Gen. 26:12-16  The LORD Blesses Isaac

            Gen. 26:12 "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. 15 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. 16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we." 

            In this modern day of mechanization and heavy and specialized equipment in farming, the farmer is able to break up his soil much more than his predecessors were able to do.  Also, the farmer has fertilizers available to him that maximizes his production.  Today, if the farmer gets a 30-40 fold return he thinks he has had a good crop.  Yet, without all this, Isaac sowed in the land and received in the same year a hundredfold return.  He did this because the LORD blessed him.  The scriptures are plain that the LORD richly blessed Isaac and that is the reason that he waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great.  When the LORD blesses a man he can do great things.  The key is the LORD's blessings.  The LORD had promised Isaac that he would bless him and now we have the abundant evidence of the LORD's blessings. 

            "For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. 15 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."  When the LORD blesses a man, those who are not following the LORD often become envious of that man who is being blessed.  Envy invariably leads to jealousy and ultimately persecution.  The greatest example of how this happens is illustrated for us by the envy of the Pharisees and Sadducees and chief priests against Christ:

                        1.  Matt. 27:18 "For he knew that for envy they had delivered him."

                        2.  Mark 15:10 "For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy."  The Philistines envied the prosperity of both Abraham and Isaac.  During Abraham's day they were afraid to do anything against Abraham, but after the death of Abraham they stopped the wells that Abraham's servants had dug with earth.  Now their envy had turned upon Isaac. 

            "And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we."  We have before shown that Abimelech feared God.  Yet, he was a man subject to much political pressure.  No doubt, this pressure was great for Abimelech to ask Isaac to leave and go from them.  Abimelech succumbed to that pressure.   


Gen. 26:17-22 Striving Over Water

            Gen. 26:17 "And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. 18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. 19 And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. 20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. 21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. 22 And he removed from thence, and digged 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."

            "And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there."  Isaac did not argue with Abimelech or pick a fight with Abimelech.  Isaac did not say that it wasn't fair that he had to leave, but rather Isaac knew that he was dwelling in Abimelech's land and that Abimelech was the king of that land and that he should respect the wishes of the king of that land.  This principle of submission is taught to us in 1 Peter:2:13, 14: "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well."

            "And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them."  Since the wells were good and valuable in Abraham's day, they would still be good and valuable in Isaac's day. 

            The Philistines envy of Abraham was the cause of their stopping the wells after the death of Abraham.  They did not want to recognize the work of Abraham and his greatness.  Likewise, today we see the envy and persecution against the work of the Lord's true church.  The enemies of the church are envious of the Lord's blessings upon the church.  If these enemies had their way they would stop the wells of the Lord's true church.  They would stop people from drawing water out of the wells of salvation.  They would stop the flow of the true gospel of the grace of Christ and would instead offer water from the broken cisterns that they had dug. 

            Just as Isaac called the names of the wells the same as his father Abraham had named them, so today, when we dig again the wells that our forefathers had drawn from, the names of God's grace, mercy, love, election, predestination, effectual calling are still used by those who have dug again the wells that were previously dug by our forefathers.

            "And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water."  This is similar to what we read in the New Testament: John 4:14 "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."  When we dig into God's word, we uncover in our knowledge this well of springing water within us and drink of that which the Lord has given us and we never thirst for a redeemer again. 

            "And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him.  And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.  And he removed from thence, and digged 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."  It is apparent that Isaac was seeking for a place where he could be alone without strife.  He was not trying to pick a fight with the Philistines, though it seems they were trying to pick a fight with him.  The Lord's people in his true church have generally been a peace loving people who desire to have a quiet habitation.  While their enemies often seek a fight against them, yet they strive to dwell peacefully and seek a place separate from strife.  When we find such a quiet habitation, we can do as Isaac and be fruitful in the land.