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Trouble for Isaac
by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards

Isaac and Rebekah

Text Version | Afrikaans | Italian

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           “Mrs. Elliot, may I please go to see the nurse?” Colton asked as he lifted his arm to show his teacher the large festered gash on his hand.

           “Why, of course you may,” Mrs. Elliot replied as she looked sympathetically at the wound. “But do you mind telling how that happened?” she asked.

           “I fell off the slide on the playground.” Colton quickly made up a story. He hadn't expected his teacher to ask him how he got hurt. As he walked slowly down the hallway to the nurse's office, he was in deep thought. By the look on the teacher's face, he could tell that even though she didn't question him further, she didn't really believe his story.

           When it was his turn to see the school nurse, Colton was prepared. He had made up what he thought was a better story. As the nurse cleaned the wound and put a bandage on it, she asked, “How long have you had this sore?”

           Colton replied, “I got hurt yesterday when I fell off my bike.”

boy with hurt arm

           “Hmm, yesterday?” the nurse questioned. “Are you sure? It seems awfully infected to have happened yesterday.”

           Colton was afraid to tell the truth because he was afraid that the nurse would call his mother and he certainly didn't want that to happen. He was afraid that he would be in b-i-i-gggg trouble if his mother found out he had broken her favorite flower vase. “Yes, Ma'am. It happened yesterday while I was riding my bike.”

           As it happened, the school nurse did call Colton's mother. The sore was full of infection and the nurse thought he should see a doctor. At the doctor's office, Colton stuck to his story about falling off the bike. “How did that piece of glass get in your hand?” Doctor Stevens asked.

           Colton hesitated for a moment, then said, “Uh, I guess there must have been some glass in the ditch where I fell.”

           Finally Colton's mother spoke up. “Young man, I think it's time for you quit lying and start telling the truth. I know you broke the vase. I've known for several days. I was just waiting for you to confess on your own. If I had known you had a bad cut, I would have had it taken care of much sooner.”

           “You knew? …How did you know?”  he asked in surprise.

           “Well, first of all, I couldn't help but see that the flowers were in the trash can. Then when I was cleaning, I found bits of glass you had missed. Why didn't you just tell me?”

           “I…I was afraid,” Colton replied tearfully. “I was afraid you would be mad. I was afraid you would punish me.”

           His mother responded, “Yes, you deserve punishment, but this time I think you have punished yourself enough. That gash in your arm is going to take quite awhile to heal. When you feel pain, you can let it be a reminder to you that the truth is much less painful than lying. When you face the truth, you only have to face it once, ask forgiveness, and then it's over. When you lie, you have to keep making up more and more lies to try to cover up the first one, but eventually you do have to face the truth anyway.”

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           Isaac and Rebekah loved one another very much and were very happy together. The Lord had blessed them and caused them to become very prosperous in the land of Canaan. Life couldn't have been much better for the two of them, until…

           A huge famine came upon their land. It didn't rain…and it didn't rain…and it didn't rain….

dry land            For Isaac, having no rain was a big, big problem. The land dried up, and the crops wouldn't grow. They began to run out of food for their many flocks and herds, and for their family.

           “Oh, what are we going to do?”  Rebekah asked worriedly, wondering if there would be enough food to last the rest of the week.

           “One thing is sure,” Isaac replied. “If we stay here we will all starve.”

Forgetting to pray about this situation…

Forgetting to trust God…

Forgetting that his father Abraham didn't want him to move out of Canaan…

Forgetting the promise that they would be taken care of and blessed by the Lord…

           Isaac made his final decision.

“There is just nothing else we can do,” he said to Rebekah one day. “We are just going to have to move.”

           “But where will we go?” Rebekah asked.

They gathered their belongings loaded the camels and donkeys and were ready
in no time “My father once told me that he lived in a place called Gerar. He dug several wells while he lived there, so there should be plenty of water. We will go there.”

           The matter was settled. Isaac and Rebekah shared the news with their family. Everyone was going to have to pack everything they owned and move to Gerar. Since the Lord had richly blessed Isaac and Rebekah, they had a huge task to undertake. What a busy time it was for Isaac and his family and their servants and maids, as they pulled their tent stakes out of the ground and folded the heavy tents into small bundles. They loaded all their belongings onto the camels and donkeys, then gathered the sheep, the cows, the chickens, and all the other animals. When everything was ready, they made a long caravan and started on their journey to Gerar.

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Isaac was blessed            When Isaac and his family finally reached the land of Gerar, Isaac went to see the king to get permission to live there. King Abimelech gave his approval, so Isaac went to the place his father had once lived, set up their tents, unpacked their belongings, and settled there.

           The Lord was merciful and appeared to Isaac, reassuring him and repeating the same promise he had made to Abraham many years earlier. “You may live in this land of Gerar, and I will be with you. I will bless you, and make you a great nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed because your father Abraham obeyed me.” Isaac was happy and excited that the Lord had spoken to him and had assured him that all would be well here in Gerar.

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           Isaac had lived in Gerar for a long time and made many friends. One day while he was talking to some of the other men, one of them said, “That surely is a beautiful woman you have living in your camp. Who is she?”

           At that moment, Isaac seemed to have forgotten again that the Lord promised to be with them. “She is my sister,” he lied. He was afraid to tell the men that she was his wife, because he was afraid one of them might kill him and take Rebekah for a wife.

Isaac and the King

           King Abimelech was looking out his window one day and saw Isaac hugging and kissing Rebekah. He went to the door and called for Isaac to come. “Why did you tell us that woman was your sister?” he asked angrily. “It is very obvious that she is your wife! Why did you lie to us?”

           “I…I was afraid,” Isaac blurted out. “She is so beautiful, I was afraid one of the men would want her for a wife and would kill me.”

           “But didn't you know that one of us might have taken her for a wife, not knowing she was your wife? You could have caused one of us to sin!”

corn            Isaac held his head in shame. He hadn't considered the harm and great shame he could have caused for Rebekah. He was very sorry for his lie and apologized. King Abimelech forgave him and told the men of the surrounding area the truth that Rebekah was Isaac's wife. He also ordered the men not to harm Isaac or Rebekah.

           After confessing the lie, Isaac and Rebekah and their family lived peaceably in Gerar. That year, Isaac planted crops and received an unbelievable harvest — 100 times more than what he planted. God blessed him abundantly and there was plenty of food for the entire household and all the animals.

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1. Why did Isaac and Rebekah have to move from Canaan?
2. Where did they go?
3. Why was the king angry with Isaac?
4. Why did Isaac lie?
5. What happened after Isaac confessed?


Even when we do wrong, God will be merciful
if we confess and repent.


“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9a).


“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put
off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9).

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my
children walk in truth” (3 John 1:4).


Dog and boy praying

Dear God, thank You for keeping your promises
even when we forget them. Thank You for being
merciful and loving and forgiving our wrong
doings when we admit we have done wrong.
In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.


Genesis 26:1-13


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(Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids)

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Abimelech (online)
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Genesis 26 (online)
Gerar (online)
Isaac (online)
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Isaac Lies About His Wife (online)
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Trust - Puppet Script (online)

Free Bible story images (online)
801 Questions Kids Ask About God
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