Summary of passage: Isaac planted crops in the land of the Philistines and the Lord blessed him. He became rich and had so many flocks that the Philistines became jealous so they filled all his wells with dirt. Finally, Abimelech told Isaac to move away because he had become too powerful.
So Isaac moved to the Valley of Gerar and re-opened the wells. Isaac’s servants dug two new wells but the locals quarreled over them. He dug another well that was undisputed, which showed Isaac the Lord would provide.
At Beersheba the Lord appeared to Isaac and told him He would bless him and increase his descendants. Isaac built an altar there and called on the Lord. He also dug a well there.
Abimelech saw how Isaac continued to prosper because the Lord was with him and became afraid. So he along with his adviser and commander approached Isaac to make a treaty not to harm them. This was done. Another well was dug.
Esau married Judith and Basemath, Hittites, and they were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
9a) God multiplied Isaac’s crops by a hundredfold.
b) The Philistines became jealous of Isaac’s success so they filled all of his wells.
c) Abimelech kicked him out of the land
d) He just moved and kept digging wells until he found one undisputed.
e) God appeared to Isaac and told him He will bless him and have descendants. Isaac responded by building an altar and calling on the name of the Lord. He pitched his tent there and dug another well.
10a) Proverbs says “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him”. The Philistines sought a treaty with Isaac out of fear of the Lord. God approved of Isaac, blessed him, and protected him by giving him peace.
b) Personal Question. My answer: If you follow God’s ways, you will have peace with your enemies. I’m unsure how to answer this one for I have no real enemies like Isaac did. We live in a time of relative peace compared to ancient times so it’s hard for us to understand this. Even if we have personal enemies we must love them and do what is right and trust God to bring the peace.
Conclusions: Good lesson of overcoming adversity. Most of us don’t have wells that are taken from us but we have other things (and if you’ve been through bankruptcy you know what I’m talking about here).
God gives and takes away and at some point most of us have had things taken from us (either jobs, finances, kids, dogs, family members, relatives, or personal items such as homes or cars).
It’s how we respond that God is seeking. Like Jesus? Or not like Jesus?
We will have peace if we do what Jesus would do. That is God’s promise.
End Note: Note the name of the wells. Esek means dispute. Sitnah means opposition. And Rehoboth means room. God uses dispute and opposition to give us room. Neat, huh?
Abraham is known for building altars. Jacob will be known for tents. Isaac is known for wells. All different ways of God’s provision for His people.