Life for All

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, open my eyes to see Your perspective today. May I view my life through the lens of Your Word.

 

Read: GENESIS 26:1–25

[1] Now there was a famine in the land-besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time-and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. [2] The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. [3] Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. [4] I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, [5] because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” [6] So Isaac stayed in Gerar. [7] When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.” [8] When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. [9] So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.” [10] Then Abimelek said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” [11] So Abimelek gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who harms this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.” [12]Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. [13] The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. [14] He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. [15] So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth. [16] Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.” [17] So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar, where he settled. [18] Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them. [19] Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. [20] But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him. [21] Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. [22] He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land.” [23] From there he went up to Beersheba. [24] That night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” [25] Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well. 

 

Reflect: THINK ABOUT HOW A WELL IMPACTS A DESERT COMMUNITY—HOW DOES A SOURCE OF FRESH WATER TRANSFORM PEOPLE’S LIVES?

.Sometimes when others see God’s people flourishing, they are drawn to us and want to know the secret of our success. Other times, though, like these Philistines, they get jealous and seek to block the blessings—even if that results in them losing out.


But see how gracious God is (and how gracious Isaac was). Isaac opened up the wells again, but then moved on. He dug two more wells, but had to move away from them, too. His enemies reaped the blessings of his labor.


The “small picture” perspective says: “How terrible that God’s people faced all this opposition. And just look at all their wasted effort!” But the big picture gives us another perspective. God’s promise was not just that Abraham and his descendants would be blessed, but that “all nations on earth will be blessed” (Gen. 22:18).


When we face opposition, let’s not forget that God is still in control. As Isaac’s grandson would later testify, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Gen. 50:20).  

 

APPLY

Is the opposition you’re facing God’s prompting to move on, or to dig again? Who else has been blessed by your efforts?

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Merciful Father, help me to see Your bigger picture in the struggles in my own life.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Terry Schneider