Thursday, November 26, 2009

God Provides in Times of Famine

By Mary Vee

The advent season is a time to remember Jesus and what He's done for us. Invite a friend to come read a Bible story.

Genesis 26:1
Isaac inspected the crops one day. He lifted a fragile stalk. "If it doesn't rain soon, the plants will die. Without a harvest, we'll die."

Weeks later Isaac realized the crops couldn't be saved. He brought a wilted plant back to his wife, Rebekah.

"I'm sorry. Looks like we'll have to move. If we wait much longer, we'll starve."

Rebekah nodded. "Don't worry. I know you'll take care of our family."

"Not me." He looked up at the sky. "My God--and the God of my father, Abraham will take care of us."

"When do you want to leave, and where do you want to go?"

Isaac pulled a blade of grass and chewed on the end. He looked at the fields. Dear God. Where should we go?

He remembered a story his father told him about a city named Gerar near the sea. The king, Abimelech, allowed Abraham to live near the city during the last famine. Maybe he'll let us live there as well.

"We'll go to Gerar."

Rebekah sighed and sat by Isaac. "I'm sorry the crops died." She handed him some water. "I hope we can come back someday."

Isaac hugged his wife and laughed. "I can be happy wherever God leads us, even if we have to travel all the way to Egypt. Will you go with me?"

He tickled her until she said, "Yes, I'll go."

Jacob and Esau helped their parents and the servants pack the camels and donkeys with tents and other household belongings.

Two days later Isaac led his family away from their home. Jacob helped the servants drive the sheep and cattle.

A few hours later Esau sneaked back beside Jacob. "I'm bored. You want to have a cattle race?'

"How do you expect to have a race in the middle of a moving herd? You're crazy."

"No. Seriously. We hop on some cattle and have a race. Who knows, maybe Father will be happy the herd moves faster."

Jacob wiggled his eyebrows up and down. "The trip has been boring--I suppose it wouldn't hurt the cattle." He looked back at the servants then forward to his father. "Sure. I'll race you."

"Great. I'm riding this one. You pick your ride. Be ready when the herd reaches the tree at the top of the hill."

Jacob scanned the herd. One particular animal trotted along nicely and kept looking forward. He wiggled his way up to his racing partner and spoke softly. "Would you like to race? Let me climb on you when we reach that tree up there."

He stroked her fur and continued talking softly until a few feet before the tree. Quick as a bolt of lightning, Jacob whipped his left leg over the animal. He sat up in time to see Esau a few feet ahead.

"Kee yah. Let's go."

His partner bucked and mooed. Her head flung to the right and left as she screamed for help.

Esau cheered, "Yee Haw." His partner ran down the hill swishing and swaying with his weight.

All the heard followed their leaders running down the hill mooing.

The servants ran after the them flailing their arms. "Stop! Stop! Waaaaait!"

Isaac heard the commotion and turned. "Rebekah, quick, get out of the way." He yanked his camel left to block the cattle and force them to turn right. Another servant raced his camel to the front of the herd and continued turning the animals to the right.

As the herd turned, they circled and slowed. Once they stopped they plopped to the ground, moaned at Jacob and Esau, and rested.

Isaac squinted at his sons. "Jacob. Esau. I'd like to speak with you."

Jacob crawled off his mount. He leaned over to his brother. "Good going. Now we're in trouble."

"Perhaps. But, at least I won."

"No, you didn't. My cow came in first."

"That was before the herd turned. If you think about it, my cow was closer to Gerar."

The brothers faced their father. Isaac stroked his beard. "Did you enjoy yourselves?"

Esau and Jacob looked each other and shrugged their shoulders.

"Well, my sons. Since you've decided to upset not only the entire herd, but also your mother, you must have been bored. You two will take over the work of herding the cattle the rest of the way to Gerar in addition to your normal chores. For now, you can help set up camp."

Isaac walked back to Rebekah. "You OK?"

She took a deep breath and smiled. "God has blessed us with mischievous sons."

Several days later Isaac's family arrived in Gerar. He found a place to set up the tents and stables.

He strolled out to the fields nearby and found healthy plants. "Perhaps we can survive the famine in this place."

Now, the Bible doesn't say that Jacob and Esau caused a stampede on this trip, Maybe....

What we do know is God provided for Isaac and his family in their time of need. Before God made the earth He knew your needs.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

How has God provided for you? Please click the comment button and let me know. I really enjoy reading your answers. :)

1 comment:

  1. LOL A stampede huh? I'm surprised no one got run over. Than those two would have REALLY been in trouble



We like to read what you learned about the story today. Remember, God loves you very much!