We see here in Genesis that Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley where he set up their tents and settled down. He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them. Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.”
An unlikey passage that made for an amazing devotion one morning as I sipped my coffee and waited for a revelation. I love those moments when God drops a word into your heart from a portion of scripture that you would never imagine He would speak directly to your life. To get to the story and application…
Isaac had settled in Gerar and goes about his business sowing seed, raising cattle, growing richer and richer as the days went by. Well, this made the Philistines jealous so they went and filled in the wells which were dug by Abraham’s servants (Isaac’s daddy). The King tells Isaac he is too powerful to stay among the people and sends him on his way. Isaac then moves into the Gerar Valley where he is faced with disgruntled shepherds. No one twittered so these shepherds could know that Isaac was coming to pitch a tent and make the valley his home for awhile. So it’s to reason they were frustrated but it was how they handled their frustration that spoke to me.
In this story, Isaac prospers so much that the King sends him away. I was moved by the fact that Isaac faced a group of people who determined to argue with him over the blessing of the fresh water when he was in a land that was able to provide more than enough for everyone who inhabited the region. They were arguing over the blessing!
I believe that is like many people today. We don’t recognize that there is blessing, according to God’s riches in glory, for everyone. Each one of us is given gifts and abilities in order to serve and encourage others. Instead of recognizing that God has given to us all an equal measure we decide to argue and walk in accusation towards others.
“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”1 John 3:17
When we shut up our hearts for love toward others, we’re acting as the Philistines who shut up the wells of Isaac’s father, which was provision for the people. God wants us to use our resources to love others, not to argue and dispute over who has the rights to the resources – the Word says:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…”James 1:17
None of anything in this life is for us anyway, it’s all meant to be spent for the good of others.
Don’t spend life involved in arguments and discord. Rather, get along with what God is calling you to and pray that you are able to spend the resources to bless and not to accuse others of taking what is yours. There is enough to go around!