Isaac experiences famine in the land, like his father Abraham did. God knows that by his father’s example, Isaac might think to go to Egypt. But, God tells him to stay and trust the covenant God made with his father and now with him. Isaac is still in the area ruled by Abimelech…this is not same man that Abraham made peace covenant with…Abimelech is not a person’s name, it is a title, like King, Pharaoh, or Caesar. Abimelech is the ruler of the Philistines.
We find that Isaac also learned something else by example…that it would be OK to lie and say his wife was his sister…as men might kill him to have her. Isaac’s lie was worse because there was no truth in it, while Abraham’s was half truth…but both were lies. It had turned out well for Dad..he got his wife back and valuable gifts besides! Well, Abimelech figures it out and sets Isaac straight.
Isaac stays in Abimelech’s territory…where he had lived with his father for many years. He plants seed in famine and reaps 100 fold. He greatly increases in wealth and prestige. Due to envy, the Philistines fill his water wells with dirt. Abimelech does not want trouble and asks Isaac to move….so Isaac moves further out. He digs the dirt out of the filled in wells, and digs two new wells, but there is still quarreling and enmity. He moves further out and digs another well, this time no quarreling. He is happy to have found a broad place.
Isaac goes to Beersheba, the place where Abraham had made peace covenant with Abimelech of his days. There God reminds Isaac that He is the God of his father but also his God, who will bless him too. Isaac builds an alter and worships…like his father taught him. In the rest of the chapter, we see Isaac making peace covenant with Abimelech…like his father did.
Do you see the pattern? Like father, like son. Parents be careful of the examples you set before your children. They watch everything..and will likey do the same. Always be a good example! Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way they should go ad when they are old, they will not depart from it.”