(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
Dig another well
16th February 2008
There was famine in the land. Nevertheless, God told Isaac to stay in the land (Genesis 26v1-6) and promised to bless him mightily, and Isaac obeyed God. Soon, however, trusting in himself rather than in God, Isaac resorted to lying to protect himself (Genesis 26v11). Despite Isaac's faithlessness, God looked after him and prospered him:
Isn't it great that we don't have to be perfect to enjoy God's blessing? Notice, however, that although it's true that Isaac was rich because God blessed him, it's also true that Isaac had to plant the crops. God doesn't bless our idleness.
But being blessed by God doesn't mean that we won't have problems to contend with.
Envy is a terrible thing. Because God was prospering Isaac, the Philistines blocked up his wells and forced him to move away. But Isaac kept on working:
If you're successful, you may find that some agency (human or demonic) may block up your wells - the sources of life and refreshment that you need to prosper. But, if you continue to seek God, you may find opportunity to re-open those wells.
But read on.
It's not hard to find discouragement and opposition, even when we have God's promises and have experience of His blessing. After re-opening his father's wells, Isaac continued to seek more blessing - to open more wells. And, although the Philistines had seen that God was with him, and even after he'd succeeded in re-opening his father's wells, they still contended with him over the new wells he was digging.
What did Isaac do? He carried on digging. When his wells were stopped up with earth, he re-opened them. When his wells were disputed, he dug more wells. Isaac kept going. And because he kept going, and kept working, God blessed and prospered him.
We're all in a spiritual struggle. We too will find that work that we have faithfully done in God's service is opposed, and sometimes stopped, by others - either by other people or by spiritual forces. Sometimes God allows this to happen. But, like Isaac, we must keep going - keep working - keep looking for God's blessing. And it will come.
Isaac named all the wells he and his servants dug - the ones he had to re-open, the ones he lost and the ones he kept. In the same way, we benefit by remembering both our victories and our defeats. Remember what we've lost, and what we've kept, and what we've regained. They're all part of our story, all part of what makes us what we are.