You want to talk about being in a bad situation, Isaac was certainly in one. Isaac was dealing with many things in his life. Abraham, his dad had just passed away. It is bad when you lose family, but when you lose those whom you have loved dearly it’s hard to get past it. This is probably one of the last times Isaac and Ishmael will be in union because even in our time the Arab and Jewish nations are at war.
His son, Esau, had despised his Birthright. There was a famine in the land, and God wouldn’t let him run from it. Let me stop here and say this is the problem for many people, both Christians and lost people, as soon as things get a little hard they want to run. He had trouble from his neighbors. They filled his father’s wells with dirt. So, he moved further away into the valley and began uncovering wells that had been filled by his neighbors. He dug another well in the valley, and his neighbors still fought him. To show how frustrated he was, He called that well Esek which means, “contention.” Every time he drank from this well, he had to watch his back. Isaac said to himself, “I can’t live like this.” So, what did he do? He dug another well and his neighbors strove over that one. He called it Sitnah, which means, “enmity, a state of opposition.” Every time he drank from this well he had to have one eye open. Isaac said, “I cant live like this.” So, again he dug another well and called it Rehoboth. He said now the Lord has made room for us. Rehoboth means “room.”
These are some of the troubles Isaac faced in a matter of a short period of time. Usually when people face the pressure of a father passing, trouble with their children, and neighbors fighting over water rights they are uptight, easily agitated and aggressive.
It is also clear that Isaac was the biggest cattle man in the area. Isaac had the Lord’s blessings on his life. He didn’t have to do any fighting, because He knew God was on his side. He had the weight of his dad passing on his shoulders. He had a child involved with wrong girls. He had a famine in the land and God wouldn’t let him move. He had neighbors who stopped up his well and wouldn’t let him keep the new ones he dug. The same neighbors came and lied straight to his face. These were the same folks who made a covenant with his dad. He had the ability to destroy all his enemies, and they acknowledged that; however, he knew God was on his side and that God could do a better job with his enemies than he could. So, instead of getting involved in areas he couldn’t control, he just dug another well.
I know Abraham went after Lot and rescued him and his family. David went after his wives and children and rescued them. God’s people fought against Philistines. There is a time for war and a time to fight, but sometimes it’s just best to dig another well. A well is not worth the lives of people if more wells can be dug.
A well is a very necessary part of life. In certain places there is only well water to sustain a people. But again, sometimes it’s just best to dig another well. Let me give you some thoughts about moving on and digging another well.
1. Digging another well is not a sign of cowardice, but a sign of compliance.
Romans 12:18-21, God tells the individual to do everything in their power to prevent strife. You are to do everything but compromise to try and get along with those who want to fight against you.
2. Digging another well is not a sign of compromise.
Isaac didn’t lose any ground by digging another well. He knew God, in His time, was going to give it all to him anyway. You have more things to do for God than to involve yourself in battles that you can’t control. It’s not a sign of compromise not to involve yourself in battles that belong to God. Too many Christians want to fight God’s battles, when they need to move on and let God give them what they need in His timing.
3. Digging another well is a sign of compassion.
In the great Sermon on the Mount, our Lord said, “Blessed are the peace makers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Never mistake peacemaking only without the shedding of blood. Sometimes peacemaking only comes from shedding blood. We make peace with God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. America enjoys a certain level of peace because of the shed blood of American patriots. When you decide to move on from your disagreements with people, you are only revealing your compassion for people knowing that God deals with people better than we do.
4. Digging another well shows Christian maturity.
Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Romans 12:17-21 says, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
When challenged with difficult times, God’s people have the opportunity to exemplify their Lord. If your girlfriend or boyfriend turns their back on you, don’t hurt yourself or them, just move on and dig another well. If you get fired from work and you know it’s not your fault, just move on and dig another well. If you are falsely accused, God knows you are innocent, so just move on and dig another well. If you had your car repossessed, if it is your fault just ask God’s forgiveness, and move on and dig another well. If you will move on and dig another well, eventually you will find Rehoboth. You will find that if you will learn to move on through your adversities and disagreements in life, God will eventually find room for you to make peace and do great works for Him.
Central Coast Baptist Church