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ISAAC’S WELLS - (Genesis 26) , by Martin van der Merwe  Bookmark and Share


I would like to tell you a story about Isaac, the son of Abraham, who was known to dig wells. A well can refer to a Source and/or provision from God (John 4:13-14). Searching deep for the things of God. Peace and the infilling of the Holy Spirit (Gen 26:20-25). Place of rest and provision (Gen 49:22; Ex 15:27). Gifts of the Spirit. Heart of God (Song 4:15). Gift of joy and salvation (Is 12:3). The mouth of a righteous man (Prov 10:11). Faithfulness (Prov 5:15). This tells me that Isaac searched passionately for the Source (God). In modern times that can be likened to a man that is searching for the Heart of God and to be flowing in the gifts of the Spirit (Tapped into the Spring of Life – Source of Living Water).

This took Isaac to the Valley of Gerar. Hitchcock defines Gerar as a pilgrimage, combat or dispute. Easton calls it a region; lodging-place and it is the place where Isaac’s harvest yielded a hundredfold return. In modern times it can be referred to the workplace or the place of doing business. When you are in the Valley of Gerar, it can feel as if you are in combat and disputing for a place to earn your keep. In your search for the Source of Provision you are often blessed abundantly and can earn a hundredfold return on your investments. However, in this search you may think that you have found the well, but may be disappointed at what you find.

Let us see what happened to Isaac. Isaac’s workers started digging the 1st well and found water. This find led to contention between Isaac’s men and some of the locals that caused Isaac to call the well “Esek”.

1st well - Esek - contention” (Gen_26:20)
Webster’s defines contention as strife; struggle; a violent effort to obtain something, or to resist a person, claim or injury; contest; quarrel. Strife in words or debate; quarrel; angry contest; controversy. - Avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law. Titus 3. A fools lips enter into contention. Prov 18. It is also defined as an endeavour to excel; eagerness; zeal; ardor; vehemence of endeavour - this is an end worthy of our utmost contention to obtain.

The symbolic value of this find lies in the competitive nature of what has been found. Isaac entered into the territory of the herdsmen of Gerar (Or worldly/competitive location) which means that he had to defend his position and prove that the provision that he found was his.

In the same way we can be in the church or in the workplace and find a way of earning our keep, and immediately when we find a way of doing business in a particular way, competing forces attempt to push us away from our source of provision (That we found, but is being disputed by others). Our recipe or Unique Selling Proposition is now copied by others and some even challenge us by claiming that it was theirs in the first place.

This is the way of the world. When we find the source of provision within a worldly context, the place of striving and competing to make a living, then we always have to be prepared to defend our position.

In a religious or (Church) sense it can be compared to someone who discovers the Source (Holy Spirit) that was hidden for long (By earth – worldliness, closed up by the Philistines - Satan or religious people). This causes immediate conflict as the person is challenged – “Who do you think you are!” “We are the only ones who have the right to the Source!” They immediately defend their position. This causes confusion as the person may think that as he opened access to the Source, that he may use of it freely, but is driven away.

Isaac, being a peaceful man, then started digging another well, and found water again. Unfortunately this also led to quarrelling. Isaac then called this well Sitnah.

2nd well - Sitnah – Enmity, hatred,” “hostility” or strife.
The name of the second of the two wells dug by the herdsmen of Isaac, the cause of further “enmity” with the herdsmen of Gerer (Gen_26:21, margin “That is, Enmity”. Websters defines enmity as a state of opposition. The quality of being an enemy; the opposite of friendship; ill will; hatred; unfriendly dispositions; malevolence. It expresses more than aversion and less than malice and differs from displeasure in denoting a fixed or rooted hatred, whereas displeasure is more transient. The carnal mind is enmity against God - Rom 8. The friendship of the world is enmity with God. James 4.

Just when you find another source of provision that you think would take away this competitive nature, it is as if the level of hostility increases. You know that you are right and that you have the right to reap the benefits and/or returns you are being pushed even harder. This is often the reality in the workplace. In order to reduce the pain of conflict and contention, you move to another workplace or another business opportunity. It can even be another way of doing business in order to provide for your family, but the conflict remains.

I speak from personal experience when I witness that when we joined a charismatic church that we perceived as flowing in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and “discovered” a prophetic prayer ministry, we were firmly asked to leave because it did not fit the profile of that church. They had their own prophetic prayer ministry and we had to fit in with their way of ministry in the prophetic (Drinking from the well). Even though we discovered access to the Source, it was claimed back from us and we had to drink in the way that the local church (People from Gerar) were drinking from the Source. This is a difficult and often confusing place to be for young Christians that finds resistance from the people they are dwelling with.

Isaac recognised this and decided to move away from the place of striving and competition. He moved to a place where there was room for all to function or flow freely.

3rd well - Rehoboth – Room , Broad places.
Websters defines room as a space; compass; extent of place, great or small. Let the words occupy as little room as possible. Space or place unoccupied. Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. Luke 14. Place for reception or admission of anything. In this case, there is no room for doubt or for argument. To make room, to open a way or passage; to be free from obstructions. To give room, to withdraw; to leave space unoccupied for others to pass.

Isaac indentified what some may call his own personal Eden, the place where he dwells in the Presence of the Lord, is provided for by the Source, yet is unopposed by worldly forces. It is a place of inner peace …………. peace with God!

