Men have always sought control for the purpose of conquest and manipulation. The ego of man desires to play God. Man doesn’t like others to tell him what to do or what to think or what to believe.
Church leaders, politicians, business leaders, professors, all have those within their ranks that use their position to lord it over their subjects. As a consequence, we see our churches, our government, our businesses, and our institutions of learning all in a moral crisis.
The world is tottering like a drunken man. (Isaiah 24:20) The 7.5 billion inhabitants of earth seek after anything and everything that will help dull the pain of their fears, anxieties, and addictions. Insecurity and low-self-esteem haunt many sincere souls, including Christians.
The Lord gave me Psalm 37:32-33 this morning. He had given this scripture to me on February 20, 2013, in prayer as a promise that I, my children, and all associated with me, would be saved and not condemned.
“The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death. The Lord will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.”
We live in an age of “New Tolerance.”
Tolerance used to be defined as a recognition and respect for the beliefs and lifestyles of others without necessarily agreeing with them. Today it is defined as everyone’s values and practices are equally valid and all truth claims are equal and demand endorsement, whether we agree with them or not. New tolerance is now out to advance its own brand of tolerance!
New Tolerance is fragmenting our relationships with each other. Even the Philistines demanded that Isaac accept their views as the only valid one.
Isaac and his father’s wells…
Isaac was facing a famine and was on his way to Egypt to find food and water to support his family and his animals. God stopped him in the midst of his journey at Gerar.
Gerar means rumination or meditation. God placed Isaac in a position and in a place where he could stop, think about, pray about, remember upon, ruminate and meditate as to what God had done in his life and in his father’s life and what God promised to do for Isaac in the future.
Meditating on God’s promises to Abraham and to himself, Isaac was led to re-dig the wells of his father.
I believe the biggest problem with the church today is that it has become big business, leaving very little time for prayer and fasting to know what God really desires to say to the church. Our spiritual wells have become clogged and filled up with keeping that personal schedule and achieving that personal agenda.
Not everyone was happy with Isaac. The Philistines saw his prosperity, knowing God was blessing him and considered him to be a threat to their safety and kingdom. “The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death.”
As soon as Isaac dug a well, the Philistines claimed the well as their own.
Esek, the first well, means jealousy, opposition, contention, strife. Each of us has faced these characteristics from others in our walk with God.
Isaac dug the 2nd well and named it Sitnah, meaning adversary, or hatred. We all have felt the hate from our enemies in our seeking deeper spiritual places with our God.
Isaac dug the 3rd well and named it Rehoboth, meaning broad places or room for us. Isaac had removed quite a distance from the previous two wells, trying to find a place where the enemy would not bother him. This is exactly what we need to do in our personal walk with Christ. We have to keep seeking for that place where God makes room for us to worship Him without distraction, even if it means a very solitary place away from others.
Isaac digs one more well, even after he finds that place of freedom in his God. He names this well Beersheba. This was a well where God had appeared to his father Abraham and had given him that promise of making him a great nation. Here Isaac worships God and God appears to Isaac reaffirming His promise of the Nation Israel.
“The Lord will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to the trial.”
Isaac stated what was the truth about God’s promises to his father Abraham. The Philistines didn’t buy it. The wells that their fathers had given to Abraham now belonged to them; even though they had filled them up with dirt and rocks. The enemy and those he uses to oppose us always demand the unreasonable of us; in the name of “tolerance” as they deny anything that God has promised as valid truth.
Isaac then kept moving onward, seeking another well to dig, until he found his way all the way back to Beersheba and a new personal relationship with His God.
God provided not only water but also the abundant harvest of his crops for his family and animals-right in the midst of the famine. The enemy fought him, tried to stop him, wanted him to leave them alone, but Isaac kept praying and meditating on that promise given to his father and to him until God reaffirmed it one more time.
If you are facing opposition, discouragement, doubts, try visiting a place called Gerar for a season. Ruminate, meditate, pray, while remembering all the promises that God has made to you down through the years. Maybe God has you where you are so that you can have time to meditate on His promises.
Start remembering what you learned at the wells of Esek, and Sitnah. Remember what it felt like when you tasted the waters of Rehoboth. Then recall that visitation at Beersheba where God promised you that He will never abandon you nor allow you to be condemned when you stand in judgment before Him, as your accuser tries to convince God that you were intolerant of their claims upon your father’s wells!
Always be willing to dig one more well; the well of Revisitation!