ABIMELECH WENT TO HIM
Genesis 26:16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. 17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.
Genesis 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.
Isaac has been sent by the Lord into the land of the Philistines by a famine and told not to go down to Egypt, as his father had done to escape his famine. So he dwelt in Gerar of the Philistines (Genesis 26:6). His lesson, as is ours, is that the provisions of God are not that in which we are to place our trust. But we are to trust in Him, the Provider! Therefore the Lord sent famine into the Promised Land, not allowing it to sustain Isaac and his family. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
And then he caused Isaac’s planting to reap “an hundredfold” in the land of the Philistines! (See Genesis 26:11-15). So obeying God, as God, and not just as a religious formula, is the true believer’s living! For if God wills to abundantly sustain you in the land of the Philistines, but provide you no bread in the land of promise, even though it does not ‘make sense,’ – into the land of the Philistines we go! 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
And even with the famine in his land, Isaac had grown “very great” in the land of the Philistines. And here we have that which is most unusual for a king. For King Abimelech comes to Isaac, instead of sending for Isaac to come to him. And just where did he come from? Verse twenty six states that Abimelech comes from Gerar. That is where Isaac had been dwelling, but the king had commanded him to Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. (Genesis 26:16).
Now Isaac has a problem! The Lord had commanded him to, Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; (Genesis 26:3). But Abimelech had commanded him to Go from us! And in order to comply with both these commands, it forces Isaac to pitch his tent in the valley of Gerar. He leaves the company of the Philistines by removing into the valley of Gerar! The believer, in order to comply with both the Lord God, and his worldly responsibilities is oft times force to go down into a valley. But there he will be fitted to a greater blessedness than anywhere else. For even in the valley of the shadow of death, he is brought to fear no evil. And he finds the directing agencies of both God’s rod and staff. His soul is restored as he learns that to be driven from the comfort of routine isn’t the end of the world, as he once thought! He learns that the Lord God is thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (Genesis 15:1).
For in the valley, Isaac is without the population of the Philistines. These three (see verse twenty six, listed above), come only for a short visit with him. And that is where, even though he is already down in the valley, he digs deeper still and finds uncontested and living waters! Genesis 26:19 And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. Not just water, but living, springing water.
This is the kind of water that our Lord referred to as he sat on Jacob’s well, conversing with the woman there. John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. And this water, of course, is in reference to the Holy Spirit as He fills the believer’s heart.
John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
And let us not fail to take note of the two kinds of soil involvement and their individual results. In verse twelve of this chapter we are told, Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. This, of course was the turning of the top soil in farming for sowing and planting. And this was to yield the crops necessary for his family’s daily bread. And we are told that due to his abundant yield, the Philistines envied him.
So the believer, compassed about with the carnal population in organized religion, surpasses them in their own land in the bringing forth of the bread of the word. And then the religious man always persecutes, or drives out the spiritual man.
Therefore the spiritual man must come out from among them, and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17), but he cannot leave the place assigned him by his Master. Hence he ends up in the valley! Now, he no longer simply turns the top soils for bread, but digs deeper to discover the sweet, living waters of the Holy Spirit!
It is not enough to scratch on the surface of the scriptures for the supply of bread. One must also abide his cross in his valley, and dig deep there for the experiences of the Person of the Word through the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
The spirit of the written word brings the cross dweller to the Person of the Living Word! Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
And when that Word becomes to reside within the believer’s flesh, the glory is revealed! John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. For there is a vast difference between giving mental assent to the facts of the Bible, and doing the truth! John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
And when the valley is occupied, the digging is done, and the remaining Philistines have left, being sent away, we read: Genesis 26:32 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. That is, the well of the oath.
For Beersheba is the place where Abraham and Isaac dwelt after they came down off Mount Moriah, having been obedient to God’s command to offer the son there. Genesis 22:19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. And as Isaac came back down the mountain with his father, after the willingness to offer up the son, so we see in this a picture of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Isaac had carried the wood and the Lord Jesus had carried his cross! And in both instances blood had been shed!
And as Abraham offered seven ewe lambs as sacrifice to confirm the oath for the well, so the blood of the Lamb of God was offered to seal the promise of the living water of the Holy Spirit for all the family of Christ to freely drink! Revelation 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
But we have not addressed why Abimelech came to Isaac, rather then send for him. We must not fail to notice the immediately preceding verses of that twenty sixth verse that gives us our title. For just before it states that Abimelech went to him, it reveals an effectual working of God. Verse twenty four starts off with these words: 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. These powerful words set forth the absolute sovereignty of God! Such were their effect upon Isaac that we then read: 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.
This revelation of the Sovereign Lord of heaven and earth and it’s affect upon Isaac gives us understanding of the need of the very next word – Then! For only after this moving of God to reveal himself for the support of Isaac’s faith do we read, THEN Abimelech went to him! And the issue for Isaac at this time was the digging of the well in the valley of Gerar. He needed to find water. And so he did! And as the sovereign Lord granted his servant to find this life supporting water, he also moved King Abimelech’s heart, like he moves water, to come to Isaac. Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
Make no mistake about it, dear Reader, the Lord God is sovereign over both the hearts of men, turning them like the courses of rivers, as well as over the flowing waters within the heart of the earth! Proverbs 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. This is even set forth at the very beginning of the Scriptures. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2). And in the very last book of our bibles we find that the sea represents people! Revelation 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. So whether we are talking about liquid H2o – the water we drink and bath in, – or whether we are referring to people, it matters not! All are created by, and for the glory of God in Jesus Christ the Lord!
Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
And he has authority over all events and all hearts. His is the authority over all heaven and earth! Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
So now, that which King Abimelech and the Philistines envied – the produce of the earth with which Isaac was blessed as he dwelt among them – is now that upon which they feast!
Genesis 26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
Genesis 26:30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. Amazing! Philistines drinking from Isaac’s well! Wells that they would offer no help in digging. But they would spare no effort in stopping them up with earth! How many Philistines sit among the peoples of God today, bragging on their works righteousness, tasting the benefits of the true church? Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. God have mercy!
Pastor Gene Breed
March 26, 2016