Summary: Much fruit comes from redigging old wells.

Genesis 26:1 KJV And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.

Genesis 26:17-19 KJV And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. [18] And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. [19] And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.


A. The Human Body

-Perhaps the greatest need the human body has is the necessity of water. No human being can live without it. The human body is absolutely magnificent from its standpoint of anatomy and physiology. Approximately 60% of the human adult is water. In a newborn, the figure rises to around 77% of its body weight being water and other fluids.

-Two hydrogen molecules binding to one oxygen molecule is what creates water in its very basic state. Very simple chemistry but it is incredibly valuable.

-It is amazing what happens to the human body when it begins to reach a point of dehydration. Among other things, the blood pressure can drop as much as 10 mm Hg, weight loss occurs, the temperature is affected, the heart rate will speed up but the pulse will be very weak, and there are times that behavioral changes may take place. Marked agitation, restlessness, and even muscular weakness accompanies some people who get dehydrated.

-The human body is simply not constructed by God to go long periods without water.

B. The Old West and Water

-If you have ever read any western written by Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, or Elmer Kelton, I am certain that at least one of those books was written about what was commonly called a “range war.”

-In the Old West, there were range wars that would erupt between cattlemen over the conflict of water. If a one rancher or a shepherd did not get along, you did not have to look very far to find the common source of the trouble—water. They would fight over the access to it.

-A well, a creek, a pond, or a river were the modes of water and they often were fought over. This is how much of the history of man has developed. Whatever measure that he needed to get the water, he would usually do it.


-Our text picks up at a point where Isaac has began to have the weight of responsibility placed on his shoulders.

• Abraham is in the grave.

• Sarah is in the grave.

• Ishmael has settled eastward somewhere in the wilderness.

• Now it is just Isaac and God.

-A famine confronts him and he chooses to go some fifty miles to the northeast to the land of Gerar. It is a place that is occupied by Philistines and ruled by Abimilech. Most likely this is a son or grandson of the man that Abraham once had to deal with.

-After falling into the same vice of lying that Abraham had, Isaac takes his herds and goes out into the Valley of Gerar and begins to re-dig the wells that had once watered the flocks of Abraham.

A. The Wells

-It just so happens that the Philistines had filled in the wells. In Bible times it was common for enemies to fill up the wells with dirt. There avenues of warfare practiced in this way. It was an act of terrorism, expulsion, and aggravation. Simply, it was a mean thing to do!

-Without this water, it would have been impossible for Isaac to feed his animals.

-Those three men commonly called the patriarchs were known for something.

• Abraham—A man of altars. Everywhere he went he would build an altar.

• Isaac—A man of wells. Everywhere he went he would dig a well. He was not an altar-builder but he did contribute something to the mix.

• Jacob—He was a man of the tents. Almost everything the he did before the midnight wrestling match with the angel was done in a conniving way. He stole a birth-right. He ripped of Laban with his cattle and sheep. That is what happens to a man who lives for tents.

-Of Isaac it was noted:

Genesis 26:25 KJV And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.

-He had the right pattern of spiritual life: Built, pitched, and dug. Find men to follow after who are builders, diggers, and pitchers and you will have a solid example to pattern your life after. A man who is going to have any kind of spiritual success down here has to follow that same pattern.

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