Saturday, February 12, 2011

Has Made Room

Some time back, in need of direction, I determined to search the entire book of Genesis and record every instance of God's guidance of His own, both overt and covert. It is an enlightening study, and one I recommend you try one day.

The overt instances include things like God saying to Abraham, "Get out of your country... and go to a land I will show you." And then there are His covert leadings. Looking at them now, they are clearly God's hand. Had I been on the ground living them, I would have been confused.

In Genesis 26 the Lord told Isaac, in the midst of a famine, not to go to Egypt, but to 'live in the land of which I shall tell you'. Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar. Time passed.

Isaac prospered, and continued prospering until he was very prosperous. (Do you get the feeling it just snowballed?) So the Philistines envied him. And Abimelech said, "Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we."

So Isaac left. Isaac was a peaceable man.
He went to a valley in Gerar, and tried to live there.
"Also Isaac's servants dug in the valley,
and found a well of running water there.
But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herdsmen,
saying, 'The water is ours.'
So he called the name 'Quarrel', because they quarreled with him.
Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also.
So he called its name 'Enmity'.
And he moved from there and dug another well,
and they did not quarrel over it.
So he called its name 'Spaciousness',
because he said, 'For now the Lord has made room for us,
and we shall be fruitful in the land.'"

And the Lord appeared to him and said,
"I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you.
I will bless you and multiply your descendants for my servant Abraham's sake."

Afterward Abimelech came to him with some officials of his.
Isaac said, "Why have you come to me, since you hate me
and have sent me away from you?"

But they said, "We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you...
You are now the blessed of the Lord."

The covert leading of the Lord:
'Go away.'
'You are too mighty for us.'
'It's our water.'
'For now the Lord has made room for us.'
'We have found water.'

Isaac had the Lord's overt direction about not going to Egypt. But the 'land of which I shall tell you' appears to have been communicated to him by means of conflict and water sources. Isaac just tried to follow His lead.

If the well had defenders, although Isaac and his men had labored to dig it, he left it to them and dug another. None of that land was Isaac's land. He had the promise, but not the possession. And he trusted the Lord to make room for him. Where there was not room, he did not stay.

But I love that after the Lord assured him that He was with him, and would bless him, there came along Abimelech who had told him to get out, telling him he was the blessed of the Lord, and the Lord was with him.

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