Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What Did Rebekah Lose?

by Mary Vee

Genesis 27:41-28:5

As Rebekah pulled thread through the patch on Isaa'c tunic, a servant ran to her. "The most distressful news, Lady Rebekah. Esau said he'll kill Jacob after the days of mourning for Isaac. What should we do?"

Rebekah sighed. "It's worse than I thought. Go find Jacob. Tell him to meet me in the stable then return to your duties. Now, don't worry, I'll take care of the problem."

She folded the cloth and set it aside. "The man isn't sick, yet Esau has him dead and mourned. That boy has always had a temper worse than a hungry lion."

Rebekah smoothed her skirt. May as well get this settled. Let's see, I could send him to my brother's home. Yes, that should work. Now what should I tell Isaac. She held her hands togetherin front of her lips. I know! I'll tell him Jacob should not marry a girl from here. Jacob needs to go back to the home where I grew up to find a wife.

She opened the stable door and found Jacob brushing a camel's coat. "Good, your here. Esau has spoken with Isaac."

Jacob's eyes went wide. "What did he say?"

"Your brother Esau comforts himself after he learned you received the family blessing from your father. He intends to kill you."

Jacob ran his fingers through his hair. "You see, Mother, I told you the plan wouldn't work. What good is the blessing if I'm dead?" He paced in front of the stall. "What am I suppose to do?"

Rebekah placed her hand on his shoulder. "Listen to me, Son. Your only hope is to flee to my brother Laban's home in Haran. Stay with him a few days, until your brother's fury turns away. You must stay there until your brother's anger turns away from you and he forgets what you've done to him."

"Leave? I have to leave?"

She looked at his eyes. "Only for a short time. I'll send for you after Esau calms down."

"But, I don't know the way."

Rebekah yanked his arm. "Follow me. We'll speak to your father. I'll go in to speak with him first then call you."

Jacob stood near the doorway outside Isaac's room. Rebekah smiled at him then walk to her husband's chair. "Isaac, I am weary of my life. If Jacob takes a wife from one of the daughters who live here in this land, what good will my life be to me?"

Isaac smiled at his wife then nodded. "You're right. If my father, Abraham, found a wife for me in the land where his family lived, then I shall do the same. Would you ask Jacob to see me?"

Rebekah kissed him on the head. "As you wish, my husband." She ran to the doorway and spoke softly. "Jacob, go speak with your father." She gazed into his eyes. "Don't worry. Everything will be fine."

Jacob walked to his father's side. "You called for me, Father?"

Isaac reached his hand toward his son. "Jacob, my son, you shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. Go now to the house where your mother's father lives and find a wife from the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother." Isaac set his hand on Jacob's head. "May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you that you may be an assembly of peoples, and give you the blessing of Abraham to you and your descendants with you, that you may inherit the land in which you are a stranger, which God gave to Abraham."

So Jacob packed his things and left with his servants.

Rebekah wanted Jacob to get the family blessing. Her plan seemed successful. But in the end she lost something very special.

What did Rebekah lose?

Sometimes people who make wrong choices get good things. What wrong choice did Rebekah make? What did she want? In the end, those who do wrong will be punished while those who obey God will be rewarded. Rebekah had to send her son away to protect him. She may never see him again. How did Rebekah's heart feel?

Think of a time when you chose to obey God. Maybe everything turned out well. How did your heart feel? Maybe things did not go well. How did your heart feel?

When something did not turn out well for me, I felt sad, but at the same time I felt good because I knew I obeyed. My sadness didn't last long, but the good feeling in my heart did.

Monday, December 28, 2009

God's Gift Crossword Fun

By Mary Vee

Direction: Clues are posted below the puzzle. Have fun!
Answers can be found in recent stories posted on this blog:)

1. color describes sin
3. what Esau lost
4. Isaac's oldest son
5. color describes God's loves for us
7. Isaac's wife
9. color describes heaven
10. type of meat Rebekah used for Isac's special meal
12. the four weeks before Christmas
13. another word for "happy"

1. color describes faith
2. The son Isaac blessed
3. what Esau sold for a bowl of soup
6. color describes growing-learning more about God
8. color describes a clean heart
11. first book of the Bible

HOW DID YOU DO? click on the comment button to tell us when you finished. Answer key will be posted next week.

