There is a fascinating story in the book of Genesis chapter 26. Isaac had become rich and powerful, his flocks and herds were numerous. As a result, the Philistines became jealous of him, and they filled in the wells that Abraham had dug.
In Britain, we don’t really appreciate the value of water. It falls from the sky with an amazing regularity (particularly in summer). In the Middle East, water is at a premium. For Isaac, it was vital that his flocks, herds and servants got the water they needed and so, the wells had to be unblocked.
What interested me about this story was, that as soon as the first well was un-blocked, the shepherds of Gerar claimed the water, “it belongs to us” (vs. 20). Something similar happens in verse 21 with the second well. Finally, the third well is re-opened and there is no quarrelling;
He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”(Genesis 26 vs. 22)
These words, gave me some real hope today.
I think, at times, we all go through those periods when we feel as though there is so much to do, and we don’t have the emotional, spiritual, or physical capacity to deal with what we have to do. At those times, it feels as though “the well is blocked”.
Like Isaac, we need to un-block the well and that, surely, will make everything better again, wont it? What I saw, in this passage, is that it was not until the third well was opened did Isaac’s flocks and herds get what they needed!
Too often, I open the first well and then grow frustrated because I am still thirsty! Sometimes, God calls us to persevere, to not give up and to keep digging. I see this as a promise that, eventually, we will find our Rehoboth. The thing is, not to give up!
I don’t know about you but, I need to go and get a spade and do a bit more digging!