Treaty of peace


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Sunday: 11:00am/6:30pm Wednesday: Prayer 7:30pm  

Gregg Street, Lisburn, BT27 5AW

Following the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (father, son and grandson) we see a pattern of human weakness. Both Abraham and Isaac lied about their wives and claim to be their sisters. What’s worse they lied to the same man: Abimelech, the king of the Philistines. They are the classic example of “like father like son.” Jacob is not better. He has his own problems with lying. In his case, lying caused an unwanted marriage and a brother who wanted him dead. 

I love the Bible and the way God displays human weakness as it is, no sugar coating. However, in their humanity these men reflected faith and transformation. Abraham become the father of many nations, Isaac a husband who prayed for his wife and God heard while Jacob was transformed from being a twister to being Israel, “a prince with God.” 

This proves to me that we all, in our weak humanity, have what is necessary to be transformed. I mean, all we need is to be human. However, we cannot use our humanity as an excuse for a life of disobedience and sin. 

Let me show you what I mean by looking at Isaac. This man loved his wife: “And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother.” (Genesis 24: 67) 

Isaac felt for his wife and when she could not have children he pleaded with God for 20 years until God finally answered: Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins.” (Genesis 25: 21) 

Isaac was responsible his family and made sure he provided for them during the famine: “A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived.” (Genesis 26: 1) 

In chapter 26 God had revealed Himself to Isaac and had given him a great promise: The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar. (Genesis 26: 2 - 6) 

What I want you to see is this incredible promise: “I WILL BE WITH YOU.” These are not just any words spoken by just anybody. These are GOD’S WORDS to Isaac and, God keeps His promises. What’s fascinating about this promise is what Abimelech is able to witness later on when he comes to make a treaty of peace. There is only one reason why Abimelech decides to make a treaty. It’s interesting to see that Abimelech comes after he kicked Isaac out off his lands. The reason: Isaac prospered. Now Isaac has settled down in Beersheba where God again, renews the same promise: From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, where the Lord appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.” Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well. (Genesis 26: 23 - 25) 

Now, here is the precious gem: not only that God promised His very Presence and blessing to Isaac but these things were visible and noticeable to those around him. When Isaac asks Abimelech and his men for the reason for their visit: They replied, “We can plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant. Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the Lord has blessed you!” (Genesis 26: 28 - 29)

Dear Christian, the Lord Jesus Christ gave you the same promise: Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20)

This was visible and noticeable in the lives of the Apostles: The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognised them as men who had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4: 13) 

The question remains, is God’s presence visible and noticeable in my life?

Tags: peace, Isaac, Genesis, God's presence

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