Genesis 26

1 Another famine struck the land, and Isaac moved around to find pasture for his livestock.
2 God warned Isaac not to go to Egypt. This was probably to help prevent similar problems to those that Abraham went through during the previous famine.
3 Even though our current situations may seem difficult, we must stay if God tells us to.Here God confirms that the promise He made to Abraham was to be passed on to Isaac.
5 Abraham's obedience set him apart from other men. This is not to say that God is obligated to bless us when we obey Him, but this is His gracious provision. And, like Abraham, we may not see the fulfillment of that blessing during this lifetime. As Christians, we should recognize that the great inheritance we have is in heaven, not here.
7 What you don't want to do is pass on your bad behavior to your children. For Abraham, this deception was literally a half lie. However, for Isaac, this was an outright lie. Even though God had just confirmed His promise that Isaac would have many descendents, he was afraid that men would kill him and take his wife. We must have enough faith to affect our behavior, even if circumstances are difficult.
8 As with all lies, Isaac and Rebekah were found out. We should be very aware that all lies will be found out. Even if we die before a lie is exposed, even if we have fooled everyone, God knows all things, and He will judge all things.
9 Abimelech had to confront Isaac. When we get caught in a lie, it always produces embarrassing situations.
10 Abimelech could see that this small deception could have had national implications. While the same is true today, we don't take these situations seriously, even though we should.
11 Instead of trusting God's protection, Isaac put himself in a situation where he had to be assured by a pagan king that he would be protected.
12 Isaac might have rented a field to farm.A hundred-fold crop is unimaginably successful. Even with our modern farming techniques, it is difficult even to get a 40-fold crop of wheat. I was able to demonstrate this at a Bible study by passing out heads of wheat to everyone and having them count the number of grains.
13 God blessed Isaac immensely. Even though we tend to focus on the few errors these patriarchs made, we should recognize that their day-to-day lives were based on obedience and reverence to God.
14 With success comes envy. When we see someone else prosper, we should be happy for him, especially if it is God who is causing him to prosper.
15 This envy led to a campaign to drive Isaac away. No doubt there was prejudice involved since Isaac was of a different nationality and religion.
17 Isaac complied with Abimelech's request and moved away from the city to a nearby valley. It is best to avoid confrontation as long as you can do it without being disobedient to God.
18 Isaac followed in his father's footsteps and honored his father's memory.
19 A well of running water was probably more valuable than one where you had to drop a bucket to fetch water.
20 But again, Isaac had problems with the local herdsmen. They ended up "stealing" the well by forcing Isaac to move away.
22 By this time either the herdsmen were tired of fighting, or Isaac had moved far enough away to satisfy them.
24 God appears to Isaac and confirms the promise He gave earlier. God often has to remind us of what He has promised us. When we forget, we are more likely to stray from obedience.
25 Like his father, Isaac built a place of worship where there was not one before. This is the kind of behavior we want to pass on to our children.
28 Even though Isaac was far away now, the local king was still uneasy. He did not deny that he "hated" Isaac and had treated him rudely, but he did want to protect himself from the possibility that Isaac would later attack him.
29 Isaac probably wasn't fooled by this political double-speak, but he was willing to overlook it. He honestly had no intention of attacking the nearby city.
30 Isaac treated his enemies hospitably, even though they had not or would not do likewise.
31 Peace here simply means absence of outward hostility. The only way true peace comes about between people is when they love God first, and also love each other.
34 Esau took two local pagan women to be his wives. He was not following the example of his father.
35 If you marry without the approval of all the parents involved, expect that there will be strife.