Envy, Genesis Chapter 26

In Genesis chapter 26, the story is Isaac's. Verse one states, "Now there was a famine in the land beside the previous famine, in Abraham's time and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar." It is now Isaacs' turn to trust God for himself. The Lord appears to him in verses 2-5 and confirms the covenant He made to his father, Abraham. In verse 7, a familiar sin appears it states, "When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, she is my sister, because he was afraid to say, she is my wife he thought, the men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah because she is beautiful." The son emulates the sins of the father. This message is to all parents and caregivers; the children are watching. Abimelek, king of Philistines, caught them in this lie and confronted Isaac the king then ordered his people not to harm Isaac or his wife verses 9-11.

In verses 12-14, we see the mercy of God, "Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him." Along with the blessing from the Lord, envy showed up in the heart of the men in the land. So much envy that they started to retaliate against Isaac by stopping up his father's wells for water. Envy is a powerful emotion. Wanting what someone else has; can cause people to make disastrous decisions. In Isaac's case, it got so bad that the king asked him to move away vs. 16. Have you ever been on the receiving end or possibly on the giving end of envy? Then you know how powerful it is. One thing is for certain that God is the answer. Deuteronomy 31:8 puts it this way, "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." When envy raises its ugly head, it is generally afraid of not having enough or being enough. Looking at our fellow sisters and brothers through envious eyes causes division and torn relationships. Embracing what God has given us as enough, Is the solution. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." God's plans for you are good, and they are unique to your life. When we envy others, we are saying that God made a mistake with our lives. This is a lie from the enemy. I have wrestled with this lie for many years, and each birthday, my heart pricks me with a familiar saying that you should be so much further in life than you are; I have learned that trusting God requires intentionality. The world will present us with lies that we are not where we should be. God knows where we are, and He knows the plans He has for us. As the story continues, we see quarreling, strife, and finally, an understanding that the Lord is in control vs. 28-29. I encourage you to read the entire chapter of Genesis 26.

Remember, God loves you, and so do I.

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