One of my favourite scriptures in the Bible is found in Genesis 26: 12-13. “Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.”
My focus here is not about getting rich or how to make a lot of money. What jumps out to me in the above scripture is the progress from one position to another.
Let us examine the background to the event described in the above quoted scripture. There was famine in the land where Isaac lived. Like any reasonable man would do, he made plans to migrate somewhere else so that he and his family would not starve. This is not different from what we see today of millions of people migrating away from countries hit by war and famine and seeking refuge in countries that are doing well economically.
The first move he made was from Beersheba to Gerar where it seems things were better economically being closer to the coast than the landlocked Gerar where Isaac lived. Although this was the case, Isaac aim was to head off to Egypt from there.
Again this is no different from people who seek a better place to survive. They leave their countries and journey through different countries continuing on because they have a specific place in mind, where they have chosen to live.
The reference in verse 1 gives us some inkling as to why Isaac made the decision to go to Egypt. He must have remembered the first famine that made Abraham his father migrate to Egypt.
Once Isaac got to Gerar however, God appeared to him and warned Isaac not to go to Egypt. God renewed His oath that he made to Abraham, “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” (verse 3)
Isaac heeded that warning and stayed in Gerar. He did not sit on his behind and wait for God's blessings to come. He put himself to work. The land was not really conducive for planting and I can imagine the snickers and derisive remarks the people of Gerar must have made seeing Isaac's attempt at cultivating crops in a land that was no longer producing anything due to the famine.
I can imagine a discussion between one of Isaac's servants and his opposite in Abimelech's domain. “So you are heading off to farm with your master? Are you people crazy or something? Have you seen any other person farming here? Why not just go to the harbour and buy food from the ships?” Reasonable questions one would have asked considering the circumstances.
I can imagine Isaac's servant replying like this, “Well, I know my master, like his father, he does not just do something if there was no reason for it. The plan was to head to Egypt but if he has decided to stay here, God must have spoken to him and I know that whatever he does will prosper”
We now arrive at verse 26. Isaac planted and began to see the fruits of his labour. It could not have been easy. The land must have been caked due to inconsistent or no rain, yet his crops grew. In a land where there was shortage of food, economically speaking, Isaac literally struck oil. He not only had enough food to feed his family, he had enough to sell and as a result he became rich.
Isaac did not just rest on his oars when he became rich. He progressed. I believe he learnt from his previous experiences and adopted new strategies for improved harvest. He moved from being rich to being wealthy and finally, becoming very rich.
As I meditated on this verse of scripture, the lesson I learnt is, 'You can be better!'. Whatever field of work or career you are involved in, there is always room for improvement. We are not meant to be stagnant, we are meant to grow and spread. We are meant to increase on every side so that people around us can see the the changes in our lives as we progress and make impact in our world.
Whatever you do, don't go around thinking, 'Others are better than me' or 'I am not good enough'. The right attitude is to tell yourself, 'I can do better'. Don't get too comfortable with where you are, keep striving to be better.
Learn new things! Take courses! Learn from people who have achieved success in your area of calling. Seek better ways to improve on what you do.
Before long, you will find yourself moving from where you are, to where God wants you to be.