Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold;
and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper,
and continued prospering until he became very prosperous;
for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.
Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth.
And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”
Genesis 26:12-16 (NKJV)
If you remember, God made promises to Abraham because of his faith. And God said that He would prosper Abraham's descendants as well... Isaac being Abraham's son. So here we see Isaac greatly prosper.
And in verse 14, don't we see everyone around him sooooo very happy for him?
Umm, NO! Not at all...
You see, Isaac had been living in a land where there was a famine. Then God told him to move... to dwell in Canaan, the land He had given to his father Abraham... where he and his descendants would be blessed.
Now Isaac is settling into this new land and is prospering... but to these people, it was their homeland... the land they grew up on. And when they see this new guy just stroll in, set up his tents and gain wealth 100 times greater than everyone else... everyone that was born there... well, they get a little upset.
So instead of welcoming their new neighbor, Isaac with a friendly tray of cookies, they fill his wells with dirt so that his livestock and fields can not be watered.
They want him to fail, to falter... to leave.
Even the king of the Philistines, Abimelech, asks Isaac to leave...
“Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”
So Isaac settles a new piece of land... pitches a new tent, and digs up a well, which his father Abraham had dug before him. But the local herdsmen quarrel over the well... and Isaac moves on. Three times this happens, until Isaac finds a well over which they do not quarrel.
And Isaac names the well Rehoboth, because he says,
For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
Jealousy is a crazy emotion.
Whether we are on the giving or receiving end of this emotion...
it certainly makes us feel lousy.
But I truly admire the way Isaac handles it. For he continually considers his blessings. How easy it would have been to stomp his feet, stand his ground and return the anger.
And yet, he picks up his blessings and moves on.
For he realizes that no matter where he goes, God's blessings are for him.
And I believe God wants us to take that same attitude with us today... everywhere we go? Because we are blessed by God as well. But sometimes I know that my pride gets so wrapped around my feet that I get stuck where I am, thinking I own that ground, that thing, that wellspring coming up. And if anyone messes with my blessing... if anything stutters the flow... somehow I get upset and get tangled in the emotions.
When what I should do is be more like Isaac.
I should realized that it all was a blessing from God anyway. And if He blessed me in that moment, He can bless me again. The blessings are under His control, not mine. So I should pick up my tent and move on, dig a new well, and begin again... without hesitation.
Why let others drag me into lousy, when God has made room for me...
when God has a plan for me to be fruitful.
Word of God... train, me...
to be patient with others and trusting more in You than in my feelings.
LORD God I thank You for the wells of Abraham...
for the blessings that You promised.
I thank You for his faithfulness that brought forth Isaac.
Help me to ever recall this example he set for us...
to focus on the blessings, the open spaces, the eternal presence You bring.
For if we have faith that You provide the blessings,
then we will hold them loosely
and not become trapped by our emotions about them.
We love You, LORD, and trust You always.
Make room for us...
Strengthen our faith, LORD
and help us always to make room
for more of You.
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