Daily Reading: Genesis 25, 26; Matthew 9:1-17
So he called it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day. (Genesis 26:33, NASB95)
The names that Isaac gives the wells are an important part of this story, and yet the significance may be lost on us because the meanings are not always given for us in our translation. The naming of wells comes after he has heard from the Lord, “Stay in this land and I will be with you and bless you” (Gen. 26:3). From here on he has problems, first of his own making (Gen. 26:7-11), but then also as a result of jealousy by the Philistines. They saw how God had blessed him with great wealth and envied him. In order to hinder his growth and progress in the land, they filled in the wells of water with earth (Gen. 26:15). They harassed him until he left that area, forcing him to abandon his newly redug wells. By naming the wells, Isaac memorializes his journey: “Contention”, “Enmity”, “Broad Place,” and finally “Well of Abundance” (Beersheba). Isaac was not looking to be contentious, but rather he sought peace with the Philistines. Isaac’s experience may seem quite distant from us, but it is actually similar to anyone who seeks peace (Ps. 34:14-16; Matt. 5:9; 1 Pet. 3:11-12).
- God has promised to guide the Christian, to be with him, and to bless him, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy (Matt. 28:16-20; Heb. 13:5-6).
- When you don’t at first succeed, try again. In fact, it’s through perseverance in God’s grace and goodness that our lives reveal God’s power at work (Lk. 8:15; Rom. 12:3-5; Heb. 12:1-2).
- Isaac refused to fight with the Philistines or respond to them in the same way they were treating him, and yet God made a place for him.
- God fulfilled the promises and fought Isaac’s battles.
Are you living in faithfulness to the Lord in where He has planted you? Do you pursue peace with all people? Do you have hope for the future?