It can also be defined as an unoccupied opportunity. In a business sense it can refer to new invention or a gap in the market. It is a place where there is room for others to join in and share in the wealth of the opportunity. I presume that it will eventually lead to higher levels of competition as more people are attracted to the source, but in the short to medium term, provides ample opportunity to function freely.

In a spiritual sense it symbolises a place where people of all religious and racial groups can come together and drink freely from the Source. Once they are also filled by the Source, they can leave fulfilled and take the Presence of the Source with them, as it is not of a temporal nature, it stays with them continually. There is also room (acceptance) for their way of doing and thinking (Doctrines and denominations). The common purpose is to gain access to the Source (Holy Spirit), to discover New Life and the abundant life that this living close to the Source brings to them.

It is noted that once Isaac discovered the 3rd well he built an altar for the Lord. The Altar is a prophetic [Sacrificial] act which is required to demonstrate your commitment to the Lord and to give up worldly things in obedience to the Lord. Gen 26:23 Now he went up from there to Beersheba. 24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will favour you with blessings and multiply your descendants for the sake of My servant Abraham. 25 And [Isaac] built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there; and there Isaac's servants were digging a well.

What is interesting is that Isaac kept on digging new wells, he did not stop searching out the Source, constantly searching the Presence of the Source, digging deeper and more intensively, hoping to discover deeper recesses of the Source.

Once he reached the place of peace, it is interesting to note that the world (Or religious people) then recognised that his authority (Position in the Lord) and then came to make peace with him. They now recognised that wherever he went, He found access to the Source, the Spring of Living Water and they were afraid of him. At this point Abimeleg came to him to offer him a peace agreement (oath).

4th well - Gen 26:33 Shibah – Place of the oath (Beersheba – Place of the seven wells)
Websters defines an oath as a solemn affirmation or declaration, made with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed. The appeal to God in an oath, implies that the person imprecates his vengeance and renounces his favor if the declaration is false, or if the declaration is a promise, the person invokes the vengeance of God if he should fail to fulfil it. A false oath is called perjury.

In a business sense, this is when your competitors recognise you as a market leader, and rather than competing with you, would want to enter into agreements with you in order to improve their own position, or to prevent you pushing them out of the market.

In a religious of a church sense, other churches and denominations recognise that you are being blessed by the Lord. In order to prevent the loss of members to their churches, they enter into agreements with you, to recognise you and to appreciate your authority in the Lord as a spiritual leader.

Beersheba – the place of the seven wells – is important to note as the place where this oath (or agreement) is made. Seven refers to a sabattical. A promise of a celebration or marriage feast (Judg 14:12, Gen 29:27). The promise of victory over a major challenge/obstacle. (Josh 6:8). Promise of blessing and deliverance [The 7th year was the year of liberty for slaves where the slates were wiped clean] (Deut 28:7, 25, Job 5:19). Completeness and purity. Thoroughly purified [Seven-fold sprinkling] (Lev 14:7, 16, 27, 51, Ps 12:6). It can signify the presence of the 7 spirits of God [The sevenfold Holy Spirit] (Rev 1:4; Rev 3:1; Rev 4:5, Is 11:2). Someone with a beautiful character (Mat 5:3-9). Fullness, perfection, spiritual perfection (Gen 4:24; Gen 28:25. (Rev 1:12). Seven is made up of two significant numbers, 3 & 4 (4=man, 3=God) joining man and God, suggesting completeness. Holiness and rest [Or day of rest - the 7th day]. Can show receiving wisdom that is from above (Jam 3:17). Something sacred (Num 8:2; Zech 4:2). Someone worthy (Ex 22:30. An oath [To swear an oath] (Gen 21:29), or the 7 graces to be added to faith (2 Pet 1:5).

Finding your Beersheba is an important place to search for. It does not mean that you have arrived, but it would mean that you have reached the place where the Lord God Almighty will appear to you and say to you “Fear not, for I am with you and will favor you with blessings and multiply your descendants for the sake of My servant Abraham. He may touch you on your left leg (weakening the strength of the natural man) to remind you that your walk is that of the spiritual man (stepping out with your right leg) so that you are led by the Holy Spirit (The Source of Life), continuously searching for a deeper and more intimate relationship with the Lord.

The Lord wants you to seek out a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him before you make any decisions about properties, a new way of investing or running your businesses or dramatic life decisions. Listen to what He says in 1 Cor 7:21-24 Were you a slave when you were called? Do not let that trouble you. But if you are able to gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity. 22 For he who as a slave was summoned in [to union with] the Lord is a freedman of the Lord, just so he who was free when he was called is a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah). 23 You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for by Christ]; then do not yield yourselves up to become [in your own estimation] slaves to men [but consider yourselves slaves to Christ]. 24 So, brethren, in whatever station {or} state {or} condition of life each one was when he was called, there let him continue with {and} close to God.

Hear the Word of the Lord as He says “Come Close my son, I have seen your heart, and it is good. Strive not, but search me out and in the peace and quietness of the early morning, you will hear my Voice and I will guide you into the ways that you are to be led. Seek not your answers or guidance from man but from Me, for I Am the Light and the Truth and the Way. In me, you will find your way to Beersheba where I you will take up your position as a spiritual shepherd and you will lead my lambs to the Wells of Life. Be one with ME and I will be one with you”

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