Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you.
Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father."
"Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him."
Genesis 26:1-3, 12 (NKJV)
If you have ever been on a farm, or even planted a garden, you know that to reap a crop you first have to sow some seed. But, when you sow seed in a field or plant something in a garden, you can’t just do that anywhere or any way you want. There are certain places where things need to be planted and where seed should be sown. Then, once you plant something in the right place, you have to take care of what was planted so it will grow. You won’t reap a harvest overnight, but if you plant correctly you will reap a crop.
The story about Isaac in the time of famine as seen in Genesis 26 is sometimes used by people to talk about giving money and having a “hundredfold” return on that financial giving. In my view, that is missing the point of what God talked to Isaac about. In Genesis 26:1-3, we not only see that there was a famine in the land, but we also see that God told Isaac what to do and where to live. During this famine, Egypt may have looked like a good place to go, but God told Isaac not to go to Egypt.
What I see as the most important lesson from the story about Isaac is that as Isaac was careful to follow God's direction and do what God told him to do, Isaac prospered. In our own life, it may look like there are some good alternatives to what we are supposed to do, or it may look like things are not working the way that we think that they should, but we need to trust God. If we are faithful to follow God's direction and do what He tells us to do, in His Word and by the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will reap a harvest of success in doing the will of God in our life.