When times are bad and family funds and food are low what principles do we need to cling to? What is priority? Geness 26 deals with if and how God can supply in really difficult times.
Well obviously clinging to Jesus is Job 1. To distance ourselves from our Provider is asking to go it alone. And God may let that person go hungry to show him that all good things come from God. (Rom 8.28,32).
In Genesis 26 Isaac is faced with a severe famine in the land of Israel. Food for man and cattle are running out. What should he do to feed his family? Egypt has food. He gets part way to Egypt and then receives a 911, flashing red light alert from God:
“And the Lord appeared to him there and said, ‘Do not go to Egypt. Do as I say, and stay here in this land. If you do, I will be with you and bless you. I will give all this land to you and to your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father.’ (Gen 26.2-3 NLT).
Isaac suddenly has to decide to listen to God or his empty stomach. What would we do? Follow ‘common sense,’ human reason or our holy provider? Isaac stays in the land and what happens?
“That year Isaac’s crops were tremendous! He harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. He became a rich man and his wealth only continued to grow.” (Gen 26.12-13 NLT).
God can single out and bless even in a general famine, hard times. God can deal differently with His children than with those who do not love God.
- When the deep famines arrive we see the importance of being saved, in God’s family, where His umbrella of protection rests.
God deals with different children differently. God wants some of us to go through the famines, the fiery furnace of affliction with the rest of the land. It is not all ups and upper ups. Later Isaac is asked to leave this region by the Philistine king, Abimelech. (Gen 26.16). The king can’t handle Isaac’s being so blessed.
- In tough economic times be creative. Reconsider options that were dismissed during better times.
- Downsize. There are hidden blessings in cheaper housing and older vehicles. Live simple. I have a business friend who bought two used mobile homes for about $5000 each and fixed them up. I have another friend who bought a large utility shed. Roger had it insulated, wired and plumbed, expanded – all for about $30,000. That included a 24′ loft and addition. Think outside the box!
- I have another friend who just made a ridiculous offer on a HUD home that was near default. He got it.
- Avoid GET-RICH-QUICK schemes and dirty money jobs. A fellow told me two weeks ago that he wrote a bad check(s) to get money to feed his family. But now he is in jail and cannot even look for work. He’s worse off. God can let our life get messy to get our attention. Crises are like wringing out a muddy wash cloth. They squeeze out the dirt.
- When feeling low, when our faith is scrapping bottom, that is not the time to be making big decisions. Run to the Word and the prayer closet! Wait!
(Erwin Lutzer’s Bible Broadcasting Network message contributed to this post. His “Running To Win” program can be found on radio, podcast or online)