Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1. What do you know about the history of your family? Think about your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. List five or six words that describe their accomplishments and character.
2. How have you benefited from the legacy left by your ancestors? How would your life be different today had one of them chosen another occupation or homeland or spouse?
Read Genesis 26:3-6.
1. Isaac moved to the land of the Philistines because of a famine (vv. 1, 2). What impact would we expect a famine to have on the residents of a country? What very different consequences did God promise to Isaac?
2. Compare Isaac’s situation to that of Abram (12:1-3, 10). How might Isaac’s situation have been different had Abram made different choices?
Read Genesis 26:12, 13.
3. Consider the best financial investment you ever made. How much did your initial investment increase in value? How long did it take you to get a return on your investment? Compare that to the increase Isaac received on what he planted and the length of time it took to reap that increase. What was the secret of his success?
4. Isaac was a foreigner who achieved overnight success in a hostile land. How did the citizens of that nation react to that success? (See verses 14-16.) While that reaction was not pleasant for Isaac, what could have happened that would have been even worse?
Read Genesis 26:23-33.
5. Underline the command that Yahweh gave to Isaac in verse 24. Judging from Isaac’s circumstances, do you think fear was justifiable? Explain. Although we seek security in our wealth and our defenses, how was Isaac’s source of security different from those?
6. When we are in hostile territory, we may expect the enemy to approach us to attack. Explain why Isaac’s meeting with Philistine forces was very different than what one might have expected.
7. Skim through Genesis 26:1-33 and count the number of times the name “Abraham” appears. While we are blessed by the achievements of our ancestors, why is our spiritual legacy from Abraham an even greater source of blessing? See Romans 9:8; Galatians 3:7.