Sometimes I allow the wrong things to capture my attention. I’ve noticed when that happens, I’m pulled away from staying the course, from my focus on what is good and what is Godly.
Today I received some inspiration from the Old Testament and the perils in Isaac’s life. (Thank you, online Read the Bible in a Year plan.)
Tucked in the book of Genesis is a little story about Isaac, his servants and how they responded to the Philistines’ attempts to sabotage the good that God wanted for them.
The Philistines were determined to frustrate Isaac and take for themselves what was rightfully his. The land of Canaan was given to Abraham and Isaac by God, and yet Isaac can’t seem to claim any of it for himself.
“But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of flowing water, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with the herdsmen of Isaac, saying, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they contended with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over it too, so he named it Sitnah. He moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it Rehoboth, for he said, “At last the LORD has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.” Gen. 26:19-22
Many biblical commentaries focus on the plight of Isaac in this story with a nod to his peacekeeping personality. When faced with diversity, Isaac maturely moved on. But it’s also meaningful to probe the character of the Philistines, for there is a lesson to be learned from them as well.
The Philistines were contentious and argumentative to the digging of wells by Isaac’s servants. The Philistines’ hostile nature is the bait of Satan! And he baits us, too. The evil one wants us to stop digging our own wells and start a wrestling match with him. Satan wants to distract us from the task at hand and waste time in fruitless battles. Isaac and his servants didn’t “bite!” They moved on to victory, where the Lord made space for them to dig. Water flowed. They were “fruitful in the land.”
I don’t know what Satan is throwing at you that gets in the way of God’s plan for you this day, week, or new year. But don’t take the bait!
Keep digging your wells. Say no to the evil one.
And you’re going to find Living Water.