Ever since Adam and Eve chose to believe the serpent at the tree, relations between human beings have been ruled by fear. This chapter is a great example. Isaac takes his family down to Gerar, and Abimelech is still the king (as he was in Abraham’s time). And, continuing the time-honored family tradition of dishonesty, Isaac told the same lie about Rebekah that his father had told about Sarah—and for exactly the same reason. He was afraid.
Poor Abimelech! He ought to have been expecting it by then!
But later in the same chapter, when Isaac’s wealth and power has increased, Abimelech comes to Isaac and asks him if they can make a treaty of peace. Because, he says, I "saw clearly that the Lord was with you; so we said, 'There ought to be a sworn agreement between us'—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you that you will do us no harm." (vs 28-29)
Isaac is afraid of Abimelech. Abimelech is afraid of Isaac. And interjected in the midst of all this fear is the God who comes to Isaac and says, "Do not be afraid." He promises Isaac that He will be with him and bless him. So why should Isaac be afraid of anyone or anything?
And why should we? God comes to us with the same message: Do not be afraid. What a wonderful God! He knows that our natures are sinful and that our relationships are ruled by fear. And because of that, whenever He approaches us, the first thing He says is, "Don’t worry. You don't have to be afraid. I am with you now and forever. There’s never a reason to be anxious."