Sermon: “Establishing the Oath” (Genesis 26:1-11)
Like Abraham, Isaac did nothing to earn the favor of God. God chose to establish his covenant with Isaac before Isaac was even born (Gen. 17:21), counting Isaac—rather than Ishmael or the sons of Keturah—as the son through whom Abraham’s offspring will be named (Gen. 21:12). Isaac is the son of promise (Rom. 9:6–8) through whom God will fulfill his promises to Abraham. Ultimately, it will be through Isaac that God will bless all the families of the earth (Gen. 12:3; 26:4). Even so, the first part of Genesis 26 narrates a major threat to the fulfillment of the promises: Isaac’s desire to go to Egypt to escape the famine in Canaan (Gen. 26:1–2). What does Isaac stand to lose if he leaves Canaan? What does Isaac stand to gain if he stays in Canaan? What will be the implications of any of Isaac’s failures to trust and obey Yahweh, his covenant God? Genesis 26:1–11 teaches us something important about our own covenantal relationship with God: in order to be saved, God requires us to abide in Christ.