SCRIPTURE: Genesis 26:23-25
23 From there he went up to Beer-sheba. 24 And that very night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you and make your offspring numerous for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So he built an altar there, called on the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
Warren W. Wiersbe writes that “Beersheba was a very special place for Isaac, because there his father had entered into a covenant with the Philistine leaders (21:22ff.). Beersheba means ‘the well of the oath.’ The Lord comes to us with His assuring Word just when we need encouragement (Acts 18:9-11; 23:11; 27:23-24; 2 Tim. 2:19). No matter who is against us, God is with us and for us (Gen. 28:15; 31:3; Rom. 8:31-39), and there’s no need for us to be afraid. In response to God’s gracious word of promise, Isaac built an altar and worshipped the Lord. He was ready to meet his adversaries.”
The idea that “no matter who is against us, God is with us and for, and there’s no need for us to be afraid,” is meant to offer comfort. If we claim a belief is an all-powerful and loving God, knowing that God is with us and for us should be reassuring for us in times of challenge and trouble. But I believe that this theology and understanding of our relationship with God also holds great value in times of prosperity and joy. God never leaves us, no matter how many times we sin and stumble, God continues to hold us close and never give up on us. We are witness to this in the love, teachings, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When you find yourself in times of fear, where do you turn? What does the claim that “no matter who is against us, God is with us and for us” mean to you? How do those words, if they do, help you to not be afraid?
Loving God, your faithfulness to your creation goes well beyond any faithfulness we could show to you. But despite our sins and stumbling, your love never fails. Help us to work to be better in our relationship with you and with one another that we might be more faithful, more merciful, more grace-giving towards others, and more loving in all that we do. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.