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THE WELLS OF ISAAC

PART THREE

REHOBOTH
THE WELL OF ROOM AND PEACE

“And they digged another well,
and strove for that also:

and he called the name of it Sitnah.
And he removed from thence,
and digged another well;
and for that they strove not:

and he called the name of it Rehoboth;
and he said,
For now the LORD hath made room for US,

and we shall be fruitful in the land”
GENESIS 26:19-20

As with all things in God, Rehoboth is more than just a name; it is a promise and a place of great value. It speaks of peace, fruitfulness and growth. A place of quiet repose for the weary sojourners whose vision and purpose is God. The true beauty of Rehoboth is that it is a roomy place. Isaac declares “…for now the Lord has made room for US”! The true heart of a believer must come to the point of the experiential knowing that our journey in God is ALWAYS to culminate in US. The time of the singular pursuit of God is necessary for our development and the discovery of His Call to us personally. However with the passing of time we begin to feel His Heart for HIS BODY of which we are just a part. The cry and very heart of Jesus in John 17 is that we would be ONE AS HE IS WITH HIS FATHER! This desire is HIS and as we grow into HIS HEART by the partaking of HIS very nature (2Peter 1:4) this longing becomes ours. Nature must transcend teaching; the living plant is the transcendent expression of the seed. We must not placate ourselves with a form and a teaching of the life without the travail of heart to BECOME the verity of that life. Travail is the fruit of conception. It is the precursor of Birth and birth is the verity of the new Life!

“…but we also
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,

even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
eagerly waiting for the adoption,
the redemption of our body”

ROMANS 8:28

The more I read the language of the New Testament the words with force and power are the simple ones; “we”, “ours” and “us”. The Well of Rehoboth speaks to us of this truth. The Body of Christ must move beyond the contention and strife. These are not only the work of the enemy, but are in fact the result of an earthly wisdom that is self-seeking, self-promoting and the result of man’s fallen nature.

“Only by pride cometh contention…”
PROVERBS 13:10

“But if ye have
bitter envying and strife in your hearts,

glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above,
but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is,
there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without partiality,

and without hypocrisy.
And the fruit of righteousness
is sown in peace
of them that make peace”

JAMES 3:14-18

The Well of Rehoboth is the promise of provision to those who choose to move from the strife and contention of the religion of men, with their efforts to build something “for” God, and into a place of fellowship and refreshment IN GOD.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head,
that ran down upon the beard,
even Aaron’s beard:
that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon,
and as the dew
that descended upon the mountains of Zion:

for THERE the LORD commanded the blessing,
even life for evermore”
PSALM 133

Brian Troxel

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THE WELLS OF ISAAC

PART TWO

WELLS OF CONTENTION
SITNAH

“And they digged another well,
and strove for that also:
and he called the name of it Sitnah.
And he removed from thence,
and digged another well;
and for that they strove not:
and he called the name of it Rehoboth;
and he said,
For now the LORD hath made room for us,
and we shall be fruitful in the land”
GENESIS 26:19-20

Isaac, having removed himself from the well that he dug near Gerar, dug another well and again experienced contention and strife. This well seemed to be even more contentious than the first for he named it “Sitnah”. Sitnah in the Hebrew means accusation and hatred; it comes from the Hebrew root word satan. The severe meaning of the name indicates an escalated sense of contention; far more personal and malicious.

We all know from experience that we have an adversary. His name means to lie in wait to oppose or attack (satan). His strategies are varied as are the vessels through whom he works. The result of his influence within the Body of Christ has been much damage, sorrow and division. In this passage we see Isaac once again removing himself from this place to dig yet another well.

The journey in the things of God requires patience and persistence to discover a place of peace and rest within our own hearts. Forgiveness and fortitude must be the attitude by which we grow and walk within path of righteousness. These graces will enable us to be fruitful in the purposes of our God.

The persistent pursuit of peace and fruitfulness will always give way to God’s best for us. We read in Psalm 23 that the Lord our Shepherd leads us beside still waters where we can drink deeply of His abundant provisions even in desert places.

May the Lord teach us and lead us into such wonders; fellowship with Him and His people where the waters are quiet and sweet and filled with His presence.