The game last week was a hide and seek. Did you have any problems? If you did, click the comment button to tell me and I will post a clue for you. :)


Mary Vee

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Esau Looses the Blessing

By Mary Vee

Genesis 27:30-40

Esau came back from his hunt in a good mood. "I can't wait 'til Father tastes this meat. He's gonna love it."

He cooked the pieces in a large pot over the open fire behind the family tent. He tasted the broth then added his usual ingredients to flavor the meat. As he stirred, he noticed Jacob sneaking toward the herd. That brother of mine. He's probably been goofing around again.

He looked toward the side of the tent and watched his mother mending. He smiled. I know she wants Jacob to get the blessing, but it won't work. Once I serve Father this meal, I'll receive the family blessing.

Esau patiently waited for the meat to cook exactly as Isaac liked. He sipped the broth then tasted a piece. "Hmmm perfect. All I need is a bowl."

He scooped the best hunks of meat and some broth into the bowl and took them in the house. First, I'll change into my better tunic. After all, I need to look nice when Father blesses me.

He went to his room. That's strange, I usually keep my tunic over here. He change clothes quickly, grabbed the bowl, and stood at the door of his father's room. "Father, I brought the meat you asked for. Come, sit at the table and eat of my game that your soul may bless me."

Isaac turned his head toward the voice. His eyebrows were furrowed. "Who are you?"

Esau paused. That's weird. Why would he ask me that? "It's me, your firstborn son, Esau."

Isaac's body shook. His eyes went wide. Esau set the bowl down on the table then ran to his father. He laid a hand on his father's arm. "What's wrong?"

"Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came and I have blessed him--"

Esau stepped back, "You what?"

Isaac looked at his son. "--and indeed he shall be blessed."

Esau fell to his knees. "No! No, Father. It can't be true. Say it isn't so!" He wept a bitter cry. "Father, please, you must bless me--you must bless me also, O my father!"

Isaac shook his head and sighed. "Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing."

Esau crawled to his father's chair. "It's not fair. Jacob took the birthright and now he has taken my blessing! Isn't there anything you can do.? Please, Father, you must have reserved a blessing for me?"

Isaac gently set his hand on his son's head. "Indeed I've made him your master, and all his brethren will be his servants. He will have plenty of grain to live. What could possibly be left?"

Esau rubbed tears from his face then grabbed his father's hands. "You only have one blessing? Please, O my father, bless me." He lowered he head and cried.

Isaac took a deep breath and held his son's head up to face him. "It is God's will that my blessing fall on Jacob. I cannot change that. You will be able to live off the fat of the land. But by your sword you shall live and serve your brother."

With those last words Esau ran out of the room.

While this may seem a sad story, we must realize that God said Esau would serve Jacob before they were born. Esau made an unwise choice years before this event when he sold his birthright to his brother for a simple bowl of soup. Esau thought only of himself when he wanted the soup and he thought only of himself when he begged for the blessing.

It's easy to think only of ourselves when we see others get what they want and we don't. We might feel angry or sad. Maybe God knows you'll be happier without the item, perhaps He wants you to wait for a better time. No matter what, God will take care of you and make sure you have what you really need if you follow Him.

What do you think about Esau's choice?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Best Present of All is for You

By Mary Vee

As the advent season draws to a close I thought we could talk about the best present of all. Actually the best present--is for you! The gift--is from God.

God loves you and wants you to be able to go to heaven. This color story explains God's gift to you.

In the picture to the right you can see several colors.

Black is used to describe sin, the things we've done wrong. The Bible says everyone has sinned. Lying, disobeying, taking something that doesn't belong to us are examples of sin. The punishment for sin is death, forever away from God.

