He moved on from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. He named it Rehoboth and said, "At last the LORD has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land."
Charles Dickens, in those younger days which he spent in the town of Rochester, used sometimes, in his country walks, to pass a large house standing in its own grounds, called Cad's Hill Place. It was his boyish dream that some day he would be a rich man, and when he became so that he would buy that house and make it his home. Castles in the air of this kind are not uncommon, and nay readers have doubtless indulged in many of them. But what is uncommon is their fulfilment. In Dickens' case it actually came to pass. He not only grew rich, as many do, but he dwelt in his latter years, and at length died, at Cad's Hill Place. I refer to this well-known incident merely to illustrate the difference between the hope of possessing something and the actual possession of it. In Dickens' case, indeed, the feeling could scarcely be called a hope. It was but a wild dream. Nervy, in the Book of Genesis, we have before us the case of men whose eyes, day by day, beheld a domain which they hoped would one day be their home; who not merely beheld it, but actually dwelt in it — only not as owners, but merely as guests; and whose hopes were built, not on boyish imaginations, but on the promise of an almighty and faithful God. And yet they never came into possession l Of Abraham we are told, in Hebrews 11., that he "sojourned in the land of promise as in a strange country"; and of all the patriarchs, that they "died in faith " — still trusting — yet "not having received the promises." In what way, then, were the promises fulfilled? As the progenitors of a people, the patriarchs were to obtain the fulfilment in their descendants, hundreds of years after. As individuals, they obtained it, not on earth, but in heaven. They "desired a better country, that is, an heavenly"; and they got it — something far beyond their most exalted anticipations.
And he removed from thence, and digged another well. Historically, an instance of a meek and quiet spirit in contact with the world. Wells precious. Often formed with much labor. Herdsmen of Gerar took what Isaac had digged. Twice he yielded for the sake of peace. Then he digged another, and for it they strove not. His example (cf. Matthew 5:39
; 1 Corinthians 6:7
). But we may also observe a typical significance. Wells, fountains, sources of "living water" (Isaiah 12:3
; Zechariah 13:1
) connected with spiritual blessings (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:4
with John 4:14
, and John 7:39).
I. ISAAC DIGGED, to find "the gift of God" (common. Eastern name for water). The gift is from God alone (Isaiah 44:3; Zechariah 12:10). His will to bless appears through the whole Bible - in the first formation of man, and in care for the salvation of sinners (Luke 19:10). But many, though thirsty, do not seek living water. They have not peace. Separation from God brings unrest (Isaiah 57:20). But the cause is not believed, and the way of comfort not loved. Many try all ways to find peace except the right one. They will follow preachers, or take up systems, or join associations. But Christ's word is "Come unto me." Again, many will not dig; content merely to wish. God who bestows the gift has appointed means (Matthew 11:12). These do not really desire a work of grace in their souls. Want to be made safe, not to be renewed; to be delivered from fear, but not disturbed just now. Hence do not search their Bibles (Psalm 119:130), or pray for the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 37:9), or care for the salvation of others (1 John 3:17). It is God's will we should dig. He may send a blessing unsought. But usually he works through means. The Bible, prayer, the Lord's table, Christian converse, Christian work (Proverbs 11:25), all are as wells, means for getting the water of life; nothing in themselves, yet made effectual where the blessing is desired.
II. HINDRANCES. Let none expect to possess wells of salvation without. They form the trial of faith (1 Peter 1:7). From those who love not God. A Christian member of a worldly family, or cast among careless associates, meets many hindrances. They may be open or veiled; in opposition or in mistaken kindness. And time for prayer is intruded on, and work for God is hindered, and a constant opposing influence is felt to chill the love of God. Or the hindrance may be from within. In prayer the mind overpowered by intrusive thoughts; besetting sins constantly gaining the victory; our spirits not in harmony with the "still small voice." Remember it is God's will through trial to give victory (1 Corinthians 10:13). Amalek fought against Israel (Exodus 17.) as the herdsmen strove against Isaac, but the way of victory was the same in both instances - trust and perseverance.
III. DIGGED ANOTHER WELL (Galatians 6:9). Will the Lord fail his people though surrounded by hindrances? Is some means of grace debarred? Is some line of Christian work, some way of Christian progress, closed against thee? Dig another well. Seek and pray for other channels in which to consecrate thy life. Perhaps the real foe hindering thee was self-will, and God has helped thee to put down self. Jesus cried, "Come unto me and drink." Whatever be the well, he is the source of its spring. Make it clear to your own heart that you are pressing to him. Tell God that it is indeed so. Then in some form or other the prayer, "Spring up, O well," shall have an abundant answer. - M.
Unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father. I.
IT WAS RENEWED TO HIM IN A TIME OF TRIAL. Divine help comes when all human efforts are exhausted.
II. IT WAS RENEWED TO HIM IN THE OLD TERMS, BUT RESTING ON NEW GROUNDS. Abraham was the beginning of the Church, and therefore God, in speaking to His servant whom He had called, rested upon His own Almightiness (Genesis 17:1). But the Church had already commenced a history in the time of Jacob. There was a past to fall back upon. There was an example to stimulate and encourage. There was some one in whom the power of God was manifested, and who had proved the truth of His Word. Therefore to Isaac God rests His promises on the ground of his father's obedience. Thus the Lord would teach Isaac that His attributes are on the side of the saints; that they possess Him only so far as they are obedient; that he must not regard the promised blessings as a matter of course, to be given irrespective of conduct, but rather as, by their very terms, demanding obedience; and that the greatness of his people could only arise from that piety and practical trust in God of which Abraham was such an illustrious example (ver. 5). But while obedience, as a general principle, was commended to Isaac, yet regard is had to duty as it is special and peculiar to the individual (ver. 2).
Two things are observable in this solemn renewal of the covenant with Isaac.
1. The good things promised. The sum of these blessings is the land of Canaan, a numerous progeny, and, what is greatest of all, the Messiah, in whom the nations should be blessed. On these precious promises Isaac is to live. God provided him with bread in the day of famine; but he "lived not on bread only, but on the words which proceeded from the mouth of God."
2. Their being given for Abraham's sake. We are expressly informed in what manner this patriarch was accepted of God, namely, as "believing on Him who justifieth the ungodly"; and this accounts for the acceptance of his works. The most "spiritual sacrifices" being offered by a sinful creature, can no otherwise be acceptable to God than by Jesus Christ; for, as President Edwards justly remarks, "It does not consist with the honour of the majesty of the king of heaven and earth to accept of any thing from a condemned malefactor, condemned by the justice of his own holy law, till that condemnation be removed." But a sinner being accepted as believing in Jesus, his works also are accepted for his sake, and become rewardable. It was in this way, and not of works, that Abraham's obedience was honoured with so great a reward. To this may be added that every degree of Divine respect to the obedience of the patriarchs was, in fact, no other than respect to the obedience of Christ, in whom they believed, and through whom their obedience, like ours, became acceptable. The light of the moon which is derived from its looking, as it were, on the face of the sun, is no other than the light of the sun itself reflected.
PeopleAbimelech, Ahuzzath, Bashemath, Basmath, Beeri, Elon, Esau, Isaac, Judith, Phichol, Rebekah
PlacesBeersheba, Egypt, Esek, Gerar, Rehoboth, Shibah, Sitnah, Valley of Gerar
TopicsArgue, Calleth, Contend, Didn't, Digged, Diggeth, Dug, Enlargement, Enlargements, Fighting, Flourish, Fruit, Fruitful, Moved, Named, Quarrel, Quarreled, Rehoboth, Reho'both, Removed, Removeth, Room, Saying, Strive, Striven, Strove, Thence, Water-hole
Outline1. Isaac, because of famine, sojourns in Gerar, and the Lord blesses him.
7. He is reproved by Abimelech for denying his wife.
12. He grows rich, and the Philistines envy his prosperity.
18. He digs wells.
23. God appears to him at Beersheba, and blesses him;
26. and Abimelech makes a covenant with him.
34. Esau's wives.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 26:22
8716 dishonesty, examples
LibraryThe First Apostle of Peace at any Price
'Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold, and the Lord blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
"Thou Art Now the Blessed of the Lord. "
"Thou art now the blessed of the Lord."--Genesis 26:29. THESE words truly describe the position of many whom I address at this time. There are hundreds here upon whom my eye can rest, and to any one of whom I might point with this finger, or rather, to whom I might extend this hand, to give a hearty shake, and say, "Thou art now the blessed of the Lord." I need not say it in the same spirit, nor for the same reason, that the Philistines did. They had behaved basely towards Isaac, and now that he …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892
There are few subjects on which the Lord's own people are more astray than on the subject of giving. They profess to take the Bible as their own rule of faith and practice, and yet in the matter of Christian finance, the vast majority have utterly ignored its plain teachings and have tried every substitute the carnal mind could devise; therefore it is no wonder that the majority of Christian enterprises in the world today are handicapped and crippled through the lack of funds. Is our giving to be …
Arthur W. Pink—Tithing
Whether Every Lie is a Sin?
