When Prosperity Brings Envy

water well

Prosperity is the condition of being successful or thriving.

We derive success from a favorable or desired outcome, often involving the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.

Success or prosperity characterizes thriving

As a result, we typically consider prosperity a positive situation.

Yet, prosperity for one person or people group can stir envy from those who are nearby.

Envy is a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage or to cause pain, injury, or distress to the one envied.

Join me in looking at Genesis 26:14-16, when Isaac’s prosperity brought envy to the Philistines.

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Responding to Someone’s Lie


How do you respond when you discover someone lied to you?

Years ago, my sister and I received two female kittens from our grandparent’s farm to take to our home. My sister named the all-white kitten Cinderella. I named the calico kitten Charlie. But after enjoying them at our home for a short amount of time, we returned them to the farm. I do not remember why.

We would regularly visit the farm and call out for Cinderella and Charlie, seeing them scamper toward us.

I do not recall how much time had passed until one day she and I were sitting on the fence calling for the two cats when my sister suddenly blurted out a tractor had run Charlie over months ago.

My sister further revealed that everyone had been lying to me about this for some time.

How do you think I responded?

What does this have to do with Gen 26:9-11?

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Caught for Truth Spinning


Have you ever spun the truth for any reason?

Children to adults are bound to have practiced truth spinning.

Over thirty-three years ago, I did some truth spinning when I missed an agreed-upon time for a date.

I told the truth about why I was not present at the agreed-upon time while leaving out the details I was late because of a date I had planned with a different person.

Oh, the webs we can weave with partial truth and lies! 

  • What compels us to spin the truth?
  • Is truth spinning something we learn from others or a prime instinct for self-preservation? 

What does this have to do with Genesis 26:8?

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Whose Advice Do You Heed?

When facing a crisis or hard decision, whose advice do you heed?





All the above?

Does your answer change depending on the type of decision you are facing?

Last week, I shared some about how my husband and I settled in South Carolina.

The motivating factor behind our relocation was my husband’s initial job loss. We needed advice regarding a variety of needs. So, our process involved talking with all the above relationships to meet these needs.

As I shared last week, we moved to South Carolina, even though we had zero friends, relatives, or previous coworkers in the area. 

What does this have to do with Genesis 26:6?

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Where Are You From?


Shortly after moving to South Carolina in 2003, I received an invitation to join a local women’s group where I received advice to say I was from Oklahoma instead of Kansas when introducing myself to the members.

The reasoning for this advice came from Oklahoma’s history as an unorganized Indian territory, while Kansas was a loyal free state between 1861-1865. These dates refer to the American Civil War, sometimes referred to as the War of Northern Aggression. 

The encouragement to lie about my birthplace was accurate advice for being better received by this group of women. When I stopped following that advice, the facial expressions of members who were meeting me for the first time revealed they immediately disliked me over something that happened before I was even born!

How does this connect with Genesis 25:20?

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The Value of Redundancy


First, what is redundancy?

Merriam-webster.com defines redundancy as the quality or state of being redundant.

Okay, Merriam-webster.com, what is the definition of redundant?

Merriam-webster.com defines redundant as exceeding what is necessary or normal or characterized by or containing an excess, specifically: using more words than necessary.

Second, how do we define value?

Some options from Merriam-webster.com include:

  • Relative worth, utility, or importance
  • Something such as a principle or quality intrinsically valuable or desirable

So, when do we value redundancy?

As one continues down the list of viable options, we find redundant can also mean serving as a duplicate for preventing the failure of an entire system (such as a spacecraft) upon failure of a single component.

How does any of this relate to Bible study and specifically, Genesis 25:19?

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Submitting to the Promised Legacy


The dog above was our beloved Dutch, a Rottweiler/Akita mixed breed that showed up at my husband’s workplace many moons ago when we lived in Kansas.

We also had two Pomeranians, Mikki and Bear, our indoor dogs prior to Dutch’s adoption into the family.


Mikki and Dutch got along. Bear, all twelve pounds of him, thought he was in charge, even though Dutch was at least five times bigger. Bear’s pride, though, got emotionally stunned one day when Dutch came running to greet my husband and sent Bear rolling like a soccer ball with an accidental paw swipe.

Later, when we lived in Oklahoma, Bear was barking at a passing dog along the fence line when Dutch came barreling around the corner, also barking. Bear panicked until he realized Dutch was coming as his personal bodyguard from whatever Bear had been barking about. From that point on, Bear accepted Dutch’s presence.

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Family Conflict Truce at Funeral


At first glance, the picture above just looks like a beautiful garden.

On closer inspection, one realizes this is a graveyard that is well tended with plantings of perennial plants and decorated with things like a lantern.

The caretakers of this graveyard are showing care and love in memory of their ancestors.

  • What might the stories of these families be before their ancestors passed?
  • What if the remaining family members had years of conflict between them prior to the funeral?
  • How might these families have behaved at the funeral, given their history of conflict?
  • What can we learn from Genesis 25:9-10 about setting aside family conflict at these times?
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