But did you know God loves you so much that He sent His one and only Son to pay the punishment for sin? Red is used to describe God's love. The Bible says God showed His love for us in that while we were sinners, His Son, Jesus, took our punishment for sin by dying on the cross.

Blue is used to describe faith. If you believe Jesus died for your sins, and truly want Him to live in your heart, you can go to heaven to live with God forever. When we put our trust in Jesus we will want to do the things He wants us to.

White is used to describe cleanliness. When you believe Jesus died for your sins and ask God for forgiveness, your heart is made clean--The Bible says you will be white as snow.

Green is used to describe growing. After you put your trust in Jesus you need to learn how to obey Him. You can do this by reading the Bible, praying, going to church, and learning from others who believe in Jesus. When we choose to live the way God tells us to in the Bible, we will grow like a healthy plant.

Yellow is used to describe heaven. One day, people who have believed in Jesus will go to heaven to live with God forever.

If you would like to ask Jesus into your heart today and start serving God, you can pray to Him right now, He's listening!

Dear Jesus, I know I'm a sinner and can't go to heaven on my own no matter how hard I try. Please forgive me for the things I've done wrong. I believe that you took the punishment for my sins when you died on the cross because you love me. I also believe you rose from the dead and live in Heaven. Because Your Word is truth, I trust in You and will start learning how to obey You. Amen

If you asked Jesus into your heart, please email me at so I can rejoice with you. I also encourage you to find others who have asked Jesus into their heart to learn more wonderful things about Him.

Today's picture is of a salvation bracelet I received from my church in Greenville, Michigan.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Hide and Seek

By Mary Vee

DIRECTIONS: Have a Merry Christmas :)
Find everything on the list below the picture. Have fun!

3 wise men, 2 shepherds, advent wreath, 3 camels, carolers, ark, 4 poinsettias, dove, 7 sheep, baby Jesus, 7 angels, donkey



Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lies Hurt

By Mary Vee

Genesis 27:19-30

Jacob stepped into Isaac's room. He paused to watch his father staring out the window. He can't see anything other than light and shadows. I remember when he played catch with us. He tossed the ball right too me then ran to catch my wild throws over his head--but that was years ago. He wiped a falling tear.

Isaac's hand trembled when he reached over to smooth his blanket. Jacob sighed. I don't want to do this, but I must. I can't let Esau get the blessing.

He took another step into the room. He cleared his throatthen spoke in a lower voice than normal. "My father."

Isaac's head turned toward the sound. "Yes? I'm not hearing clearly this afternoon. Which of my sons are you?"

Jacob stepped closer to his father's chair. "I'm Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please come sit at the table and eat my game, that your soul may bless me."

Jacob's heart pounded as his father's eyes searched to see him. Sweat trickled down his neck. I hope the goat skin doesn't fall off.

Isaac raised his hand and laid a shaky finger by his mouth. "How is it that you've hunted game so quickly, my son?"

How should I answer? What would Esau say? Jacob thought another moment. "Because the Lord your God brought it to me."

Isaac smelled the meat. His eyebrows lowered as he stroke his beard. "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really Esau or not."

Jacob wet his lips and edged near his father's chair. He knelt closely to Isaac's legs.

Isaac reached out touched Jacob's neck and hands. He brushed his hand against his son's skin.

Jacob held his breath. Oh, no. What if he discovers the truth?

Isaac squinted then paused for a moment. "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." He set both arms on Jacob's shoulders. "Bless you, Esau."

Jacob slowly closed his eyes then opened them and breathed. Isaac pulled his hands away. "Are you really my son Esau?"

"Yes, Father, I am."

Isaac sat back in his chair. "Well, then, bring me the food that I may eat my son's game, so my soul may bless you."

Jacob served his father and watched him eat. Isaac smacked his lips. "Hmmm, delicious, just the way I remember."

He still doesn't sound convinced. I need to be careful.
Jacob took the empty bowl and set it on the table.

