I witnessed an entire nursing staff and several doctors seeing this as they observed the conduct of a godly couple throughout the illness and death of their infant son. I heard the attending physician voice the admiration of all, which was confirmed by their attendance at the memorial service. God was seen to be with the grieving couple.
3rd, we have the promise of God in Matt 28.20 – Lo, I am with you always! With this promise for us, it begs the question: Do people see God’s presence in my life when I endure the problems of life?