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From Here to There

Genesis 26:1-4:

Now there was a famine in the land—aside from the previous famine that happened in Abraham’s days. So Isaac went to King Abimelech of the Philistines, to Gerar.  Then Adonai appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Dwell in the land about which I tell you.  Live as an outsider in this land and I will be with you and bless you—for to you and to your seed I give all these lands—and I will confirm my pledge that I swore to Abraham your father.

We all have a place in our hearts called “there.”  Our place called “there” is a place of rest – a place of promise – a place of freedom –  a place of purpose – a place of destiny.

For Isaac and Rebekah that place called “there” was the Promised Land.  After the death of Abraham, a famine spread throughout the land, forcing Isaac and Rebekah to move to Gerar.  This must have been quite frustrating for Isaac and Rebekah considering that the land of Canaan had been promised to Isaac, yet due to a famine Isaac was instructed to leave from their place of blessing.

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During their sojourn in Gerar, Isaac and Rebekah faced great struggles.   Isaac and Rebakah seemed to be just moving in circles, not really accomplishing anything – not really moving ahead.  Every time Isaac tried to take a step forward for his family, opposition pushed him two steps backwards.  Life was so difficult for Isaac and Rebekah in Gerar that whenever Isaac tried to provide for his family by establishing wells to sustain his household, the Philistines came along and commandeered the wells, claiming the water for themselves.

Genesis 26:19-21:

“Then Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of living water there. But the shepherds of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s shepherds saying, “The water is ours!” So he named the well, Quarrel, because they quarreled with him. Then he dug another well and they quarreled over it too, so he named it Accusation.”

On one occasion, Isaac named a well Esek, which means “quarrel.”  On another occasion Isaac named a well Sitnah, which means “accusation.”  However, Isaac showed great character through these difficult circumstances.  Isaac kept moving forward and he dug another well.

What we must glean from Isaac and Rebekah’s sojourn in Gerar is that at times life is unfair.  We will be wronged on occasion and often our earnest efforts will seem to be in vain.  Despite the opposition, Isaac kept moving his family forward.

“When we are faced with life’s challenges, we can approach life in one of two ways.  We can either focus our prayers on surviving, or we can focus our prayers on thriving.  There’s a time and place for both approaches.  Surviving is a skill set.  Thriving is also a skill set.  Having spent many years of my life in the surviving category, I can tell you that surviving is situational while thriving is a state-of mind.”

Rehoboth

Genesis 26:22:

“And he moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it Rehoboth {wide spaces}. ‘Because now Adonai has created wide spaces for us and we will be fruitful in the land.’”

“Rehoboth means “wide spaces.” Rehoboth refers to the promises that only God can give and the enemy cannot take away.  The Philistines did not contend for Isaac’s well at Rehoboth.  At Rehoboth we find that our place called “there” is not merely a place of physical fulfillment, but a place of lasting peace and intimacy with God.”

Life is full of challenges.  We all experience our share of obstacles.  Constant frustrations can drain the life out of the strongest sojourners.  However, Isaac’s and Rebekah’s example is clear.  Keep moving forward.  Keep walking by faith.  Keep trusting God for His promises God will bring you to broad places. 

At Rehoboth Isaac and Rebekah’s circumstances began to change.  Isaac kept moving his family forward until he pitched his tent once again in the Promised Land.  Genesis 26:23 tells us that Isaac and Rebekah sojourned in a place called Beersheba which is located in the Negev desert.

At Beersheba Isaac built an altar and he dug another well.  At Beersheba God appeared to Isaac and reconfirmed to him the promises that He had made to his father Abraham.

The struggle that we experience during our journey “from here to there” builds our character and prepares us to walk in our purpose.  If we walk in faith – in time – God will bring us into that which He has promised.  In God, there is such a thing as “happily ever after.”

Prayer:

Genesis 26:12-13:

Then Isaac sowed in that land and in that year reaped a hundredfold. Adonai blessed him  and the man became great and continued to become greater until he became very great.”

In the name of Jesus – May the Lord empower you to prosper, grow, move forward, and wax great! Amen!

 

Worship Experience:

“History” – Bethel Worship
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