"Come near now and kiss me, my son." Isaac smelled Jacob's clothes and smiled. "Surely, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed. therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain. Let people serve you and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren. Cursed be everyone who curses you and blessed be those who bless you."

Isaac lowered his hand onto his lap. "Now go, Son. I am tired."

As Jacob ran to the barn he glanced back and saw Esau returning from his hunting trip.

How do you think Jacob felt as he ripped the goat skins off and changed tunics? How will Isaac feel when he learns the truth. And what about Esau; how will he feel when he learns what Jacob did? Click the comment button to let me know.

image from free Visual Bible Images Alive

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jacob Lies

By Mary Vee

Genesis 27: 15-19

Rebekah worked quickly to make the special meal for Isaac. "The meat needs time to cook 'til its good and tender, but it needs to be served before my son, Esau, returns home."

She left the meat stewing over the outside fire and called her other son. "Jacob, quickly, help me prepare the goat skins. We'll stick them to your hands and neck."

Jacob smiled. "Good plan. Father will think my skin is hairy. But--wait--I don't smell anything like Esau. If he gives me a hug, he'll know I'm not Esau."

"Don't worry. Go to your brother's room. I'll stir the stew then meet you there."

Rebekah tasted the sauce. She smacked her lips. "Yes. It's perfect. I'll let it simmer until we're ready."

She ran into the house and quietly slipped into Esau's room. "Jacob, here's Esau tunic. He would have changed from his hunting clothes to this before serving his food to your father. Quickly, change into this."

Jacob wrinkled his nose. His brother's tunic smelled sweaty. "All right, now what."

"Now we go out to the stables where I'll put the goat skins on your hands and neck."

She carefully stuck the skins onto Jacob then gave them a little tug to make sure they stayed in place. Rebekah closed her eyes and felt Jacob's hands. "Yes, your hand is hairy like Esau's." Next she felt his neck. "Perfect. Your neck is also hairy. Now lean close to me." She kept her eyes closed while smelling her son. "Why, you smell like Esau!"

Jacob shook his head. "That's not a compliment."

"Hurry now, let's get the food served before Esau returns." Rebekah grabbed a bowl and selected choice pieces of meat, vegetables, and sauce.

She handed the bowl and a small loaf of bread to Jacob. "Remember, say only what Esau would say. Walk like he would walk. Do what he would do. Now, go."

Jacob sighed. The goat skins scratched him. He stank like Esau. Esau's gonna kill me. He felt a sneeze coming.

Jacob opened the door and stepped into the hall. His heart pounded. His stomach gurgled. I don't know if I should do this.

Jacob took two steps back. His hands were damp with sweat. He nearly dropped the bowl. What will I do if Father curses me for lying?

Rebekah stepped in the doorway. She scowled and motioned him to hurry.

He sighed. I must go forward. I don't want my descendants serving Esau's. He squared his shoulders back to appear taller, and slowly stepped into the room where his father sat.

Jacob cleared his throat then imitated his brother's voice. "My father."

"Yes? Who's there?" Isaac paused and slowly looked in the direction of the voice. "Surely I expected Esau, but now I'm not sure. Tell me, which of my sons are you?"

Jacob took a step into the room. "I am Esau your first born." He nervously looked at his father. I'm glad he can't see hardly anything.

Isaac turned his head as if listening to the words again in his mind. "You say you're Esau?"

Sometimes we tell lies to get what we want. There are times when lying seems like the only way, but God doesn't want us to lie. How do you feel after you tell a lie? Why do you feel that way? Should Jacob have lied? Click the comment button to say what you think.

image copyright 2008 Riverdeep Inc.

Esau's Gone A Huntin' Maze

By Mary Vee

Directions: Esau's hunted for the perfect meat to make his father some stew. Unfortunately some animals walked onto the maze. Can you get Esau's bow and arrow to the bowl of stew? Come back next week for the answer.



Congratulations to MH, the first one to solve this Word Search!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rebekah's Sneaky Secret

by Mary Vee

Genesis 27:5-14

I can't let Esau know my secret plan. Rebekah watched her son, Esau, gather his weapons, quiver, and bow.

