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Genesis 25:24-26:35 - Living Water - Part 2
Chapter 26:1-6 - 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.
The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt;live in the land where I tell you to live. 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. 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, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”
So Isaac stayed in Gerar.”
I’m pretty sure Abraham shared these things with his son, but thus far, as far as we know, this is the first time the Lord spoke to Isaac confirming this covenant.
So here’s Isaac, he and his family are heading south, and remember, the last time his family headed south - BAD things happened!! They picked up Hagar in Egypt and out popped Hamas! So God cuts them off at the pass and says: “No, no, don’t go into Egypt, you stay put, stay in this land, the land I have given you.”
Here he has a tremendous spiritual experience! Imagine God showing up while your chillin’ out watching TV, and says: “You!! I’ve picked you and the whole world’s gonna be blessed through you, and your offspring’s gonna have all these countries...” I mean, this is DEEP stuff!
And you think he would come away from this encounter with just a renewed commitment to serve God and to give his life to holy living. But no sooner does he have this great spiritual experience, then notice what happens in vs. 7.
Vs. 7-11 - “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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
So Abimelek gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who harms this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
If you’ve been reading our past messages on Abraham, here we go with the sister deal again!! We’ve encountered this twice with his father in the past and we noted there, in Gen. 12 & Gen. 20 that as Abraham could not quite get around the repenting of this sin, it should be of no surprise that we now see the same sin surfacing in the life of his son. So he has this tremendous spiritual experience, and then he falls right into sin!
You see how the Word of God is setting this up? This is why the Bible warns us in 1 Cor. 10:12, Prov. 16:18, Prov. 4:23 - “Take heed, lest you think you stand, that you end up falling.”
The moment you think that you're riding the spiritual wave - you think you’re God’s man or God’s woman, and the next thing ya know you're going to be doing something stupid if you’re not careful. And so the Word of God would have us take note that it is after these very positive spiritual experiences that we really need to guard our hearts! From time to time the Lord will come along and allow this to show us that we’re not quite the spiritual legend we think we are!
Notice in vs. 12, man, you know how people talk about the N.T., the “kinder, gentler” N.T, and there’s no grace in the O.T. God... Talk about the grace of God! Watch what happens after he messes up in vs. 12.
Vs. 12-15 - “Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.
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.”
The Philistines blocked them up with dirt! That’s a dirty trick! Now the Philistines are going to give us a picture of the world here. And they’re running around just throwing dirt in these wells and filling them up.
We gotta understand that in this culture, the Arabien desert here, these wells of water were gold. And that’s why every time we saw there was a famine with Abraham and with Isaac, everyone wants to flee to Egypt. Why? Because there’s a big river there called the Nile! But they didn’t have that, so there’s these huge wells and they figure prominently into this story.
But notice the great grace of God here! Isaac just messed up big time, but God is prospering this man and He’s building up this nation He will call his own. So those who subscribe to this idea that the O.T. God is mean and rough and grace is only in the N.T., these people haven’t really read the O.T.
And in going through the first 26 chapters of Genesis alone, we have seen many great examples of God’s grace from Adam and Eve all through to here.
But there are some profound pictures here for us in the filling up of these wells, and want to camp on this for a few minutes.
First, in the Scriptures, water speaks of and symbolizes the Word of God. Paul tells us in Eph. 5:26 that we are to wash ourselves in the “water” of the Word of God. Christ tells us in John 7, that if “anyone hungers and thirsts, come to me and drink, and out of him will flow rivers of living water.”
Interestingly, down in vs. 19, the water’s gonna be described coming forth from one of these wells - it will say: “flowing” or “springing” water, but in the Hebrew the word is “living.” So in the Hebrew, we’ve got living water springing from these wells.
The picture is this: Water speaks to the Word of God. As God is establishing his people in the land He’s giving them, the Philistines a picture of the world, they wait to come in and fill these wells with dirt and stop them up. This is sorta the O.T. version of the parable of the soils in Matt. 13 where the enemy comes and snatches away the seeds that God has sown.
Listen, when you are going to the well of Living Water, when you are going to the well of the Word of God, there are people and there are forces that are going to come along and stop that up. They wanna throw dirt at you, they wanna discourage you, they want to dry that well up!
The wells are the Word of God in your life. Could be Sunday morning, Monday night, hopefully throughout the weeks in your homes, home groups, whatever. These wells of the Word of God, they are precious, they are life-giving, and the enemy knows this and he will do ANYTHING to keep you from going to these wells.
He will use circumstances, activity, busyness, laziness, he will use people, he will bend over backward to keep you out of the Word of God! He will fill you life with religious activity if he can keep you out of the word of God.
Some of you have experienced this to one degree or another right around Sunday at 9:00. You feel that pull or tug not to come - ya know what I’m talking about - ya meet that resistance, and he has his way with some of us, doesn’t he!?
We’re not consistent with coming to the Wells of Living Water of the Word of God.
I know life can get tough, I know there are circumstances from time to time, but wherever you go to church, you get there every week. These wells are precious, and the enemy knows that. It is that well which transforms you!
Join us next week as we finish off chapter 26. Blessings to you all.