Genesis Day 45: In the Middle of a Mess…Look for God!
Ever find yourself in the middle of a mess? Kind of a silly question—after all, who hasn’t?
Messes… I have noticed something: in the middle of every bad decision I have ever made, every bad investment I ever chose, every poor hire I have ever selected, there is one common denominator: ME! Ouch, that sort of hurts, but it is TRUE (see Andy Stanley’s May & June Podcasts).
Remarkably God shows up amid our self-made disasters—so look for Him!
Can you recall an instance when, despite all the wrong things you did, God showed up?
Pause for a moment and think. Can you identify any events?
I can. Recently, I was in a rather poor mood; you might say grumpy. And I shared my “grumpiness” with my wife and others unfortunate enough to be around me. You might be thinking, “Lovely, what a nice guy.” That is the point. I was not being a nice guy. Then, despite my worst behavior some things happened—good things. I knew my behavior certainly was not the cause—it was God.
I had to reluctantly look in the mirror.
What did I see? I saw that my behavior was based on FEAR. I was afraid that some folks would be judging me, I therefore did not want to be around them, and the result was that I was conducting myself poorly, and I was making a mess.
Thankfully, God is bigger than my messes.
Why do I bring this up with Genesis 26? Because Isaac has created a mess. He, like his father, has had his wife pretend she was his sister. His actions are a result of fear (verse 8).
Certainly, there is a lot going on in chapter 26. Consider just a few items:
In verses 2-5, the Lord appears to Isaac (first time recorded, and promises to bless him. All because Abraham obeyed (verse 5).
The king, and citizens, of Gerar are amazingly moral. Rebekah was supposedly a single woman for a long time (see verse 8), and they did not touch his “sister”.
In fact, when Abimelech finds out Rebekah is married, his reaction is strong verse 9-11.
Then, after this event Isaac prospers, and there is a significant peace treaty.
And finally, we note that Esau marries.
Rather than rant about how Isaac is doing exactly what his father did, I need to look in the mirror and admit that FEAR leads me to poor choices.
Let’s run a “mind experiment”. If you were God, what would you do to Isaac?
For me, as I read of this “she is my sister” routine, I would roll my eyes, and probably assume some sort of “lesson” needs to be taught via a harsh measure.
Instead God works through Abimelech. Then He blesses Isaac—the text says his reaps 100-fold!
Why? The text does not say.
My sense is for a couple of reasons. First, because God loves Isaac and understands his fear. Second, because Isaac is part of God’s plan for the world.
Do you think God feels differently about you? Do you think you are any less a part of God’s plan?
You might be saying, “But this is Isaac!” Yes it is. Please note, Isaac does not get a lot of “stage time” in the story of the Bible. Not as much as his father or one of his sons will. Just because he has less “stage time”, he is no less important in God’s eyes.
Neither are you.