He waved to her while heading out the door. "Be back in a while, Mother. I'm gonna track the best meat Father's ever tasted."

Once Esau hiked far out to the field and toward the woods, Rebekah searched for her other son, Jacob. I need to do something quickly. Jacob should receive the family blessing, not Esau. She found him tending the sheep nearby.

"Jacob, I need you to do me a favor."

"Sure. Be right there." He washed his hands. "What do you need?"

Rebekah glanced back at the tent. Isaac must still be sitting in his chair. He can't see me. Good.

She held a finger close to her lips and whispered, "I heard your father speak to Esau a moment ago."

Jacob laughed. "He talks to him all the time."

Rebekah furrowed her brows. "Shhhh. This time he asked Esau to bring fresh game and to make it into that dish he likes."

"Mother, I don't see what's wrong with that."

She walked further away from the tent and motioned Jacob to follow. "My son, your father intends to eat his favorite meal then give your brother the family blessing. You realize what that means, don't you?"

He bowed his head. "Yes, I do. All nations and my descendants will serve Esau's descendants. His crops will prosper. Everyone who blesses him will be blessed."

Rebekah put her arms on Jacob's shoulders. "And everyone who curses him will be cursed. Listen to me, my son, I've come up with a plan. If you do everything I'm about to tell you the blessing will be yours."

Jacob sighed. "I'll do whatever you say."

"Good. Go to the flock. Bring two of the healthiest kids from the goat herd. I'll make the savory food from them, just the way your father likes. When I finish preparing the meal, you will serve him and wait until he gives you the family blessing."

Jacob shook his head. "It'll never work. He may not know you made the food from our own goats, but he'll know I'm not Esau."

Jacob rubbed his arm. "Look at me, Mother. My skin is smooth, not hairy like Esau. If I take Father the food, he will curse me, instead of blessing me.

He paced in front of her then walked toward the sheep pen. "Mother, I don't want to be cursed!"

Rebekah ran toward him. "My son. If your father curses you, let it fall on me. Please. You must do as I ask in order to receive the family blessing. Go get the kids for me."

She glanced toward the fields looking for Esau. Good. I can't see him yet.

"Do as I say." Rebekah grabbed her skirt tight in her hand and walked back toward the tent. "And hurry. We must serve your father before Esau returns."

Jacob nodded. "I'll have the goats ready for you in a few minutes."

Rebekah's decision to keep a secret from someone she loved, (Isaac), and others, (her son Esau), is sure to bring problems. Hiding the truth only results in trouble.

God told Rebekah that her older son would serve her younger son. Did God need Rebekah's help? What would happen if Rebekah didn't make Isaac's favorite food and instead decided to wait to see what God would do? What would happen if she didn't tell Jacob to lie to his father and instead decided to wait to see what God would do? Click on the comment button to tell me what you think.

Waiting is difficult, but God's way is best.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Isaac Calls Esau

by Mary Vee

Genesis 27:1-5

Isaac opened his eyes. "Crazy Rooster, making noise before the sun gave a breath of light. Bah, I may as well get up."

He grumbled and mumbled while rubbing his eyes. "The ol' eyes are foggier this morning. Can't see hardly a thing." He sat up on the edge of his bed. "Rebekah!"

Fire flared in his lower back. "I hate getting old." He felt around for his cane. "Rebekah!"

Seconds later her warm hand touched his. "Here's your cane, Dear. Are you ready for breakfast?"

Rebekah scooped her arm under his elbow and helped him to stand. "Did you sleep well?"

Isaac planted his cane on the ground and hobbled to his chair. His bones crackled as he plopped down. "Do you know what I have a taste for?"

She laughed. "Let me guess. You'd like some warm, fresh bread, goat's milk, and a thin slice of last night's meat. It's what you want every morning."

He nodded and gazed toward a fleck of light that must have come from the window. "Not today. I would love some of Esau's fresh game--gently cooked in that savory sauce he made a long time ago."

