The State of the State

“AND THERE was a famine in the land… 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; live in the land of which I will tell you. Dwell temporarily in this land, and I will be with you and will favor you with blessings; for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.'” (Genesis 26:1-3)

I have listened this year with interest about the economy, the housing market, dollar, crime, inflation and struggling business conditions, and to top it off disease. Hopefully, your business and family are not being affected by it personally, but whether you are or not, hearing about it frequently can have a mental, emotional and even spiritual impact.

Even my wife is concerned about the future, and I as well. While the city and state in which we reside is becoming more objectionable, I’ve had this passage from Genesis 26 on my heart quite a bit lately. The story has it that Isaac found himself and his household surrounded by difficult conditions, and it’s hard to imagine how that may have weighed on his mind. As casual readers, we sometimes forget that his household was most likely substantial, with a lot of mouths to feed and a lot of people looking to him for answers. Today, he might be the owner of a small company — perhaps with 50 employees or more.

What to do?

What’s interesting to me is that when Isaac heard from God, the instructions he received were very counter-intuitive. Egypt would’ve been a safe haven for a nomadic family like his to go and find trading partners. But God instructed him to essentially start a business in a failing industry in an economy that was suffering, and in physical conditions that would not support his new venture. When there’s a famine, it’s generally not the best time to go into agriculture!

But when you have instructions from God, you have hope that others do not have!

Tell me, what did God give us that was not good!

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