RE-dig the Wells

Abraham was dead, Sarah had passed away years before… and Isaac was the new patriarch. It’s interesting in reading the story of Abraham and Isaac that just following the burial account of Abraham, we see into the life of Isaac and what he does next. Look at the verses in Genesis 26:18-25.


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 herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen 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.


I find deep significance and meaning in this passage because I think in many ways, each generation must go through the journey that Isaac experienced. His parents were gone, and he had to establish for himself the next phase of his life… He revisited the very places his father had settled over the years and found the wells they had dug were closed by the jealous and opportunistic Philistines.

He opened the wells again and named them the same names his father had given them…. and then, he launched into some new well projects and immediately hit trouble… Notice the 3 steps involved in Isaac finding a well that he and his herdsmen could use.

The first well riled up the Philistines and they claimed the water for themselves… Isaac named the well “Esek”… a Hebrew word for dispute…. I love how so many of the Hebrew names give meaning to an event or a place…

The second well he established brought more controversy and he named it “Sitnah”… a Hebrew word for opposition.

Finally, he dug a third well and found no opposition and named it “Rehoboth”… a Hebrew word meaning “room to live”.

Shortly after this experience, God assures Isaac that His plan that started in Abraham will live on…. and Isaac builds an altar to worship. Such is the journey of each generation… whether you have a spiritual legacy or not, each generation must find their way to the place the Isaac finally came… and the reality is, you will have dispute and opposition as you journey into your unique destiny. The results of a fallen world and the reality of a spiritual battle ensure that we will have a fight. The good news is that if we hold on and fight through and continue to journey on the destiny that God has for us, we will come to a place of “Rehoboth” and God will cause us to flourish and His blessing will be a reality in our life…

I’m not sure where you find yourself today, in your career, your relationships, or your spiritual walk… maybe you’re at the first well of opposition… or maybe you’ve moved to the second well of dispute… The good news is God has a well of “room to live” and it’s coming… When it comes, build an altar and worship him… In fact, worship along the way… Life’s a great adventure.

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