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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.

Isaac returns to Beersheba and gets a clear sign confirming that this is where he’s supposed to live—the LORD appears and pronounces a blessing. Then Abimelech 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 great 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 recognizes this and calms down, graciously hosting a feast. In the morning they exchange oaths and part as friends.

Isaac has found a permanent home.

Always pray for our nation’s leaders, especially the ones we disagree with. Both Isaac and Abimelech recognized their own errors and grew as a result. 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)

Paul wrote this while living under Roman rule. He had experienced the imperial rule of such famous nut-cases as Caligula, Claudius, and Nero and presumably wrote Romans while Nero was the emperor.

If Paul could write Romans 13:1 under conditions like that, obeying it should be a piece of cake for us.

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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NASB stands for the New American Standard Bible. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

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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