Genesis 26 Reflection

In the first part of Genesis 26:6-11, Isaac does something very curious. Because Rebekah is so beautiful, he tries to hide his marriage by calling her his sister. He is in the land of the Philistines and must be feeling a bit fearful. What makes this interesting is that his father, Abraham had done the same thing years before with his own wife, Sarah.

I wonder if Abraham had told this story to Isaac? Or maybe Abraham was rightfully ashamed of what he had done and never mentioned it? What would have caused Isaac to make the same mistake as his father? What could have prevented it? Could he have learned from his father’s mistake, or did knowing the story cause him to use his father’s mistake as an excuse to do the same?

As a father myself, these are the things that haunt me. On the one hand, I become very proud when my children mirror some of my behaviors, but on the other hand. . . .well, I hope they won’t follow all my examples. In the end, I guess I hope to be appropriately transparent so they can learn from my life. One of the struggles I have is how much to share, and at what point in their lives will they be ready for all the various parts of my story?

In the example from today’s reading, we see Isaac depending on God for guidance and direction. In vs 2, Isaac follows the voice of God and “sojourns” in the land of the Philistines instead of traveling to Egypt.

As I struggle with the particulars of transparency in fatherhood and how much to share and when, I hope to follow Isaac’s example and follow the Lord’s leading and direction.

Lord, keep me humble and ever ready to listen for Your voice as I seek to honor You with the way I raise my children. Guide me and give me courage to trust You. Keep Your hand on my children and draw them to You. Use me – teach them who You are and how You want them to live – either through my life or in spite of it. Please just let them know You and eventually come to a place where they are ready to commit their own lives to You. AMEN.

Steve Corn

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