he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap"
However, there was a certain man named Isaac. During this time, he went down from the land of the philistines, to an area called Gerar, which belonged to the kingdom of Abimelec. In Gerar also, the famine was great. Like everyone else, Isaac, thought about moving to Egypt, but
God intervened and told Isaac not to go, but to stay in the land of Gerar. Isaac obeyed and set himself and his family up in Gerar. Through God’s guidance he started a farm and in the very first season he reaped 100 fold harvests. Through the blessings of God, Isaac becomes very wealthy.
However, because of his wealth residents of Gerar, became jealous and wanted him out. Isaac had dug up wells to help maintain and grow his livestock and families, and because of their jealousy, they destroyed his wells. The repercussions of this will mean no water for Isaac's farm, and livestock.
Isaac shrugged this off and moved himself, family and livestock, a few miles closer to the valley of Gerar, but still in the land of Gerar. Here he started all over again and dug yet another well. As soon as he did this, the philistines came round and seized this also. I can only imagine they were hoping that this would provoke Isaac to finally move out of Gerar completely. But Isaac was not going anywhere.
Isaac did survived recession and he became very prosperous, through God’s intervention. As we are in the same economic situation Isaac found himself in, many years ago, we really must look into how he not only survived these hard times, but thrived tremendously in them.
Some things we must learn from Isaac:
- We should not move in the direction of the world: we should not follow the world's doctrines and ways of living, or respond to the natural events we face with natural instincts. We should not be easily swayed or get caught up in the winds of the world as we are taught in Ecclesiastes 11:4
- We should seek God’s plan for our lives, which is relevant to each generation: Isaac’s father went to Egypt and God blessed him there. However, God did not want Isaac to go to Egypt, the plan God had for blessing Isaac was completely different from that of his fathers’. When we seek God’s plan for our lives he will give us the wisdom to come up with solutions and the ability and resources to implement them, even in the middle of recessions. We are assured of this in Proverbs 18:12, which reads “I dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions”.
- We must stay faithful to God’s commands: The Lord blessed and brought to pass his promises to Isaac because he was obedient. When we are obedient to God, we will eat the good of the land, as we are assured in Isaiah 1:19 which reads "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land"
- We must sow generously during the time of recession (famine): Isaac followed God’s instruction and he sowed his precious seed as we read in Genesis 26:12, which reads "12Then Isaac sowed seed in that land and received in the same year a hundred times as much as he had planted, and the Lord favored him with blessings" when we sow precious seeds according to God's instructions, we must be rest assured that we will reap the rewards.
- He did something he, or no one had ever done before: He dug up a well. In those days, that was never heard of, for they had streams of water, which they used, but this became dry due to the famine. However God bestowed unto Isaac the wisdom to dig up a well; a whole new invention (like inventing a new form of technology in our day), a whole new way of providing water for sustenance. What has God shown you that is lacking in this season that you are in? What has he told you to do? To the world's eye does it seem foolish, or as a good friend will say, "illogically insane" ? Trust God, it might just be the perfect plan to get you and your family moving towards his promised increase.
- Isaac overcame resistance to his progress: The philistines fought him for the wells he dug, but he never gave up. Isaac kept pressing forward, he was persistent in doing what God has asked him to do, where God asked him to do it. Is God telling you to do something and you are coming against tremendous resistance? Do you feel like throwing your hands up and giving in? Well don’t!! If God has given you a plan, be assured it will work; persevere, be diligent and persistent.
- Isaac did not strife with those opposing him: Finally, this is one of the hardest lessons we must learn from Isaac, more so during this season we are in. (personally, I am going through a learning curve on this very point, and no, its not an easy task!) Isaac did not get into any argument or quarrels or debate with those that were opposing him, that were making his life difficult as he was trying to obey God's instructions. You see, as long as we are moving forward with God’s plan, we will come across opposition. The enemy will do his best to distract and discourage us by throwing all sorts of stumbling blocks in our way. He will use people or situations. Why? This is because it is easier for him to attack a seed than a bountiful harvest! How we choose to respond to this opposition, will tell whether we keep walking and moving towards God's plan and indeed victory, or loose focus by being distracted.
When we measure out our best to God, he will measure out his best to us, making us prosperous, even the middle of recession, showing the world that his ways are pure and sure. We in turn will use the blessing he bestows upon us to be a blessing to others, making him famous along our way.