Abimelech is the Philistine king. It’s a title like Pharaoh in Egypt. There can be lots of them.
Abimelech has sent Isaac and his family and entourage away because there were so many of them. He was afraid of them since power comes with numbers.
Now, Abimelech comes back and wants to come into an agreement with Isaac because, as he says, he and his people can see plainly that the Lord is with them. They saw God’s blessing in someone else as something to fear and something to benefit from.
Isaac welcomes him into an agreement, not holding it against him that he sent him away earlier. Later in Scripture, we see it’s not God’s intention for His people to enter into covenants with others.
Isaac’s story is almost identical to his dad’s when it comes to Abimelech and relations to the Philistines. The lying about his wife, the arguing over water, the agreements, and the parting in peace.
Why is it that we can at times seem to be repeating our parents’ paths? Where does that come from? You could say it’s in our genes. You could say we learn from our parents consciously and unconsciously and don’t know anything else but to copy them. Imitating their choices and reactions is the path of least resistance, you could say, without having to stop and think and make our own choices. Their choices can become our reactions. You could also say they set us on our course, and inertia carries us that way until we do something to change course.
Do you take time to stop and take stock? Where are you, and where are you headed? Have you asked God for His direction for your future? Do you ask Him His plans for each day? Have you allowed Him to stop and redirect you? Have you followed Him into a new direction, even where it’s unknown and unsure?
The way into the good of all God’s good plans for your future is by following Christ, not others.