Isaac sighed. "I wish I could see you better." He shook his head and chuckled. "I'm sorry you have an old grumpy husband this morning. Would you call Esau for me?"

Rebekah smoothed a blanked over his lap. "Yes, of course. But, do you want breakfast?"

He thought for a moment then smiled. "Maybe a piece of your warm bread for now."

She patted his shoulder. "I'll call Esau."

Moments later, Rebekah set a plate of bread on Isaac's lap. He tore off a warm piece from the loaf. It warmed his hand. "Tastes wonderful. Did you find Esau?"

"Here I am, Father."

"Oh, Esau, you're here. Good." Isaac turned in the direction he heard his son's voice. "Please, sit with me."

"Can I get you anything. Would you like some milk?" Esau's voice sounded worried.

"My son. My first born, son. I'm old. In truth, I don't know how much longer God will let me live."

Esau sat closer to his father. "Don't talk of such things. You'll get to put up with many more practical jokes from Jacob and me. Here, drink some milk."

Isaac swallowed a few gulps then waved the cup away. "Listen." He looked at his son. He couldn't see Esau's eyes, but he felt the hair on Esau's arms. "I would like you to take your weapons, your quiver, and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. Bring back your kill and cook the meat in the same savory sauce you made once before."

Isaac chuckled and licked his lips. "I can almost taste the food now."

He patted Esau's arm. "Once I've eaten your delicious meat, my soul can bless you before I die."

Esau set his hand on top of his fathers. "I'll help you, Father. If you want meat in my special sauce, I'll gladly make it. I'll leave right away. You can count on me."

Now Rebekah was listening to their conversation. I must do something to make sure Jacob receives the blessing instead of Esau.

What will Rebekah do?

I have so many questions, do you? Here are some of mine: Why does Rebekah want the blessing to be given to Jacob instead of Esau? Is she going to trick her husband? Shouldn't she ask God what to do? Will Jacob help with the plan? What will happen to Esau?

What do you think? Click on the comment button to tell us your ideas.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friends Word Search

By Mary Vee
Directions: Find the words from recent stories listed below in the puzzle.




Thursday, December 3, 2009

Isaac's Kindness Brought a New Friendship

By Mary Vee

Genesis 26:26-33

King Abimelech finished his business for the day. He decided to stroll out on the balcony to get some fresh air.

Workers bustled about doing the Kings business in the courtyard. Further out, servants labored in the fields.

In the far distance he noticed the empty fields where Isaac and his family sowed their seed. "His God blessed him with a great harvest. How could someone gain such wealth in such ashort time? Hmmmmm. I should check on him."

King Abimelech called for Ahuzzath, a trusted friend, and Phichol, the commander of his army.

"Phichol, you recall Isaac and his family?"

"Yes, my Liege. He lived here not too long ago. Gained great wealth from the land."

"Yes, yes. I recall a dispute with the servants."

Phichol cleared his throat. "It seemed, my Liege, there was concern as to the safety of our city. If Isaac continued to grow in wealth, he may have warred with us."

"What do you think, Ahuzzath?"

"My King, you seem concerned about the decision to make Isaac leave. Rest in a wise choice. Gerar has not had disputes since he left."

"What reports do you have on Isaac's response, Phichol?"

"He first moved to the valley, my Liege, but the herdsmen fought him for his new well. He dug a second well and the herdsmen fought him again. He moved about 22 miles away from the city and dug a new well. Seems he's settled there."

"Did Isaac fight back?"

"No, my Liege. He only showed efforts to make peace."

King Abimelech lowered his head. "Just as I thought. His father, Abraham was a kind man as well living peaceably with our people. Prepare for a journey. Both of you will go with me to pay Isaac a visit."

The king, his captain, and friend traveled for a day to Isaac's new home.

Isaac noticed them as they came near his land. Great. What now? Can't they leave us alone?

When the king arrived, Isaac offered the visitors a comfortable place to sit. "Why have you come since you hate me and have sent me away?"

