IN THIS YEAR OF THE KING, PARTICULARLY FOR OUR INCREASE
Understanding of God’s mind and follow His way is the key for the Increase you are about to receive. Making Christ’s strength your strength is the key to your fruitfulness and given yourself into the direction is the key to your ever increasing favour
BE RENEWED BY DIGGING UP THE OLD WELLS OF ABRAHAM
Visit any cemetery and you will see gravestones standing at attention like soldiers on a parade ground. Each of these stone sentries endures the heat of the sun, the beating of the rain, and the frigid blast of winter’s cold. Yet, these mute bands of soldiers continue to tell the stories of those they represent in the graves beneath them. They proudly bear on their broad chests the epitaphs of individuals long gone; inscriptions ranging from the trite to the tragic, from the flippant to the faithful.
If the patriarch Abraham ha d a headstone, it probably would have read: “Abraham – The Father of Faith: All the nations of the earth are blessed because of you.” Abraham’s son Isaac desired to follow in the heritage of his father’s faith, being challenged by God not to trust in his own initiatives but in God’s unending promises.
THE CHALLENGE TO ISAAC
Isaac was now head of the family; he had a wife, servants, flocks and herds. Many depended on him. The land he was living in had entered into a devastating drought. It seemed that the most sensible and practical thing to do was to go to Egypt with its ample supply of fresh water and fertile lands. Why would he put the well-being of his family at risk by staying in a barren and fruitless land when they were his first responsibility?
“And the Lord appeared unto him [Isaac], and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws” (Genesis 26:2–5). By directing him away from Egypt during the lean years, God was teaching Isaac to rely on Him and not look to the world for his security. God had something much deeper for him if he would trust Him with his life and family. Against popular opinion, Isaac chose to believe God and stay where he was, in spite of the hardships. You will find that when you choose to obey God, difficulties do not cease immediately. As a matter of fact, you may at times have to contend with adverse circumstances, but God will give you the victory over and over again.
No sooner had Isaac made the decision to remain in the land than the presiding king came to him and requested that he remove himself from the area. “And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there” (Genesis 26:16–17).
THE OLD WELLS OF ABRAHAM
One of the great truths God teaches all believers is wherever He leads, He will also provide. This principle has been proven many times throughout Old Testament history. We see this when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. God took more than three million people into a barren wilderness and there supplied them with an abundance of water and manna from heaven. In order for Isaac to know the blessing of God’s provision, God used King Abimelech to redirect him back to the old wells of Abraham.
“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”
When Isaac arrived at the place where the wells had been dug, he found the Philistines had been in the area and had filled them with dirt. Although the outlook of his immediate security was extremely bleak, God would use these unfavorable circumstances to speak to Isaac.
In a land where water is always at a premium, you would have to ask yourself, “Who would be crazy enough to fill wells with dirt when there was such a scarcity of water? Why would they do that when there could have been enough for everyone?” But this is a picture of a darker and more subtle attack of Satan. This is what the devil wants to do in the life of the believer; he wants to stop the flow of water until nothing is left. Then he covers over the places where others once found their strength and sustenance in God. This makes it almost impossible for those coming afterwards to know and understand how God had sustained them in difficult times. For example, simply look at the thousands of monolithic cathedrals left to us today which dot the landscape with their peaked towers and crosses. Architecturally these buildings are beautiful, but inside they have become empty relics of a past revival. No longer do they brim with people or are filled with the praises of God; they only stand as stone edifices and outer shells called churches.
This is why God took Isaac back to the old wells and caused him to dig in the same places Abraham had dug. In his time of trial, Abraham went down deep into the bedrock and had found water to live by. Here Isaac, representing the next generation, could also find the same source of strength his father had found. If we want our lives to make a difference in our generation, I believe we have to go to the old wells of truth where others previously found their hope in God. We must learn what it means again to trust completely in God’s direction. His ways are always right and though He does not expect us to always understand, He does expect us to believe Him and obey.