And the LORD appeared to him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell you of:…
Two things are observable in this solemn renewal of the covenant with Isaac.
1. The good things promised. The sum of these blessings is the land of Canaan, a numerous progeny, and, what is greatest of all, the Messiah, in whom the nations should be blessed. On these precious promises Isaac is to live. God provided him with bread in the day of famine; but he "lived not on bread only, but on the words which proceeded from the mouth of God."
2. Their being given for Abraham's sake. We are expressly informed in what manner this patriarch was accepted of God, namely, as "believing on Him who justifieth the ungodly"; and this accounts for the acceptance of his works. The most "spiritual sacrifices" being offered by a sinful creature, can no otherwise be acceptable to God than by Jesus Christ; for, as President Edwards justly remarks, "It does not consist with the honour of the majesty of the king of heaven and earth to accept of any thing from a condemned malefactor, condemned by the justice of his own holy law, till that condemnation be removed." But a sinner being accepted as believing in Jesus, his works also are accepted for his sake, and become rewardable. It was in this way, and not of works, that Abraham's obedience was honoured with so great a reward. To this may be added that every degree of Divine respect to the obedience of the patriarchs was, in fact, no other than respect to the obedience of Christ, in whom they believed, and through whom their obedience, like ours, became acceptable. The light of the moon which is derived from its looking, as it were, on the face of the sun, is no other than the light of the sun itself reflected.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: