1 And there was a famine in the land, aside from the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistine (people)… to Gerar. 2 And (The Lord) Yahweh, appeared to him and said, “Don’t go down to Egypt. Live in the land I tell you. 3 Live as a foreigner in this land and I’ll be with you, and I’ll bless you, because I’ve given you and your seed all these lands, and I’ve caused that I promised with an oath to Abraham your father to stand.
Just because I love God and obey Him doesn’t excuse me from the challenges of life. The famine hit Isaac and the Philistines, but, evidently, it didn’t hit the Egyptians. Does that mean that God loved the Egyptians more? Very obviously, from Scripture, nothing could be further from the truth. However, the difficulties did give God the opportunity to provide for Isaac, even when the earthly king Abimelech (meaning “my father is god”) could not.
… and so, the temptation, I would think, would have been for Isaac to go to Egypt, but God said to remain in the land that he would show Isaac, which just happened to be the same land that God had promised to Abraham, his father… the land of the Philistines. The hardship was a test of Isaac’s willingness to listen to God and obey. Perhaps, that’s the way I should treat all hardship in my own life… just a test to see if I’m willing to listen to God and obey Him.
Most English translations render God’s promise “I will give these lands” and I will cause the oath I promised your father Abraham to stand.” (well, “perform” or “establish” the oath, but “cause to stand” is what the Hebrew says). The thing is that, in the Hebrew, these promises are already accomplished, the lands have been given and the promise has been confirmed, even though Isaac and Abraham didn’t see it in the natural. God’s promises to me are already completed and fulfilled, even if I can’t see it in the natural.
Father, please help me to trust You and take You at Your word. Please keep me from falling to the temptation to take my provision into my own hands, and please see me through this time of need.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 בַּד, לְבַד – bad – Strongs 905 – (n . m /prep) – “alone/poles/only/by itself/a part/separation/being alone/apart from/besides/parts (lims/shoots)/bars/disease/excepts/himself/including/myself/separate/themselves/branches/besides”
 פְּלִשְׁתִּי – Pâlishtiy – Strongs 6430 – (adj) – “an inhabitant of Philistia/descendants of Mizraim/Philistine = ‘immigrant’”
 גְּרָר – Gârar – Strongs 1642 – (n . f Proper) – “Gerar, name of a town in Philistia south of Gaze, modern day Umm = ‘a lodging place’”
 שָׁכַן – shakan – Strongs 7931 – (v) – “settle down/abide/dwell/reside/lay/place/settle/fix/establish/inhabit/stay/remain/make a home/make to dwell/cause to dwell”
 גּוּר – guwr, gur – Strongs 1481 – (v) – “live as an alien/dwell together/gather together/abide/alien/assemble/be continuing/dwell with/remain/colonise/dwell/habitation/live/reside/sojourn/sojourned/sojourners/stay/staying/strangers/conspire/assails/attack/band/launch an attack/stir/incite/afraid/dreaded/stand in awe/fear/revere/be terrified”
 אֵל – ’el – Strongs 411 – (plural demonstrative pronoun) – “these/those”
 קוּם, קָמָי, תְּקֹומֵם – quwm – Strongs 6966 – (v) – “to stand/get up/arise/rise up/stand up/endure/be valid/be proven/be fulfilled/establish/confirm/be confirmed/impose/raise up/be set up/restore/encourage/bring on the scene/rouseinvestigate/constitute/set/station/make binding/carry out/to give effect to/to be raised up/deeded/dim/go ahead/erected”