Providential Opportunities

Providential Opportunities

Where are you today? Is someone quarreling with you? Are you experiencing someone’s hatred? As hard as it is to hear, you are being given opportunities for faithfulness. Don’t shrink back from them. Don’t wish them away. Don’t curl up in the fetal position and engage in self-pity. See these moments as opportunities to be faithful knowing that the Lord who is faithful is with you. 

I was recently struck anew by reading Genesis 26. It’s the story of Isaac dwelling in Gerar. The story is familiar. We might read it in “like father, like son” fashion. As Abraham told Abimelech that Sarah was his sister, Isaac did the same. Yes, we sometimes learn from our parents. Even the patriarchs passed on what was not good.  But that’s not what struck me.

There was a famine in the land and the Lord told Isaac not to go down to Egypt but to dwell in the land of Canaan. There is direction and wisdom here. In other words, Egypt was forbidden by divine precept, but the land of Promise remained open before Abaraham’s heir.  So, he thought it wise to go to Gerar. While there he prospered but also encountered conflict. The Philistines were quarreling with him and displacing him. They chased him from water, which was needed in the best of times but especially during famine.  But eventually we read in Genesis 26:22,

And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

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