Mightier Than We: Blessing and Envy

a. God Blesses 12-13. Despite a famine raging all around, God blesses Isaac. Isaac sowed and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. Remember that all that Abraham had gone to Isaac. Isaac started rich but then he goes to uber-rich. We must be careful to think rightly here. Isaac’s wealth is a blessing, not a curse. Often people fall into two camps when it comes to money. Either they’re in the prosperity gospel camp that says that you should seek earthly wealth because God wants you to have lots of money or they fall to the other side and they think it is holier to have little and despise those that have money. Neither of these positions is biblical. The warnings of the Bible are to not serve money but to use the money to serve. Which is it harder for to enter into the kingdom of heaven a rich or a poor person? What does Jesus say? Who can be saved? “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” b. The Philistines Envy 14-17. At the end of this section, we find Isaac blessed and the Philistines in envy. As Proverbs 14:30 says, “envy makes the bones rot,” and so they could not tolerate the presence of Isaac anymore. This envy along with some probable fear leads the people to say to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.” This echoes the Egyptians during the time of Moses, as they saw the blessing of God upon the Israelites and they said, “Behold the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us.” When God pours out his temporal and spiritual blessings upon his people, the world takes notice, and it drives them crazy. Isaac listens to the people and instead of stirring up trouble, he maintains the peace by moving to the Valley of Gerar and lives there.

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