Summary: After Abraham’s death the Philistines stopped up the wells that his servants had dug. Isaac began a reclamation project by having the wells dug again. This outline submits that Satan will endeavor to fill with debris the spiritual wells of our life...an
RE-OPENING THE OLD WELLS
There was much in the life of Isaac from which we can benefit. His unrelenting determination to patiently face any challenge is evident by the manner in which he had the wells his father Abraham had dug re-opened and new wells dug.
Inasmuch as he was sojourning in the land of the Philistines, Isaac thought it best not to make war against the herdsmen of Gerar when they claimed as their own the new wells Isaac’s servants had dug. Patiently, he moved to another location nearby and dug again...this time finding a well of flowing water.
Let us observe some significant events in the life of Isaac leading up to his well-digging and re-digging experience in the land of the Philistines.
I. ISAAC’S SOJOURN INTO THE LAND OF THE PHILISTINES:
“And there was a famine in the land…and Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto Isaac and said, Go not down into Egypt, dwell in the land I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee.” Genesis 26:2-3.
A. ISAAC’S FAITH FALTERS:
“And Isaac dwelt in Gerar: And the men of Gerer asked him of his wife: and Isaac said: ‘She is my sister’: for he feared to say, ‘She is my wife’ : lest said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she is beautiful.”(verses 6-7).
B. ISAAC WAS BLESSED MATERIALLY BEYOND MEASURE:
“Then Isaac sowed in that land and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. And he became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy.” (verses 12-13).
C. ISAAC WAS ENVIED BY THE PHILISTINES BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT WEALTH:
"...for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him." (verse 14).
II. ASKED TO LEAVE THE TOWN OF GERAR, ISAAC MOVED TO THE VALLEY OF GERAR:
There he found the wells that his father Abraham had his servants dig had been stopped up by the Philistines after Abraham’s death. (v. 15).
A. “Then Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had filled them with earth after the death of Abraham.” (verse 18).
B. Isaac’s servants dug in the valley a new well of flowing water but the Philistine herdsmen claimed it for themselves saying: “the water is ours!” Therefore Isaac named the well “Esek (contention)” (verse 20). Yet another well was dug and again the Philistines claimed it therefore Isaac named it “Sitnah (enmity)”. (verse 21).
C. Isaac, being a peacemaker at heart, “moved away from there and dug another well, and the Philistines did not quarrel over it; so he named it Rehoboth ("broad places"), for he said: ‘At last the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” (verse 22).
III. SPIRITUAL LESSONS WE CAN DERIVE FROM THIS PASSAGE:
A. As did the Philistines, so Satan and his evil forces will attempt to stop up the wells that sustain our spiritual life and health:
The well of love
The well of faith
The well of service and sacrifice.
B. Victory will ultimately come if we just keep on digging! Remember: “Even so faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone.” James 2:17