Six things a believer has to do in the face of economic disaster by Pastor Don
Pastor Don told us that he has been waiting a whole year to minister this message and has finally gotten the go ahead to do so. It is a message pertinent to us.
In the week past (April 6), and also in our present times the financial governing bodies have been informing us of a recession. We all know that things are more difficult than they were. Everything that is to be shaken has been shaken. There is a new shift politically and socially. God is aware of our circumstances and our situation. High gas prices are eating up our budget. The Hudson Valley (where we live) does not have enough resources, jobs, etc, and people are worried about prospering financially.
People who are seeking jobs have to take two or more, and none of them permit their workers to work enough hours to get full benefits. Many of the jobs in our area are retail and service jobs, and they are not good paying ones. This is mirroring the recession of the 80’s. Many of us remember the gas lines. Pastor Don pointed out many are resorting to slight of hand to earn a quick dollar. Pastor Don remembered a time during the gas lines where people were only allowed to get five dollars worth of gas. Someone was going down the line collecting the five dollars to “speed up” the receiving of gas at the pump. Everyone paid this person. Pastor Don watched him walk to the last car and collect the money and then he kept on walking. The people were out five dollars and had to cough up more to get their gas.
The economy causes rising inflation, and then simple things like bags of rice are priced high. Truck drivers are getting angry at the cost of diesel, and the price of food will rise to help compensate for the rising fuel costs. Clothing and food will soon be priced out of reach of the middle class.
In the meantime we still have to survive. There are six things a believer has to do in the face of economic disaster.
Genesis 26:1 There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar.
This was the second famine. In the days of Abraham there was a famine, and now for Isaac there was going to be a famine. Abraham left the land God had directed him to go to, and went to another land with his flocks and people. Told a half-lie to the king that his wife was his sister. It was true that she was a half-sister, but she was also his wife. He felt he had to do that because in those days they had wife jacking (similar to car jacking today) where if a king wanted a person’s spouse they would take her. While he was in the land, the land prospered. They had food and water for the people and animals. And Abraham dug a well.
Now we are in the next generation, with Isaac in the same area, with the same problem – famine in the land. There was insufficiency, inflation and recession. He had to provide for his family and flocks. He was going to the same wells. The well was drying out. What does Isaac do?
Genesis 26:6-7 So Isaac dwelt in Gerar. And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, “She is my sister”; for he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” because he thought, “lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to behold.”
He told the same lie that Abraham did. He did what his dad did, made the same mistake.
Genesis 26:9 Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Quite obviously she is your wife; so how could you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
King Abimelech saw Isaac with his wife and came to the conclusion that they were more than brother and sister. Since his people were not producing new offspring the King had to do something to change this.
Genesis 26:11-12 So Abimelech charged all his people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.” Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him.
We need to believe verse 12, that we can prosper in a dried up land in this place. There is no place where everyone is prospering. To move someplace else in the hopes of prospering won’t necessarily mean you will prosper. Unless God is sending you there, you won’t prosper. We have to take the steps that God ordains.
In verse 12 we see he reaped 100 fold in the same year.
Genesis 26:13 The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous;
There are three mentions of prosperous in this passage, that is a lot of prospering.
Genesis 26:14 for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.
When you do well and others struggle there is some envying.
Mark 10:29-30 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.
When we leave all for God, we will get houses and lands, but there will also be PERSECUTIONS. We need to count our blessings. The rich are well provided for, and there will be enough to give to others. We need to look at our sufficiency. God will prosper us when others are not prospering. God will make a way for us. We must remind ourselves not to panic.
Genesis 26:15 Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth.
There will be persecution, on the job some people will not like you. There will be obstacles put in your way. People will oppose you with persecution. The anointing on you makes you stand apart from people because you are a Born Again Child of God. In the end God is your protection and He will direct you to people who are family.
Genesis 26:16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”
He realized Isaac was mightier and they have to part company. If a person is not sweet, kind, or an encourager you need to get away.
Genesis 26:17-18 Then Isaac departed from there and pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them.
He again dug the wells his father dug in Gerar, where he grew up. Pastor Don pointed out, when he grew up his folks had a lot to say about God and Jesus, not working nights, don’t cheat on tests, and Pastor Don told us if he did try to cheat his teacher caught him every time. He couldn’t get away with anything because his parents prayed over him a blessing of God. He couldn’t do what other people did, or get over anything on his parents. It is a good thing, if you are parents, to speak blessings over your children, to help them find the fulfilment that is God’s best for them.
Sometimes the names and nicknames given to you as a child stick. Recently Pastor Don was clearing some property with a bulldozer and started humming to himself, “I’m a dirt mover.” That was a nick name given to him by someone in his past.
Genesis 26:19 Also Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there.
Wells of running water, springs of water are alive and fresh – it is life that liveth, a spring of water. We need to stop living life that is dead. If anything is all consuming for us, it does not let us live a life that is living the full of the Word of God. We may have to take something out of our life if it interferes with the springs of water of the type of life we have. Running water doesn’t get stuck around stagnant ponds. We have to be honest about our stagnant ponds, and let the springs of living water flow through them to clean them.