Brian Troxel

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THE WELLS OF ISAAC

PART ONE

ESEK

WELL OF CONTENTION

“And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley,
and found there a well of springing water.
And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen,
saying, The water is ours:
and he called the name of the well Esek;
because they strove with him”
GENESIS 26:19-20

Within the life and the journey of God’s people come trials of various magnitudes. Isaac had now moved from his father’s tent into his own land and experiences. Just prior to this Isaac had set his sights on the former wells that his father had dug. This is the natural thing to do but in the journey of every believer there must come a time for NEW WELLS to be dug; new experiences and new enemies must be faced. The new things in God are found in leaving the former. As Isaac dug new wells he found not only a well of water but a spring that flowed on its own accord. How good are God’s ways and provisions!

It would be all well (no pun intended) and good if the story had ended there. The wells in those days were extremely laborious to dig and the ability to find water was rather hit and miss. Even though he found such a wonderful resource of water we see the enemies of God coming to steal this precious thing from Isaac and his company. Isaac is now confronted with the truth that there is an ever present enemy who would seek to cause us to contend and strive for these gracious provisions. As it was with Isaac so it is with all who walk in the faith and the way of Abraham.

The name of the city where this first episode took place is Gerar which comes from the root word in the original language meaning to “turn back, to tarry or fear” (such is their intended purpose upon our lives). Gerar was an ancient city built and inhabited by the exiled Philistines* of that day. Throughout most of the history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel) they were consistent in their opposition to God’s purposes. At times our enemies seek to bring weariness and discouragement into our lives through the medium of strife and conflict. Our enemies in this day are not natural but spiritual and so we need the spiritual weapons and armor (2 Corinthians 10:4 and Ephesians 6:13-16) to battle and gain the victory. Isaac called the name of the well “Esek”, meaning strife and contention. Sadly, in our own lives, we have times when it is much too easy to get involved with the contention and the heat of the situation. The outcome of such a choice usually results in long-lasting and bitter feelings that can take many years to work through. Timothy was entreated of Paul to not be found striving with the people of God.

“…the servant of the Lord must not strive”
2 Timothy 2:24

Isaac’s response to the men of Gerar was to simply remove himself from the point of contention and go and dig another well. This may sound simple but, speaking from experience, the heart is easily drawn into the fray and the consequences are sure to follow…the lessons and the discipline of His Ways. These are all combined with the teaching of the scriptures to bring us to the place of maturity and wisdom.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect,
thoroughly furnished unto all good works”
2 TIMOTHY 3:17

Truth is not truth until it becomes our own. Contention is a good school master and teacher for in it we discover our own lack of graces and His provisions and patience. There is no way to avoid the strife and contentions of this world and, sadly, in God’s House. Paul spoke of these things in his day; not as a surprising thing but as a thing of necessity for our learning and progress.

“For there must be also heresies* among you,
that they which are approved may be made manifest among you”
1 CORINTHIANS 11:19

Ω

The spheres God brings us into are not meant to teach us something
but to make us something”
Oswald Chambers (1874–1917)

* NOTE:
Philistine in the original language means to “roll or wallow in self-pity”. It speaks of the ministration of the enemy to wear down, discourage and dishearten the people of God. As in the days of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Israel they were ever present and seeking to oppose God’s people and their progress; so also in ours.

* NOTE: (as used in this scripture) G139. αἵρεσις hairesis; gen. haireseōs, fem. noun from haireō (G138), to choose, select. Heresy, a form of religious worship, discipline, or opinion (Acts 5:17; 15:5; 24:5, 14; 26:5; 28:22; 1 Cor. 11:19; Gal. 5:20; 2 Pet. 2:1). In contrast to schisma (G4978), schism which is an actual tearing apart, hairesis may represent a divergent opinion but still be part of a whole. One can hold different views than the majority and remain in the same body, but he is a heretic (hairetikos [G141]). However, when he tears himself away (schizō [G4977]), then he is schismatic. Heresy may lead to schism which is when actual tearing off and separation occur. (THE COMPLETE WORD STUDY DICTIONARY: NEW TESTAMENT)

Brian Troxel

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