Photo by David Kovalenko
And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them. Genesis 26:18
Isaac re-digging the wells here symbolizes taking back an inheritance that was his. We are told that the philistine had filled them up with dirt when Abraham died. They did it out of malice to stop Abraham’s descendants from claiming the land which was rightfully theirs.
Isaac’s story is a reminder that sometimes the enemy will cover up and hide things that God has rightfully given to us, to stop us from inheriting them. But because it’s our inheritance we have to go back and re-dig what has been covered up. We have to go back and reclaim what is rightfully ours.
In re-digging the well, three things come up:
Isaac servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there, but the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “the water is ours!” So he called the well Esek because they contended with him. Genesis 26: 19-20
Esek in Hebrew means to “contend” or “contention”. Even though the blessing was his, it didn’t prevent the enemy from contending with him.
The promises of God for our lives won’t come without contention. We will have to contend for our inheritance in Jesus. Jude 1:3 says beloved although I was eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude says to contend for the faith. To contend for the promises of God; for the marriage; for the dreams God has given us. Contending is necessary if we are going to have everything that God has made available for us.
Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also. So he called its name Sitnah. Genesis 26:21
Sitnah means “adversary,” “hostility,” “opposition” or “hatred”. We have an adversary. 1 peter 5:8 says be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a lion, seeking someone to devour.
The moment we decide to go after what’s ours; we will face hostility, we will be met with opposition.
The enemy will oppose us. Sometimes we can be so focused on the people opposing us that we forget that it’s not them we should be concerned about. The enemy behind them is who we should be fighting not people. Remember, For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6: 12
Our adversary is not people, there is a real enemy who is looking to stay hidden so we don’t win the fight. But if we are going to keep fighting and receive back what the enemy has stolen we have to make sure we are fighting the right adversary.
God will make room
And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. so he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “ For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” Genesis 26:22
Rehoboth means “room” or “broad places”.
Isaac called the well Rehoboth because he knew God had made room for him to flourish. If we don’t go through the contention and opposition, we will not get to the place where God makes room for us. In running after our God-given inheritance we will get to our place where nothing and no one can stop what God has for us.
But before we get here God allows us to face contention so we can learn to contend for what is ours. He allows contention so we can learn to fight back. He also allows opposition to refine us. Opposition will quickly purify our motives. Opposition will reveal the real reason we want the things we are saying we want. But if we will stand our ground and refuse to be moved we will get to the season of flourishing.
Maybe you are in a season of re-digging wells. You have found yourself having to do the same thing over and over again and you are feeling worn out. Be encouraged if Isaac stopped at the first well he re-dug. He wouldn’t have gotten to Rehoboth- the place of flourishing.
Starting over isn’t easy. Redoing the same thing, again and again, is not fun, but because we know what we are after we will keep doing it. Isaac knew he had to keep re-digging if he was going to claim his inheritance and we have to keep digging our wells too.
Maybe you have had to start over in business more than once. Maybe you keep digging the well of relationships and coming out empty-handed. Maybe you keep re-digging the wells of a dream, again and again, without getting the expected results. Don’t give up, Isaac kept digging until he got to the place of fruitfulness. If you don’t quit you will get to fruitfulness in due season.
God has an inheritance for you that no contention or opposition can stop. There is a place for you that flourishing is a must because you have overcome contention and opposition and have refused to quit.
Keep on re-digging!