Pastor’s Desk January 7th

Scripture Passage:  And he removed from thence, and dug 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 26:22
Dear Friends,
     Abraham and Isaac were a father and son combo that was very similar in their love for God but distinctly different in their mannerisms and personality.  Abraham had a take charge personality whereas, Isaac was more introverted and shunned confrontation.  They were alike in that they married beautiful women and both lied about the marriage relationship when questioned by foreign authorities.  Abraham dug wells and became wealthy in land and livestock.  After his death, the Philistines stopped the wells to try and destroy Abraham’s legacy.  The opposite took place.  Genesis 26:12-16 says that Isaac became great and wealthy because God blessed him.  His crops produced one hundred fold and his flocks, herds and servants grew as a result of his greatness.  He was known throughout the land and envied by the Philistines.  Isaac began to unstop the wells the Philistines had filled in.  The first was in the valley of Gerar.  This well was unique in that it was a source of continual fresh water.  The herdsmen of Gerar claimed ownership and strove with the herdsmen of Isaac for the water rights.  Isaac named the well Esek. (contention)  He moved on relinquishing his rights to the well which belonged to his father.  He traveled a little farther and unstopped another well only to meet with the same results.  He named this well Sitnah.  (bitterness)  Instead of having a constant struggle with his neighbors he chose to move on once again.  This time he dug a well and named it Rehoboth, (broadened) for he believed God had made room for him and would cause him to be fruitful in the land.  His final travel was to Beersheba where he dug his final well and named it Sheba.  (oath)  An oath was made for peace between Isaac and his neighbors and it was there he settled down to finish raising his family.
     Isaac did not want trouble but it seemed to follow him anyway.  He kept giving in to the demands of the enemy and suffered loss because of it.  The end result however, was that God blessed him tremendously and even his enemies recognized that the hand of the Lord was upon him.  Genesis 26:28   Abraham displayed the same type of selflessness when he offered Lot the choice of the plains leading to Sodom or the distant mountains.  Abraham’s attitude was “I’ll take whatever you do not want.”  Abraham chose God’s blessings over the worldly pleasures of Sodom and we all know how that worked out.
     I have recently experienced some personal stress due to family strife and contention.  I do not give up wells I have dug very easily.  It goes against my grain to allow someone to push me around, take advantage of me, or even blame me for something I had nothing to do with.  I am discovering more and more each day that sometimes the best thing to do is let it go and move on.  This is the example Abraham and Isaac set.  There is nothing worth splitting a family, or being a constant source of contention between ourselves and our neighbors.  We may win the battle, but we will lose the war in the end.  The patriarchs chose to concentrate on things that were truly important and stop majoring on the minors.  Dr. Adrian Rogers once said, “To whom little is never enough, nothing will ever be enough.” If two of the most powerful men of the Bible could compromise to maintain peace, surely I can also.   “God blesses the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”  Matthew 5:9
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny