Genesis 26:17-35

Talks for Growing Christians

Isaac Moves Back to Beersheba and Makes a Treaty With Abimelech

Genesis 26:17-35

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Lesson Number 60

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. True meekness is not often seen in the believer, but it can be.
  2. True forgiveness is not often practiced by the believer, but it can be.

Practical Application

  1. You can be an effective witness from the sidelines.


  1. Why didn’t the Philistines like it that Isaac was living in their area?
  2. What did Isaac do when the Philistines stopped up the wells he had dug, or when they claimed the water?
  3. When did the Lord appear to Isaac?
  4. What is the difference between the Lord’s blessing and the Lord’s presence?
  5. Define meekness. How did Jesus show meekness? How did Isaac show meekness?
  6. How did Isaac show true forgiveness to Abimelech?


  1. They were envious because Isaac was becoming more prosperous and powerful.
  2. He did not retaliate or fight, but went on to dig other wells.
  3. The night that Isaac returned to Gerar. The Lord did not want Isaac in a strange land.
  4. The Lord will bless, even when the believer makes mistakes and does not follow the Lord’s direction. But the Lord’s presence means that the believer’s heart is right with the Lord. Note that this was when Isaac built an altar, a place of worship.
  5. Meekness is enduring injury with patience and without resentment, even when you have the means to retaliate. Jesus showed meekness from the cross (see 1 Peter 2:23-24). Isaac showed meekness when he did not fight or retaliate for the wells (see Genesis 26:15-17).
  6. Isaac forgave Abimelech and sent him away in peace. He didn’t even ask him to apologize or to reimburse him in any way.


  1. The Lord Jesus showed meekness. Isaac showed meekness. How do you show meekness?
  2. The Lord Jesus showed true forgiveness. Isaac showed forgiveness. How do you show forgiveness? See Proverbs 16:17 and Ephesians 4:32.


  1. Isaac became an effective witness to the Philistines. How can you be an effective witness by being in the world but not of it? Remember to avoid the extremes, like the disciples who all ran away from the cross and like Peter, who warmed himself at the fires of the world.

Key Verses

  • “Isaac went up to Beersheba. The Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply you...” Genesis 26:23-24
  • “He built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord.” Genesis 26:25
  • “We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you.” Genesis 26:28

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