NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passages: Genesis 25:21-26, 29-34; 26:1-6
— How have others shaped your spiritual life? How are you shaping the spiritual lives of others?
— Why do you think it is important that God’s own faithfulness, and not ours, secures His promises and grace?
— How have you lacked trust in God this week? Confess those times to God and turn those situations over to Him.
Food for Thought:
Read Genesis 26:1-11. As we read through the accounts of Abraham and Isaac, we discover several parallels between them.
Both had barren wives and were provided sons through God’s intervention. Both received the covenant promises from God. Both set out for Egypt during famines. And both lied about their wives being their sisters. These parallels are so striking that some go so far as to question the historicity of the accounts. It just seems too convenient, too much like a literary device.
Genesis 26:1 anticipates this concern and addresses it head-on. The earlier famine Abraham experienced is referenced at the beginning of the one Isaac encountered, deliberately distinguishing the two. This is not a rehearsal of the earlier famine. This is history, not merely a literary device.
It is important that we understand the historical nature of the accounts of Abraham and Isaac. The shared patterns between father and son remind us of God’s authority and power, but they also show us how one generation influences the next — for better or worse. Like Abraham, we all leave a spiritual legacy behind us.
Twice in his life, Abraham lied about his wife being his sister because he worried for his own life (Genesis 12:10-20, 20:1-18). In this passage, we see the son repeat his father’s mistake, and once again the lie is exposed.
What is interesting in this account is that the person who confronted Isaac for his lie was Abimelech, the same name of the king who confronted Abraham about his lie in Genesis 20. It is possible this was the same man, or it could have been a son or a grandson sharing the same name. Some believe “Abimelech” may have been a title, much like Pharaoh.
Regardless of who this Abimelech was, this repeated deception by Isaac shows us the hopelessness of finding an upright man through whom God would form His nation. Like Abraham, Isaac was not the answer humanity needed; he was a sinful man in need of a Savior himself. Even the greatest of patriarchs needed rescue like us. They needed Christ, the Righteous One.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/gospelproject .