“now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of abraham. and isaac went to gerar to abimelech king of the philistines. and the Lord appeared to him and said, “do not go down to egypt; dwell in the land of which i shall tell you. sojourn in this land, and i will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring i will give all these lands, and i will establish the oath that i swore to abraham your father. i will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. and in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” [genesis 26:1-5]


isaac was not to go to egypt because it was not yet time. his grandson (joseph) was supposed to do that. instead, isaac was to remain in canaan. in contrast with God’s call on isaac’s father, abraham, isaac was not to move, but to stay… for God had a different plan than maybe isaac did.

do you trust that God’s plan is better than yours? do you expect him to carry out his plan? our God:

  • multiplies the barren couple.

  • allows the dreamer to be sold into slavery but rise the ranks in egypt.

  • chooses the shepherd boy to be king over israel.

  • humbles himself as a baby to eventually die for us broken people.

God’s timing is not like ours, as God stands outside of time (see 2 peter 3:8).

in isaac’s trust of God and God’s perfect timing, God promises isaac that he will be with isaac and will bless him. God’s presence is promised before land is given. if blessing is the gift of life and flourishing, then we can understand from this passage that God’s presence is the ultimate provision of life.

God’s presence is the only life-giving gift of satisfaction. oh, if only we truly believed that. if only we valued God’s presence as the best treasure over material blessings. Lord, we believe… help our unbelief.

as we wait for God and the execution of his perfectly timed, flawless plan of ultimate redemption, let us spend time with him every day, seeing his presence as the wellspring of life for our souls.


Lord, help us to enjoy your presence. open our eyes to how you are with us today. orchestrate our time today so that we actually sit with you. in your grace, please help us experience psalm 16:11-

“you make known to me the path of life;

in your presence there is fullness of joy;

at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Lord, you are faithful, and we trust that you are sovereign over all things. let us find joy and freedom in trusting you. amen.

~ jm