3. Famine to Abundance

In Your Bible Read This

Genesis 26.

Here Is Your Memory Verse

If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, I repent, forgive him. Luke 17.3

Afterwards Talk About This

What does Jesus mean when he says that, "it is more blessed to give than to receive."

Something To Do Before Next Time

Examine your heart and your past with God's help to discover your enemies. In the light of this lesson and your need of God's blessing and prosperity what must you do, again with his help? Do it before next time either in person or by letter.

Written Diploma Work

Write a page about a modern Isaac that you either know or have read about. Someone who has used their life selflessly to bless others who are less fortunate.

Meditate On These Verses

Matthew 5, 43-48

Spend a Minute to Change the World

Pray For Syria – 15,000,000 Arabs. Christians there since Antioch, 90% Muslim, 0.1% evangelicals

Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.

We are going to look at the story of one of the great men of the Old Testament. His name is Isaac and this story is in Genesis 26, 1-33. We will see how Isaac went from living in a situation of drought, famine and economic ruin to having not only enough for himself, but also such an abundance that he was able to bless an entire town.

More Blessed To Give Than To Receive

Biblical prosperity is not getting rich yourself, but having enough for yourself and a very great deal more to give to others to advance the gospel and help the poor. This is Paul's goal of 2 Cor. 9.8 and in chapters 8 and 9 he explains this subject well. Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and give his life. He said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Mark 10.45, Acts 20.35.

Here Are Some Modern Isaac's –

George Muller – who provided for himself and thousands of orphans.

Dr. Dowie built a city called Zion as a home for himself and thousands more.

William Booth used his faith to help thousands of poor British in the 19th century.

Miguel Diez from Spain is feeding thousands of street people and children in Spain

and in 45 other countries.

Famine In The Land

Genesis 26.1 says there was famine in the land. Famine comes because of drought and brings hunger, disease and civil unrest. Many developing countries today still suffer regular famine. Isaac wanted to run away to Egypt but the Lord appeared and spoke to him. How did Isaac survive the famine?

Isaac Heard The Word Of The Lord

First he obeyed God and put his faith in God's word. Instead of eating his remaining food seed, he sowed it in the dry land. Because he obeyed God by doing the most unlikely thing in the most unlikely place, within one year Isaac reaped one hundred fold and then began to prosper. Sadly, not everyone rejoices when you are blessed. The Philistines envied his Godly prosperity and poured earth and rocks into Isaac's wells. Their king told him to leave. Genesis 26.6; 12-16.

Isaac Refused To Be Defeated By His Personal Failures

Even great men of God have their failings. In Isaac's case he made the same mistake as his father Abraham. Isaac was afraid of the Philistines and lied about his wife. God made sure that he was caught, embarrassed and ashamed by his sin. Genesis 26, 7-11.

We know that he repented because a man who cherishes sin will not be heard by God, and Isaac was blessed later on. He refused to be defeated by his failures and weakness because if you are you never reach your promised land. If you fall the only way forward is through honesty, humility, confession and forgiveness. Psalm 66.18; 1 John 1,8-9; Proverbs 24.16, Micah 7,7-9.

Isaac Reopened The Wells Of Abraham

The wells had been stopped up by vindictive Philistines after Abraham's death. Abraham had dug those wells by hard work and sweat in the heat of the day. Genesis 26.18.

Who Are The Philistines Today?

Spiritually, they are powers of darkness.

What Are Wells Of Abraham Today?

In years gone by our forefathers in the faith have also dug spiritual wells with hard work, toil and sweat in order to establish the church. Through our neglect and carelessness, the powers of darkness have come and filled them up. Some of Abraham's wells of faith that must be re-opened in our day are –

Wells of believing God, Gen. 15, 4-6.

Wells of intercession, Gen. 18, 20-33.

Wells of sacrifice, Gen. 22, 1-14.

Wells of rescue, Gen. 14,14-16.

Isaac Perseveres Through Opposition

There are disputes and hostility over water rights at Esek, quarrels at Sitnah, Genesis 26,19-22. If Isaac had stayed there to argue for his rights, he would still be there today but Isaac kept going. Finally, at Rehoboth Isaac digs a well and no-one opposes him. He is encouraged and prophesies, "Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land." That very night the Lord appeared to him and confirmed that prophetic word. Gen. 26,22-24.

A Final Step To Release The Blessing

Remember how the Philistines treated Isaac ? Well, now their king, his advisor and his military commander all come to visit him. Instead of threatening Isaac again they come with the most amazing lies and excuses for their former behaviour. This time they want a peace treaty. Genesis 26, 26-30. How would you treat these enemies who have done so much damage and caused so much pain?

Isaac Was Kind To His Enemies

Isaac displayed the spirit of Christ who was to come thousands of years later. Isaac chose to treat them well by preparing a meal of friendship for them and making a covenant of peace with them. There was no vendetta or harsh words. Genesis 26, 3-31. Matthew 5, 43-48, 6.14, Luke 17, 3-5. Love your enemy or he will always be your enemy. Love may win him over.

Isaac's Servants Find Water

There is no coincidence in God's timing! That very day when Isaac forgave his enemies the abundance of God was released. They found enough water for seven wells, enough for their own crops and animals, and more than enough to bless a town of many people. They called it Beersheba, which means seven wells. Isaac found blessing for himself and others by hearing God's word and by persevering through failure, hard work, hostility, and kindness to his enemies. The water must have tasted very sweet!

To Close Pray for the World's Most Unreached Peoples by Name

Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.

Malaysia

People Name Language Population
Sama, Southern (Bajau) Sama, Sibutu 20,000
Sinama, Northern Sama, Balangingi 30,000
Tausug (Sulu, Suluk) Tausug 110,000
Temuan Temuan 10,000
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