Bible Study for September 2002:
WEEK 2: BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED
Many have wrongly assumed that success or failure in oneís life is solely a direct result of the place where one is situated. Thus, the tendency has often been to reject calls to live and serve in places which people regard as mean, where they think the future holds little prospect for them. The generality of men who fail to succeed blame their failure on their situation Ė position, place or plight. Elijah had enough to eat in famine-stricken Israel, Isaac planted and received a hundred-fold in famine-stricken Canaan, Samuel still heard Godís voice clear and fresh even at a time when there was no open vision! (1 Kings 17:1-9; Gen 26:1, 12; 1 Sam 3:1, 10)
Success and greatness does not depend on the place we are but on the person we are.
The well-watered plains of Sodom can be a bad place to be without God and
yet the famine-stricken Canaan can be a glorious place to be with God!
Whatever the physical conditions of where God has planted you, you can bloom there!
DIVINE PROHIBITION AND PRESCRIPTION (Genesis 26:1-3, 6)
Genesis 12:10-20; Exodus 23:2; 1 Kings 17:1-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Proverbs 1:10; Ephesians 5:1-4.
Egypt is synonymous with the world. It is always a downward journey travelling to Egypt. Isaac faced famine and contemplated going down to Egypt where the physical condition seems better but God prohibited him from going and prescribed what he should do. Isaac was not yet born at the time of the first famine yet God wanted to prevent a repeat performance of what happened to Abraham. Abraham had died at this time (Gen. 25:17), so Isaac had no earthly counsellor and adviser, yet a caring God came to his assistance. The prohibition was final and uncompromising. The prescription was simple and clear but UNREASONABLE to the carnal mind. A far-sighted God often prohibits us from going to places that are spiritually unhealthy for us.
DIVINE PRESENCE AND PROMISE (Genesis 26:3-5, 12, 16)
Proverbs 28:9; Psalm 19;11; John 14:23; Exodus 33:14; Genesis 15:1; 28:15-22; Numbers 10:29; Matthew 28:20; Jeremiah 1:19; Joshua 1:1-8; 23:14; Isaiah 1:19.
God is only bound by His word when we dwell where He has prescribed. There will be no grace to live in victory when we go to Egypt. Every place is a good place when God is there. His presence makes the difference!
God only gives His promises to and performs them for those who will follow His prescriptions. The Abrahamic covenant was repeated, renewed and confirmed to Isaac as a result of his obedience to the Lord. Godís presence in Isaacís life and the fulfilment of Godís promises were so evident that Abimelech, a king, could confess "Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we". Do people perceive Godís hand in your life? Are Godís promises coming to pass in your life?
DIVINE PEACE AND PROSPERITY (Genesis 26:12-22)
Exodus 14:14, 15; 2 Chronicles 26:5; Deuteronomy 28:1-13; Genesis 35:5, 10-13; Mark 10: 28-30; Hebrews 6:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:10; Matthew 6:4
In times of difficulty, adversity and trials, when we follow Godís direction through His spirit, by His word and godly counselling, peace and prosperity are bound to follow. God who sees our faithfulness in secret will reward us openly. It is very significant to know that it was the Lord that made room for Isaac and his family. It was the Lord that gave the hundred-fold increase to the seed that was sown. That same God of Isaac is still our God!
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