Gen. 26:23-25 Well of the Oath

            Gen. 26:23 "And he went up from thence to Beersheba. 24 And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake. 25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well."

            Isaac went up to Beersheba.  Beersheba literally means "well of the oath."  It's name was about to be fulfilled.  The servants of Isaac digged a well here.  Later king Abimelech would come and make an oath with Isaac.  Thus, the name of the place was appropriately named.  Today, in the Lord's church we draw water out of the well of the oath; i.e., we drink of the covenant of redemption that God made before the foundation of the world.  That covenant is stated for us in Rom. 8:29, 30: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." 

            "And the LORD appeared unto him the same night…"  The felt presence of the Lord is one of the greatest blessings we can experience this side of heaven.  The Lord has promised: Matt. 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."  There is a location that is a great blessing from the Lord.  When the church gathers in the Lord name, they are at that location that is a great blessing from the Lord.  Likewise, Isaac had gone to the location the Lord instructed him of and the Lord appeared unto him.  When we gather ourselves together and drink water out of the well of God's eternal covenant of redemption, the Lord appears unto us and greatly blesses us with his felt presence.

            "And said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake."  Fear not is a term that indicates that when we put our trust in the Lord we have no reason to fear for the Lord is with us.  Moreover, the Lord said to Isaac that "I am with thee…"  Oftentimes the Lord is with us and we don't even recognize it.  But what a blessing it is to us when the Lord makes his presence known unto us.  The Lord not only spoke of the present tense but also of the future tense as he said "I will bless thee."  What a blessing it is to have the promise from the Lord of future blessings.  He has blessed us, he is blessing us, and he will bless us.  God also promised that he would multiply Isaac's seed.  That is also a blessing from the Lord to know that God will multiply your seed.  The Lord also told Isaac why he would multiply his seed: "for my servant Abraham's sake."  Being blessed for someone else's sake is nevertheless a blessing.  We are blessed today for Christ's sake.  We are blessed not because we deserve it, but we are blessed because of Christ and his work on the cross and his causing us to be born of the Spirit. 

            "And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there…"  Based on the presence and the promises of God, Isaac did exactly what he should have done.  He builded an altar there.  That is he worshipped God in the place of God's blessings.  Moreover, he called upon the name of the LORD there.  A God who has promised us such great things, is worthy for us to call upon his name.  Since, he can deliver with such great deliverances, he can deliver us in our daily cares and needs as well.  Isaac also pitched his tent there.  This is the perfect spot for Isaac to pitch his tent.  This (the church) is also the perfect spot to pitch our tent and rest under the umbrella of the gospel of God's grace.  Hearing the good news of an ever present God and all the great things that he has and will do for us is a great motivation to us to pitch our tent among the Lord's humble people.

            "And there Isaac's servants digged a well."  When the gospel ministers preach to us from the unsearchable riches of God's word, they have digged a well in the fountain of God's word and we are made partakers of the waters of God's glorious gospel.


Gen. 26:26-33 Seeking Peace

            Gen. 26:26 "Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army. 27 And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you? 28 And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; 29 That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD. 30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. 31 And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. 32 And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water. 33 And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day."

            The Philistine king, the kings friend, and the chief captain of the king's army all went to Isaac to talk unto him and ask him to make a covenant with them.  This is a direct recognition that Isaac had become greater than all the nation of the Philistines.  The lesser goes to the greater when desiring peace.  Isaac had previously been asked to leave the city of the king's habitation for he had grown great and the envy of the people put political pressure upon the king to send Isaac away.  Now, the Philistines are greatly afraid of Isaac as he has grown so great in their sight.  The LORD had greatly prospered Isaac in this land. 

            When this entourage came to Isaac, "Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?"  In Isaac's mind he had been sent away because of envy and hatred toward him.  While this may have been true concerning the multitudes of the king's city, yet I do not believe it to be true of the king himself.  He had succumbed, however, to political pressure and had sent Isaac away. 

            "And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; 29 That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD."  This is a reflection of the fear that the people had concerning Isaac.  They were afraid that he would arise and do them harm and they saw that he was wealthier and mightier than they.  Thus, they desired a covenant of peace with Isaac.  Again, the weaker party seeks out the greater when desiring peace. 

            They claimed that they had not touched Isaac and had done unto him nothing but good and sent him away in peace.  While there is no indication that they had touched Isaac, yet many of the people had strived with him over two or three of the wells that he had dug.  Further, it is a stretch to think that they had sent him away in peace, but rather they had sent him away because of their envy of him.  However, they were right about one thing; Isaac had indeed become the blessed of the LORD.  That in itself was reason for them to seek peace with Isaac.  A man can be overcome, but the LORD cannot be overcome. 

            As we had noted before, Isaac had sought a quiet and peaceable habitation when he experienced the strife over the wells.  Therefore, it was also in his best interest to enter into a covenant of peace with the Philistines.  The two parties sware one to another and feasted together showing their ready agreement with the covenant of peace treaty. 

            "And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water.  And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day."  Like Isaac, we have peace with God because of a covenant that God made before the world began.  Thus, when we dig into God's word, we find water that satisfies the longings for peace in the soul of God's children. 


Gen. 26:34-35 Choosing a Godly Mate

            Gen. 26:34 "And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah."  Isaac and Rebekah both knew that the nations of people that dwelled in the land of Canaan had been marked out by the Lord for destruction.  They also knew that the promised seed would not go through the lineage of the Hittites.  Moreover, they knew that the ways of the Hittites were wicked in the sight of God.  They knew that the grandchildren that would come from that marriage would be brought up in the ways of the Hittites.  Thus, it was a grief of mind to both Isaac and to Rebekah.  This also teaches us the importance of marrying a godly mate.