Old Testament Reading: Genesis 25 & 26
Psalms Reading: Psalm 15
New Testament Reading: Matthew 14
Abraham was a man of incredible faith. God made astounding promises to Abraham, and Abraham believed God – and this was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham lived a long and faithful life of service to God, then, as recorded in Genesis 25, Abraham died.
We’re picking up the story in Genesis 26 – after Abraham was dead and gone. Genesis 26 starts by telling about a famine in the land that was so bad that Isaac (Abraham’s heir) had to move to have enough food to eat.
Then we find this amazing encounter in Genesis 26:2-6, “The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, ‘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 earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.’ So Isaac stayed in Gerar.”
- To give Isaac and his descendants all these lands
- To confirm the oath God has sworn to Abraham
- To make Isaac’s descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky
- To bless all nations on earth through Isaac’s offspring (Jesus)
And did you notice why God extended all of these promises to Isaac? “Why” is recorded in verse 5: “because Abraham obeyed me and did everything (emphasis added) I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”
Did you catch that? Isaac was promised that he would receive incredible blessings because his dad had obeyed God and had done everything God required.
A couple of years later, in Genesis 26:24, we read, “That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”
Again, God extended blessings to Isaac because of Abraham’s faithfulness.
And oh yeah, most of that obedience to God was before Isaac was even born.
We’ve heard about the blessings for ourselves if we follow God – especially eternal life in the Kingdom of God. We don’t often think of the blessings for our descendants because of our faithfulness to God.
When I was young, my dad would have us memorize scripture. One of those verses he had us memorize was Psalm 37:25 which says, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”
I think the point my dad was trying to make was that we needed to be righteous, and God would never forsake us. But I remember thinking something like this at the time: “I’m glad my dad is righteous, because in spite of my not necessarily being righteous, I will be blessed because of my dad’s righteousness.”
Now that I’m old, I recognize that the decisions I made, and the example I demonstrated had an impact (for good or for bad) on my kids. As a result, they have picked up both some of my good traits and some of my bad traits. I wish now that I had demonstrated more good examples and fewer bad examples – not only for my own benefit, but also for the benefit of my children.
Now let’s talk about you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a teen, a parent, a grandparent, young, or old. The most important thing you can do with your life is to obey God, and do everything He requires. This will guarantee you eternal life in God’s coming kingdom, and may also give you many blessings in this life (not necessarily including health and wealth). But in addition to your blessings, you may also pass along an inheritance of faithfulness to God to your kids – even those unborn. And then they too can have incredible blessings.
So, if you love your kids, obey God.
- What are all the benefits/blessings you see to obeying God? Which have you already enjoyed? Which are you still looking forward to?
- How are you doing in the faithfulness department? Will God be able to tell your descendants that you obeyed Him, did everything He required, and followed His laws?
- What did God reveal about Himself to you today?