And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I swear unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
My first point in this message is because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge and My commandments, My statutes, and my Laws. All has been done by faith. But the question is, what commandments did God give to Abraham? Will God give to Abraham something different than He gave to Moses? God is the same yesterday today and forever. The laws that He gave to Moses are the same God told Abraham. How we don’t know, but it said that everything that God taught Abraham, he kept and obeyed them because it was the Word of God. Based on the above scriptures, I believe that God told Abraham to keep the Sabbath day holy as well, because God made Sabbath day in chapter 2 of the book of Genesis way before Abraham. It would be practical to believe that God would teach Abraham that he shall have no other gods before the Lord or not to kill or steal.
Abraham, as we know, pleased God by faith, therefore, righteousness has been imputed to him. Our salvation through Christ is also through faith in Him. Therefore, we become righteous. After we receive Jesus our walk with God is not over. Moreover, now we are to walk in God by faith and practice God’s statues and ways just as He gave to Abraham and Moses. Abraham did not become so good and so kind just because that was his nature. God taught him to love his neighbor as yourself and be kind to them. Why did God bless Abraham? Is it because he just believed and followed Him? No, Abraham also obeyed God. How do we follow and obey God? It is through His Word by faith.
This is why God has blessed Abraham’s seed. In the book of Romans, chapter 4 we read about Abraham’s faith and trust in God. Yet, the reason that Abraham had faith and trust in God was that he was obeying what God said. Imagine, God called Abraham a man from a heathen nation where idols were their gods. What has changed his mind and heart toward the living God? A personal encounter with and His Word. The first commandment is, you shall not have other gods beside Me. When God met Moses through a burning bush, He also introduced Himself as I AM.
The Bible says that Abraham believed God but how can we believe without the Word? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. God was not just talking to Abraham what to do. God had fellowship with Abraham through which He exposed His heart and His Word. One example is when Abram delivered Lot, he didn’t take any gifts from the king of Sodom because of their evil practices. Abram knew that it is against God to commit such an adultery. Abram would not have the knowledge in these things whether they are good or evil unless God taught him so. The above scripture says that it’s not only by faith but my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. I will make your seed and multiply as the stars of heaven…
Studying the book of Genesis, you’ll find out that Abraham built more altars than anybody else. How did Abraham know that a sacrifice is needed to deal with sin and that only through sacrifice we can approach God? Only the Lord can reveal the truth. God would never accept a sacrifice as it was in heathen worship. God taught Abram about the altar and the sacrifice He wanted to see in order for the offering to be accepted. The reason Abraham built altars to worship God was that he loved God dearly and wanted to obey Him.
Abraham’s faith was developed along with the obedience. Friends, just because we believe in Christ and obey His Word the blessings that are on us will follow our children. Salvation is a personal choice and they will have to make their own choice but they will have a better opportunity if you obey God and do what God says. Your blessings will fall on your children and grandchildren and great grand grandchildren.
Let’s look into this point.
God spoke to Isaac and he said I know you are moving toward Egypt because of the famine in the land. Don’t go there because when God is giving a place to stay, He brings blessings there for you even in your most difficult times. In verse 12 it says, and Isaac sowed in the land and received in the same year 100 and the Lord blessed him. Isaac obeyed God’s voice and stayed and didn’t go to Egypt. Instead. he sowed in the land in the time of drought and received a hundredfold! When God says I will bless you, God is going to bless you if you obey Him. Because of that, Isaac became so famous and mighty that the king Abimelech asked Isaac to depart. Verse 16.
Previous to Esau the firstborn blessings didn’t make much sense and when he was hungry, he legally sold his birthright to Jacob. But now Esau saw the power in the birthright and was still expecting his father Isaac to bless him, after experiencing the power of God’s blessings over Issacs.
The Bible says that Esau God hated but Jacob He loved. God foresaw that Esau would love the first-born blessings but his heart and life was far away from Him. Jacob was a different person altogether. Jacob was more interested in God and later the Lord changed him and gave him another name – Israel, which means the prince of God. In chapter, 27th we see how the story was unfolding. Rachel, the mother of Jacob and Esau, spotted evil in the family. She realized by the grace of God that Esau was not the one whom God wanted to continue. She saw Esau being disrespectful to God. Interesting enough it was not Isaac who saw that but Rachel. Moreover, the Bible says that Isaac loved Esau especially his cooking. It becomes very personal. The Bible tells us that when Isaac became old, he became blind. I personally believe that God had allowed this blindness so that he may bless Jacob instead of Esau. God spoke to him that it’s his seed, the firstborn is going to be a blessing because out of your seed the Messiah will come as He promised to Abraham. Esau had no part in this lineage because of his evil heart.
So, let’s look at this again. In chapter 25 Esau cares less about his inheritance where in chapter 26 he got awakened by God blessing Isaac. In chapter 27, Jacob receives the generational blessings and now Esau is angry because of that and is persecuting Jacob. Here is what we can learn from this. When we come to God we may be crooked in the way, maybe cheating, lying. But our heart is still looking for God and freedom from all of these things. God can break us and deliver. Remember, God has started with Abraham who had faith in God and obeyed all the commandments. Laws and statutes of the Lord. This is where the generational blessings started over their family. As you can see, they do not follow us only because our parents believed. They will continue in our life and will be passed on to the next generation. And they will have to carry it on! This is why we must be diligent to follow God and obey His word to leave our legacy of faith to the next generation. If we are going to make this decision, surely God will help us to accomplish our mission!
God bless you! Rabbi Gennady.