Genesis 26:20 But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they quarreled with him.
So there was strife over the water. Sometimes when we dig our wells there is strife.
Genesis 26:21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also. So he called its name Sitnah.
So they dug another well, and there was strife. The situation of opposition comes if we prosper and there is strife. There is opposition which comes against our Christian life. For example, if we decide to go shopping for a few hours nothing is said, but there will be complaints if we decide to spend a few hours in church.
Genesis 26:22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”
So he dug another well, but he had to move from the well that caused strife. Sometimes we have to move and dig another well. Here they did not quarrel. We need to find the place God wants us to be. Some of us have too narrow a place and we have to go where God makes room for us. Some churches are places where you can’t grow – where the pastor wants to reign over you, and not let people practice and grow in their ministries for God.
Genesis 26:23 Then he went up from there to Beersheba.
Isaac’s dad formed a covenant with God here, and dug a well. If you have a praying dad, get back to where you moved from your course, get back to your well of oath.
Genesis 26:26 Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, one of his friends, and Phichol the commander of his army.
People will find out where it is and Isaac gets concerned.
Genesis 26:27-29 And Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?” But they said, “We have certainly seen that the LORD is with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, between you and us; and let us make a covenant with you, 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 are now the blessed of the LORD.’”
This is a lie, they did not do only good to Isaac, they were taking his wells and pursing him. But Isaac chooses to trust God and makes a covenant with them.
Genesis 26:30 So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank.
A feast is part of the culture of that day, and they ate and drank which sealed the covenant. As the Spirit moves us, we must forgive the past and make a peace agreement. If they sign or don’t is their problem. What matters is that you forgive and move on. You don’t get pulled down by the past. If they choose not to reconcile, you have done your part.
Genesis 26:32 It came to pass the same day that Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water.”
The same day that they made peace with the past they found new water. God is a rewarder of those who seek Him and He will reward them.
Genesis 26:33 So he called it Shebah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
There are six things that we can do when we face economic troubles
1. Genesis 26:24 And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.”- DO NOT FEAR. There are always options and possibilities if you don’t permit fear. Yes, there may be fears of recession, gas prices, etc, but there is nothing that can’t be worked out. It doesn’t matter who is in the White House, for all is in God’s hand. God SAID, “Do not fear.” He would not say to do something that is impossible for you to do. If you go out to hunt jobs, and the 14th doesn’t accept you, or the 15th, or the 16th keep trying and there will be one job that is the right one that will accept you.
2. DON’T TRUST IN YOUR STRENGTH: Trust in the strength of God to open up possibilities. Remember Abraham and Sarah, when they brought Hagar into the picture unleased Ishmael, and to this day Israel faces opposition from descendants of Ishmael. Sometimes the very thing you trust in, if it isn’t of God, will be the thing that destroys you.
3. Genesis 26:25 So he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well. BUILD AN ALTAR Have a place of praise and prayer, a place to go to to hear from God. In spite of what is going on in your world, you need a place to go and listen to God and get answers, or instructions, so that you can move away from the barren place.
4. CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD. Bring the Lord into everything that you are doing, if you are in a famine, pray for shopping directions, “Lord, what store has things on sale?” In everything you do, we need to bring God in. He is part of every activity in our life and no activity is too small for Him to care.
5. PITCHED A TENT IN THE VALLEY where God was prospering him. Where he had heard from God. He made a dwelling place to be with God. Pastor Don pointed out that we need to know our neighbors, because when things get tough we will need to be drawing on each other. And with our prosperity from God, we can share the Gospel with others. They need us.
6. WENT AND DUG ANOTHER WELL When there is famine in the land we have to keep digging, don’t give up, don’t listen to nay sayers. Keep getting up, the enemy wants us to not look good. So get up, get dressed, look good every day, and fix yourself up. Keep digging and don’t give up. God will provide you with new, and exciting things. Don’t get complacent and settled. Don’t stop looking or trying.
Pastor Don told us Abraham had Statutes, covenants and ordinances with God. And we need to make sure what we agree to agrees with the Word of God. If it doesn’t line up with the Word of God, don’t go there, don’t do it, and don’t agree to it. We have no excuse for disobedience.
If we are prepared God will use us. So we want to stay prepared at all times. The Church will be able to sharpen our swords (Word of God) as we walk through these trying times.
I love Pastor Don’s teaching on this, it is a good reminder as times are tough, and seem to be getting even tougher. I hope these things bless you!
Have a wonderful night and week.
Heather’s Blog Recent Posts
- John 14:1-14 – Many mansions, the Way, the Truth, and the Life taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying disciples/Discipleship identification – notes from discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying Disciples – notes from Discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Syria – letter from trapist nuns
- John 14:1-11 taught by Pastor Don Moore with comments from Rabbi Michael Zeitler
- Notes from homily taught by Father Raphael Iannone taught August 25, 2013 – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last
- Homily – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last taught by Father Raphael Iannone
- Notes from a Homily on Luke 12:49-53 by Father Raphael Iannone
- Facing Your Jerusalem – transcript Say Amen show 161 taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Mammon – homily by Father Raphael Iannone