God updates his promise to Abraham with Isaac, telling Isaac that he will keep the promise he made to Abraham as long as Isaac camps where God tells him. Isaac settles in Gerar, and continues his fathers racket of telling people that his wife is his sister. This time however, Abimelech looks out a window and sees Isaac fondling Rebekah, and calls him on his lie. Abimelech then says that anyone who mistreats Isaac or Rebekah will be put to death. Isaac then plants crops, and gains wealth, which angers the locals and they force him to move away. He keeps trying to settle down, and the locals keep pushing him out until he dug a well that nobody had a problem with. Abimelech, his councilor and general visit Isaac, because they see that he is blessed, and want to make a peace pact. A feast is had and oaths are exchanged.
I find it strange that God has to renegotiate his promise with Isaac. Is God going to have to do this with each generation? That seems as though it is going to get exhaustive, as at some point there will have to be more than one person who is important to God in each generation. Will he continue to ask things of each of them while dangling a carrot of future generations and nations in front of each of them? In asking this of Isaac, doesn’t that put God’s promise to Abraham in jeopardy?
We now see Isaac working the same scam that Abraham pulled off before him. And attempting it with the same king (who apparently lives a really, really long time). This time he doesn’t get rich off of it, but he does get protection, which is helpful as well. Isaac is caught by Abimelech, who spots Isaac and Rebekah fooling around. I am still having trouble with understanding why Isaac and Rebekah are rewarded for this behavior. Abimelech says that he was put at risk, wouldn’t it be more prudent to punish them for this?
Lessons I Learned
- God is still ok with lying and/or scams
- Public displays of fondling are just fine