Tuesday, March 29th, 2022
The marketing of this age could easily be summed up in one word: “more.” The world tells us we should always want more, strive for more, and if we’re not getting more, then we are a failure. There are countless Bible passages that speak to the error of this way of thinking, but one story I believe shows it better than any memorized verse can enlighten. Isaac, the son of Abraham, lived his entire life in the land promised to his father; however, he did so as a nomad like his father, living in tents, not building cities, because he understood that the land would not be given to him until a future day. Such a way of life often led to conflict with the people who, in that day actually owned and controlled the land — they would sometimes react like we would if someone decided to pitch his tent in our backyard! After a such a mix up with a pagan king, Isaac ventured out into the wilderness, and as was necessary to have water, he reopened the wells his father had dug. Twice, after laboriously re-digging wells, the locals claimed it as their own, and Isaac and his family had to move on, seeking out a new place to camp. Finally, he digs a well and no one quarreled with him over it. He named it “Rehoboth,” meaning “open space” in Hebrew, because he said, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”Isaac praised the Lord for giving him just a little space, a place to set up camp - though not to live permanently. Even though he worked tirelessly to re-dig the first two wells, when challenged, even unfairly, he walked away from them without complaint. Why? How could he just abandon what he built, especially to people who had no right to claim it as their own? Because he trusted in God’s promises. Isaac knew that whatever he built by his hands here would not compare to what was promised to him from God in the future. As the world tells us that we should be building our own brands, our own kingdoms, seeking after more at all costs, Isaac shows us what leads to peace in hard times — thankfulness for just a little “open space” to rest in. Isaac struggled mightily in his life, no doubt, just as we all do. But struggling today is a sign of God’s promise! Hebrews tells us “By faith [Abraham] made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.” The struggle we face today is not a curse but a sign of what better things are to come when we live faithfully, giving thanks for just the little “open space” God gives us to live in while on this earth. Today, if you are struggling, remember Isaac, and his faith in the promises of God, for those same promises are ours as well.
“So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar, where he settled. Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them. Isaac’s 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 named the well Esek, because they disputed with him. Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.” — Genesis 26: 17-22
“By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.” — Hebrews 11:9