King Abimelech sighed. "We've certainly seen that the Lord is with you. How can we restore your trust? Let's make a promise between you and us that you will do us no harm, since we have not touched you, and since we have done nothing to you but good and have sent you away in peace. You truly are blessed of the Lord."

Isaac looked at the King's eyes. He really looks sorry. A smiled popped on his face. "Would you like something to eat?"

King Abimelech laughed. "I sure would."

Sometimes we want to be mean to people who do cruel things to us. We might remember to be kind the first time they hurt us, but when they do the same thing again it's hard to be nice. Is there someone in your life that God wants you to forgive--again? Has someone said "Sorry" to you when you decided not to fight back?

God loves you. He will bless you when you remember to be kind to those who hurt you.

Image is a copyright of Faith Images.© 2009 FaithImages, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Isaac's Forgiveness Brought Peace

By Mary Vee

Genesis 26:1-22

Isaac's family settled in their new home in Gerar. Moving to this city seemed like a good choice especially since his father lived there during a famine as well.

Still, Isaac wondered if he made the right choice. Maybe we should move to Egypt instead. He walked out to the open fields nearby to ask God what he should do.

Although Isaac spent many evenings praying to God before this night, he didn't expect what would happen next.

This time "the Lord appeared to him and said: 'Don't go to Egypt. Live in this land and I will be with you and bless you. I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give them all these lands; and through your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. I am doing this because your father, Abraham, obeyed My voice and kept My commandments."

Isaac returned to his new home happily knowing he made the right choice!

His family immediately plowed fields and planted seeds.

Gentle rains watered the ground. The right amount of sunshine strengthened the plants.

Isaac grabbed Rebekah's hand and ran with her to the fields. "Look! Look what God is giving us."

Rebekah giggled. She gently touched one of the plants. "Oh, Isaac. God is blessing you."

At the end of the summer Isaac, Jacob, and Esau worked with the servants many days to harvest the crops.

After supper on the last day Isaac rubbed his back. "The last of the harvest is in."

Rebekah rubbed his shoulders. "You've worked hard, my husband. God has blessed you since we moved here."

Several cattle mooed from the other side of the field.

Isaac laughed. "Do you realize how many calves were born to our cows this year?" He took a sip of water. "Not only calves but a large number of lambs were born to our ewes as well!"

He picked up a stick and stoked the fire. "When we moved here we barely had enough to survive a season. Now look what God has given us."

The Philistines in the land also noticed how wealthy Isaac became. They grew jealous and angry.

They met together to think of a plan to get rid of Isaac and his family. "Let's kill their animals," one shouted. "Let's kidnap their servants," said another.

One man stood and waved his arms to get their attention. "If we hurt them, we'll get in trouble with King Abimelech. I say let's fill in their wells. If they can't get water, they'll have to leave."

All the Philistines at the meeting agreed. That night they crept to Isaac's wells and filled them in with dirt.

The next day Isaac went before the King. "Look what your people have done."

"Go away, Isaac. You've become too strong and rich for us."

Sadly Isaac moved his family outside the city to a place in a nearby valley. His servants dug a new well that gave plenty of water.

But Philistine shepherds ran to the new well. "That's ours. You can't use the water. Go away."

Isaac's herdsmen came to him. "The Philistines stole our well. We came to get more men to fight them."

Isaac shook his head, "God has blessed us before and He'll bless us again. Don't fight. Dig a new well."

Once again the Philistine herdsmen stole Isaac's well. His herdsmen raised their staff in anger. "We'll fight them this time. They took our well. We spent hours digging for clean water."

Isaac sighed. "You want to fight over a well? No. We'll move further away from the city. God will give us a place to live peaceably."

Finally, after the fourth well had been dug, the Philistines left Isaac alone. He gave thanks to God saying "the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."

Sometimes we have to forgive time and time again before troubles end. The apostle Peter once asked Jesus, "How many times should I forgive?" Do you know Jesus' answer? Click the comment button to tell me.