Genesis 26:6-35 Isaac’s Troubles in Gerar CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
He Stayed Too Long, v. 6
When God told Isaac to dwell in Gerar, he told him to “sojourn.” To sojourn means to stay as a temporary resident. To dwell means to live, reside, inhabit or occupy as a place of residence. Notice, that it doesn’t say anything about being there temporarily. So, evidently Isaac planned on hanging around in Gerar longer than God planned. He was dwelling there instead of sojourning there. That’s probably because he prospered so much in verse 12.
He Lied Like Abraham, v. 7-11
There’s an old saying, “like father, like son.” Abraham lied to Pharaoh and Abimelech about Sarah. So, Isaac lied about Rebekah. His motive was fear. He was afraid that these descendants of Ham (Genesis 10: 14) would kill him to get his wife.
He Prospered Too Much, v. 12-13
Isaac produced a hundredfold in the first year that he sowed in the land. This is the maximum production found in Mark 4:20. Like his father, he became very great in a foreign land (Genesis 13:1-2).
He Was Envied, v. 14-16
Envy was the motive that led the Pharisees to deliver Jesus Christ to Pilate. Envy caused Joseph’s brothers to sell him into slavery. And envy caused the Philistines to stop up the wells that Abraham originally discovered so that Isaac would have to move away from them in order to find water. Evidently, God was behind this because it was time for Isaac to go.
He Had to Move to Find Water, v. 17-23
Isaac kept moving until the herd men of Gerar left him alone. Each time he found water, they would claim the well and take it away from him so that he would have to keep moving. Water is a valuable physical resource which has significant political and municipal value today. That’s because it is required for life and there is only so much of it to meet the needs of the growing population. Of course, spiritual water is of even more value than this natural resource according to John 4:10-14; 7:37-39; Revelation 22: 17.
Notice, that when he finally got away from the Philistines, the Lord appeared to him again (26:24-25). It was like confirmation that he had made the right move.
He Made a Peace Treaty He Couldn’t Keep, v. 26-31
The agreement between Abimelech and Isaac was that neither would hurt the other. However, Isaac knew that Abimelech hated him (v. 27). So, there was no way that this treaty could stand. God had already told Abraham that he would give him this land. And in order to get it, he was going to have to take it by force (Joshua 13:2-3). Of course, this set up a long lasting rivalry between the Jews and the Philistines (Judges 3:1-3; 3:31; 10: 6-7; etc.).
As we can see by this failed peace treaty, there will be no peace in the Middle East. The first time that there will be lasting peace there will be when the Lord Jesus Christ returns.
Eventually, Isaac winds up in Beersheba (26:32-33) and Esau gets involved in some mixed marriages that are a grief to his parents (26:34-35).