Thriving in Hard Times | IFCJ
Skip Navigation
Jerusalem

Thriving in Hard Times

promo image side rail

The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.” — Genesis 26:2–3

The Torah portion for this week, Toldot, which means “offspring,” is from Genesis 25:19—28:9, and the Haftorah is from Malachi 1:1–2:7.

Genesis 26 is almost a replay of Genesis 12, which we read a few weeks ago. Genesis 12 recounts Abraham and Sarah’s experience when there was a famine in Canaan. In Genesis 26, we read about Isaac and Rebekah’s similar experience during such a famine. In Genesis 12, Abraham was promised the land of Canaan for his descendants, and in Genesis 26, the same promise was reiterated to Isaac. In Genesis 12, Abraham moved to Egypt because of the famine, where he told the people that Sarah was his sister so that he wouldn’t be killed by the locals who might desire his wife. In Genesis 26, Isaac moved to Gerar because of the famine, where he told the people that Rebekah was his sister for the same reason that his father had said this about Sarah.

In both stories, Abraham and Isaac emerged from the ordeal with their wives by their sides, and they also emerged very wealthy. However, there is one major difference. While Abraham became wealthy in Egypt as the people showered him with gifts because of Sarah’s beauty and then later on out of respect for the holy couple, Isaac was told specifically not to go to Egypt. God did not allow Isaac to leave Israel, so he went to Gerar, which was within Israel’s boundaries. Rather than being showered with gifts, God promised to prosper Isaac despite the famine. He said to Isaac, “Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you . . .”

True to His word, God did bless Isaac. Isaac planted crops in the arid land and reaped a hundredfold that very same year. While the neighbors around Isaac were withering in the famine, the verse tells us that Isaac became a very wealthy man because God was with him and blessed him.

This is such an important image for us to keep in our minds. We need to remember that our success isn’t formed by the conditions around us. Our provisions come from God and God alone. I love how the prophet Jeremiah put it: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

For the one who trusts in God, there will always be provisions. God can prosper us in a desert and cause us to bear fruit in a famine. We need to place our trust exclusively in God. In His name we prosper and by His word we are blessed.

Honor Rabbi Eckstein

LATEST DEVOTIONAL

In Loving Memory of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

February 15, 2019

Holy Land Moments Daily Devotionals have been temporarily suspended while we mourn the loss of our Founder and President, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein,who passed away on Feb. 6.  Please visit our home page for our tribute to Rabbi Eckstein's life and legacy.

Read More

NEW TEACHING RESOURCE

Study of Ruth

A Study on Ruth

The Book of Ruth is traditionally read during Shavuot, both for its ties to the harvest season and for Ruth's vow to follow the God of Israel. Learn more about her legacy of faith and loyalty with this free Bible study, The Life of Ruth.

Download Now

HOW TO HELP

Photo of Rabbi Eckstein by plane with new olim on Wings of Eagles Aliyah - The Fellowship has scheduled an emergency Memorial Freedom Flight departing to bring 240 Ukrainian Jews, who are being targeted with anti-Semitic hatred and violence, home to Israel.

Memorial Freedom Flight

You can honor Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein's life and ministry through your memorial On Wings of Eagles gift in his name. The Fellowship has scheduled a Memorial Freedom Flight departing on February 24th to bring 240 Ukrainian Jews, who are being targeted with anti-Semitic hatred and violence, home to Israel. Your impact will further his mission and the prophetic rescue of God's people from the "four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:12 KJV).

Donate Now