Diplomacy

It's good to put disagreements aside.

Genesis 26:23-33 (ESV)

From there he went up to Beersheba. And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply our offspring for my servant Abraham's sake.” So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the LORD and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac's servants dug a well.

When Abimelech went to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army, Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, seeing that you hate me and have sent me away from you?” They said, “We see plainly that the LORD has been with you. So we said, let there be a sworn pact between us, between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you, that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the LORD.” So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. In the morning they rose early and exchanged oaths. And Isaac sent them on their way, and they departed from him in peace. That same day Isaac's servants came and told him about the well that they had dug and said to him, “We have found water.” He called it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.

The family returns to Beersheba and gets a couple of signs confirming that this is where they’re supposed to live. The LORD appears and pronounces a blessing. Then Abimelech shows up and announces that he wants to be friends.

Abimelech is right when he says, “we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace.” Isaac’s claim that they “hate” him is outrageous. It’s to Abimelech’s credit that he lets this go and stays diplomatic.

His choice of words, especially his use of God’s name (YHVH – translated “the LORD”) is impressive. Isaac gets this and calms down, graciously hosting a feast. In the morning they exchange oaths and part as friends.

Isaac has found a permanent home.


Please lift up our nation’s leaders today, especially any ones you disagree with. Both Isaac and Abimelech recognized their own errors and grew as a result. Please pray that our leaders will grow in similar ways.

Also, pray that God will bless them and protect them. While we may sometimes resent the way they do their job, they are overworked and underpaid compared to others of similar or even lesser stature. If we don’t have the heart to truly lift them up, then we need to grow too.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. – Romans 13:1 (ESV)

If Paul can write this command while living under the Roman Caesars, it should be a piece of cake for us.


The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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