How often in our lives do we spend extra time and energies wasted by digging around in the wrong stuff? With seemingly very little direction many wander from one avenue of life to another. It’s time for God’s people to settle in a place of their own. God has a blessing in store for His people, but they have to dig where He is leading them. They have to find their own well where God can enlarge their territory.
Due to a famine in the land, God instructed Isaac to not go to Egypt but to stay where He tells him (Gen. 26:2); “in this land,” (Gen. 26:3) where the blessings were promised through Abraham. But, the blessings of the Lord upon him caused the people to not want him in that particular region of the land any longer (Gen. 26:12-16).
Issac knew the disappointment of searching for something in life and not have it to pan out the way he envisioned. After the people of the nation wanted him to depart from them he went back to the old wells his father previously dug and tried to set up shop there. He even ventured into trying to dig new wells, but no matter what he did he was met with quarrelsome people who didn’t want him there and they made no bones about it. They fought and disagreed over property rights until the pressure mounted for Isaac that he moved away from that particular area, although he was still in the land God instructed him.
Venturing to remove himself from the people and their contentious attitudes, Isaac finally came to a place where he was able to dig a well without digging for problems. He was finally in a place where he could enjoy the blessings of the Lord with peace and prosperity.
Through it all, God had a better plan for him. God will sometimes prohibit us from settling in the familiar (he wanted to dwell at Abraham’s old wells) because He has a new place for you to go to unearth your own blessings, to dig your own wells, to dream your own dreams, to renew a covenant relationship with you personally. Only when we become invested in God on our own will we be able to see God work in our lives as He did for those who came before us. It wasn’t enough for Isaac to lean on what his father Abraham previously accomplished. God had a better plan for Isaac and Isaac had to learn to trust God and have faith on his own. He was still under the same covenant as Abraham who was promised to inherit the land, but God was going to bless Isaac in His own way in that land.
Why go through all of this trouble, you may ask? Because, as hinted at before, one’s faith has to be in God for themselves. We will never know what God can do for us and through us if we never allow ourselves to experience a time of dependency on Him. It is alright for Isaac to hold on to the blessings God promised to Abraham (because those blessings were still very valid for him), but he also needed to know God in an individual, relational way to be a carrier of this covenant. He needed to know it is not what his father previously dug that will give him a place in the land, but it is the God who his father served and had faith in, He is the one that will make room for him there, thereby upholding what He previously promised to his father. The promise may have been initiated on Abraham’s faith, but Isaac had to recognize the sovereignty of God’s hand and plan in it all as well, and that in the end, anything he had or accomplished will be because of the LORD who gave him his own blessing under that same covenant promise. And, when God blesses, He makes it fruitful and abounding. He will give room for expansion and growth.
Sometimes when we venture out into new territory and we hit up against fighting and disagreements, it could be because God doesn’t want us to settle in that particular area. We may be still in the land that was promised, but some areas are not going to foster our growth the way God wants us to grow. Some places of familiarity will actually hinder our spiritual progress rather than nurture it. In some places, there may be people or situations God doesn’t want us to be around because they just always look to start trouble. Isaac only found peace and knew he had come to the point of his own place of being blessed when he realized it was God who led him there and opened up the opportunity for space there. “And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, ‘For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land,'” (Gen. 26:22; NKJV).
All contentions we face and all disagreements we face aren’t bad. They can actually be a propelling place to get us moving and stop settling where God doesn’t see us growing. If God has a better plan for you, He will put you in a place where you can stretch out beyond your wildest dreams; where you can go beyond what you previously thought you could. He will put you in a place where you can dig your own wells, unearth your own blessings, and prosper in Him. He told Isaac, ‘”I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.” So he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD, he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well,’ (Gen. 26:24-26; NKJV). After God spoke to him he knew he was where God wanted him to be; he knew he had arrived at the place of his own blessings.
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