Objection 1: It seems that not every lie is a sin. For it is evident that the evangelists did not sin in the writing of the Gospel. Yet they seem to have told something false: since their accounts of the words of Christ and of others often differ from one another: wherefore seemingly one of them must have given an untrue account. Therefore not every lie is a sin. Objection 2: Further, no one is rewarded by God for sin. But the midwives of Egypt were rewarded by God for a lie, for it is stated that …
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica
The conduct of Father Abraham, although not approved of by Inspiration, but simply recorded (Gen. xxvi. 7), gave early Christians an opinion that the wicked may be justly foiled, by equivocation and deception, for the preservation of innocence or the life of the innocent. In such case the person deceived, they might argue, is not injured, but benefited (Gen. xxvi. 10), being saved from committing violence and murder. The Corinthian maiden was accustomed to be veiled (as Tertullian intimates), and …
Hippolytus—The Extant Works and Fragments of Hippolytus
An Obscured vision
(Preached at the opening of the Winona Lake Bible Conference.) TEXT: "Where there is no vision, the people perish."--Proverbs 29:18. It is not altogether an easy matter to secure a text for such an occasion as this; not because the texts are so few in number but rather because they are so many, for one has only to turn over the pages of the Bible in the most casual way to find them facing him at every reading. Feeling the need of advice for such a time as this, I asked a number of my friends who …
J. Wilbur Chapman—And Judas Iscariot
The Plan for the Coming of Jesus.
God's Darling, Psalms 8:5-8.--the plan for the new man--the Hebrew picture by itself--difference between God's plan and actual events--one purpose through breaking plans--the original plan--a starting point--getting inside. Fastening a Tether inside: the longest way around--the pedigree--the start. First Touches on the Canvas: the first touch, Genesis 3:15.--three groups of prediction--first group: to Abraham, Genesis 12:1-3; to Isaac, Genesis 26:1-5; to Jacob, Genesis 28:10-15; through Jacob, …
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus
And to Holy David Indeed it Might More Justly be Said...
22. And to holy David indeed it might more justly be said, that he ought not to have been angry; no, not with one however ungrateful and rendering evil for good; yet if, as man, anger did steal over him, he ought not to have let it so prevail, that he should swear to do a thing which either by giving way to his rage he should do, or by breaking his oath leave undone. But to the other, set as he was amid the libidinous frenzy of the Sodomites, who would dare to say, "Although thy guests in thine own …
St. Augustine—Against Lying
Covenanting Performed in Former Ages with Approbation from Above.
That the Lord gave special token of his approbation of the exercise of Covenanting, it belongs to this place to show. His approval of the duty was seen when he unfolded the promises of the Everlasting Covenant to his people, while they endeavoured to perform it; and his approval thereof is continually seen in his fulfilment to them of these promises. The special manifestations of his regard, made to them while attending to the service before him, belonged to one or other, or both, of those exhibitions …
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting
Jesus Sets Out from Judæa for Galilee.
Subdivision B. At Jacob's Well, and at Sychar. ^D John IV. 5-42. ^d 5 So he cometh to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 and Jacob's well was there. [Commentators long made the mistake of supposing that Shechem, now called Nablous, was the town here called Sychar. Sheckem lies a mile and a half west of Jacob's well, while the real Sychar, now called 'Askar, lies scarcely half a mile north of the well. It was a small town, loosely called …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
Appendix ii. Philo of Alexandria and Rabbinic Theology.
(Ad. vol. i. p. 42, note 4.) In comparing the allegorical Canons of Philo with those of Jewish traditionalism, we think first of all of the seven exegetical canons which are ascribed to Hillel. These bear chiefly the character of logical deductions, and as such were largely applied in the Halakhah. These seven canons were next expanded by R. Ishmael (in the first century) into thirteen, by the analysis of one of them (the 5th) into six, and the addition of this sound exegetical rule, that where two …
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
Sundry Sharp Reproofs
This doctrine draws up a charge against several sorts: 1 Those that think themselves good Christians, yet have not learned this art of holy mourning. Luther calls mourning a rare herb'. Men have tears to shed for other things, but have none to spare for their sins. There are many murmurers, but few mourners. Most are like the stony ground which lacked moisture' (Luke 8:6). We have many cry out of hard times, but they are not sensible of hard hearts. Hot and dry is the worst temper of the body. Sure …
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12
The Section Chap. I. -iii.
The question which here above all engages our attention, and requires to be answered, is this: Whether that which is reported in these chapters did, or did not, actually and outwardly take place. The history of the inquiries connected with this question is found most fully in Marckius's "Diatribe de uxore fornicationum," Leyden, 1696, reprinted in the Commentary on the Minor Prophets by the same author. The various views may be divided into three classes. 1. It is maintained by very many interpreters, …
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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