Summary: What to do when you lose
A. INTRODUCTION: GENESIS 26:17-34
Why the World Opposes Us
• We convict them of their sin
• We work by principles
• Our success embarrasses them
• Christians have done dumb things
• Christians have sinned (Gen. 12:10-20; 20:1-18; 26:6-16)
1. Why was Isaac in the desert? “Abimelech said . . . go from us” (26:6).
2. Why did the world alienate Isaac? “He harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted” (26:12, NLT).
3. Where do Christians live? “Isaac departed . . . dwelt there” (26:17). We live in the world but not by worldly principles.
“When Isaac was sent from the Philistines, he went into the desert and opened up the wells that had been filled in by the Philistines. Shepherds came to claim a well. Then Isaac’s men opened up a second well. Again shepherds came to claim it. Isaac’s men opened up a third well and there was no dispute so he named it Rehoboth, which means open space; symbolizing the surrounding area, and the distance from the Philistines” (Gen. 26:17-22, Condensed).
1. Every job has obstacles or problems. “The Philistines had stopped them” (26:18).
a. Created by unsaved and/or opposition.
b. Natural life.
c. Created by our human effort.
2. How do we approach life? “Digged again” (26:18).
3. Others will claim your work/success. “Herdsmen . . . strive again Isaac’s herdsmen” (26:20).
4. What to do when you lose? While the world exerts energy to “get even,” we must keep doing right. “Dug another well” (26:21).
5. Light at the end of the tunnel. “Dug another well . . . they strove not” (26:22).
6. Names have meanings:
1st well Esek Contention
2nd well Sitnab Hatred
3rd well Rehoboth Enlargement
7. The lesson of keep going and remain faithful. “They strove not . . . we shall be fruitful here” (26:22).
B. GOD BLESSES FAITHFULNESS: GEN. 26:24-25
“Isaac moved to Beersheba where the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am the God of your father, Abraham. Do not be afraid. Because of Abraham I will bless you and you will have many children and be a great nation.’ Isaac built an altar and worshipped the Lord and lived in tents and dug a new well there” (Gen. 26:23-25).
1. God rewards your faithfulness. “The Lord appeared to him” (26:23).
2. God renewed the Abrahamic covenant regarding:
c. Great nation.
3. Two symbols of spiritual success, i.e., the altar and tent.
a. The altar means blood cleansing.
b. Tent, means separation from the world (Gen. 12:8, 13:4-5, 18).
4. What is our ultimate response to God’s blessing? “Worshipped the Lord” (13:25).
C. PEACE PACT WITH ABIMELECH: GEN. 26-26-34
“Abimelech came to see Isaac with his military leaders. Isaac asked, ‘Why have you kicked me out of your land?’ Abimelech replied, ‘We see God has blessed you so we want a peace pact with you.’ He complimented Isaac’s prosperity. They had a big feast that night. The next morning they vowed an oath not to attack each other. That very day the workers found water in a new well. Isaac named it “Shibah” meaning oath. He continued to live in Beersheba, (the well of the oath).”
1. Abimelech brought reinforcements.
2. Put everything on the table. “Why have you hated me?” (26:26, ELT).
3. The world will respect your hard work (success) when they don’t mention your Christian standards.
4. “Prepared a covenant feast” (26:30). Eating breaks down barriers.
5. Go beyond an understanding to sign on the dotted line. Culture has changed, but the principles have not.
6. God usually rewards faithfulness. “That very day . . . found water” (26:32, ELT).
D. FIVE RULES FOR WORK
1. Focus on your work, not on other’s work or opposition.
2. Out work, out give, out live, and out love your fellow workers.
3. Remember who is your boss.
4. Your boss has better rewards than the world’s boss.
5. When rewarded, know how to celebrate.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.