Wells, Wells, and More Wells
by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards
Text Version | Afrikaans
"MINE! It's MINE!" two-year-old Benji screamed, as he grabbed the baby doll away from his older sister.
"Mom, he's doing it again!" Terri cried. "He took my doll and won't give it back."
"Why don't you and I go to the kitchen and have a cookie," Mother suggested, trying to calm her daughter. "By the time we are finished, Benji will have grown tired of the doll and will be playing with something else. I'll go get it for you when we are done."
Sure enough, by the time Terri had finished her last crumb, her doll was lying on the floor and Benji was busily playing with another toy.
Her mother picked up the doll and quietly placed it in Terri's hands, as a big smile crept across her face.
Isaac and Rebekah were living happily in the land of Gerar with their twin boys, Esau and Jacob. The Lord blessed them and their fields were producing abundantly because of the water from the wells Isaac's father Abraham had dug many years before. Isaac had many flocks and herds as well as many maids and servants.
At first the other men living around Isaac liked him and were friendly, but as the famine in the land grew worse and Isaac was prospering but they weren't, they became jealous of him and his prosperity.
Instead of working hard and digging their own wells, they threw stuff in Isaac's wells to stop them up and prevent the water from flowing. There was much tension in the land. So much so that King Abimelech called for Isaac to come see him.
"Isaac, you must leave our city," the King said to him. "You have grown very prosperous. Since you and your family are so mighty, the people are afraid you will take over their land and make them your slaves. Please leave so the people will feel at ease."
Isaac couldn't imagine how the people of the city could think such things about him. He had no desire for their land or to make them slaves. He wanted to live peaceably among them. In order to avoid confrontation, Isaac went home and told Rebekah and all his household that they had to move.
Moving was not an easy task. They had grown very wealthy and had a lot to pack, but since it was necessary and they had no choice, everyone pitched in and helped. Soon the camels and donkeys were loaded with all their belongings, and they were on their way. Isaac had carefully chosen land in the valley of Gerar, which wasn't too far away from the city.
When they arrived at just the right spot, they unloaded their goods, and pitched their tents, and made themselves a new home in a place where there was an old well which his father Abraham had dug. To his dismay, Isaac found that the Philistine men had stopped up that well also.
Isaac and his servants set to work busily digging out the junk and debris that had been thrown into the well. It took several men several days of laboring in the hot sun, to dig the well with picks and shovels. Finally, to their great joy, they found fresh water.
Things went well for Isaac in his new home, until the herdsmen of Gerar were in the area with their herds. They saw Isaac's new well and decided it would be a good place to draw water for their animals. They fought with Isaac's herdsmen. "This is OUR well!" they shouted. "We have lived here much longer than you, and the water is OURS!"
Isaac didn't want to fight, and he didn't want any of his servants or herdsmen fighting either. He gathered them around for a discussion. "The Lord has greatly blessed us here and has promised to continue blessing us," he said. "Those men aren't as fortunate as we are. They don't have any water for their livestock. They need water as much as we do, and apparently they don't know how to dig their own wells. We can give them this well, and we can dig out another of my father's wells for us to use."
They worked and worked and finally had another well ready for use, but it wasn't long before the men of Gerar came to that well and starting fighting for it. Isaac and his family still didn't want to fight, so they peacefully gave another well to the herdsmen of Gerar.
Isaac had another meeting with his family and servants. "It seems that we have to move again," he told them. "The men of Gerar needed this well also, so we have to move further away." His family and servants knew there was no use in trying to argue with Isaac because Isaac just wouldn't argue! They all packed up again, loaded their belongings onto the camels and donkeys, and moved to another place.
By this time they had quite an efficient digging crew! They got out their picks and shovels and started working hard. In several days had yet another well ready for use. They had water for all their flocks and herds, and enough to water their crops. This time the herdsmen from Gerar left them alone and didn't fight for their water. There was finally enough for everyone to live peaceably. Isaac called the name of that well Rehoboth, which means "end of fighting" or "peace."
One day Isaac decided that he needed to take a little vacation away from all the worries of his large farm. He took a small tent and decided to have a campout all by himself. In the quietness of the night, the Lord appeared to him, repeating the same message he had previously been given: "I am the God of Abraham, your father. Fear not, for I am with you, and will bless you, and give you many descendants, for Abraham's sake."
Isaac was happy to hear from the Lord. It helped him to know he was being obedient to God and doing the right thing. Isaac built an altar there and prayed to the Lord. He went home the next morning, gathered his family and servants, and had an announcement to make. "We are moving again," he told them. By this time, they were all experienced packers. They gathered their belongings, loaded the camels and donkeys, and were ready in no time.
Isaac led his family to his camping spot. They unpacked and pitched their tents near the altar he had built. The digging crew didn't even need to be told; they were ready in no time flat to start digging another well.
Isaac heard strange voices outside his tent. He curiously went to see who had come to visit him. Standing right in front of him was King Abimelech and some of the men from the city of Gerar. Isaac was quite surprised to see them and wondered skeptically why they had come.
"Why have you come here?" he asked. "All of you hated me and kicked me out of your city. You forced me to move away from you. Then when I dug my wells, you took them away from me and I had to move my family again. What do you want now?"
Abimelech and his men had become fearful of Isaac. "We have seen that the Lord is with you. We see how the Lord has prospered you and made you great. We want to be friends with you again. We want to make an agreement with you that if you won't hurt any of us, we won't hurt any of your family."
Isaac was rather amused at them. They were fearful of him for no real reason. He had no desire to harm any of them and had gone to great lengths to avoid conflict.
To show his goodwill, Isaac called his servants and told them they were having company for dinner. They prepared a big feast, and he invited the men of Gerar to eat and drink with his family. After the festivities, it was getting rather late, so he invited them all to spend the night with him. The next morning, Isaac, King Abimelech, and the men of Gerar promised again that they would be friends. The King and his men went peacefully back to the city, no longer afraid of Isaac.
That very same day, the digging crew came running excitedly with good news for Isaac. "We have found water! WE HAVE FOUND WATER!" they shouted. They all rejoiced at their good fortune and the blessing of the Lord. Isaac called that well "Sheba," and the city that grew up around the well was called "Beersheba," which means "well of the oath." An oath is another word for promise, so the name "Beersheba" reminded everyone that King Abimelech and Isaac had made a promise to live in peace with each other.
How many wells did Isaac and his servants dig?
Why did King Abimelech tell Isaac he had to move?
Did Isaac "fight for his rights?"
Why did the king and the men come see Isaac?
Sometimes it may be easier to fight,
but living peaceably is the better way.
A VERSE TO LEARN:
"If it be possible ... live peaceably
with all men" (Romans 12:18)
Dear God, thank You for Your many blessings.
Help us to be kind to others even when they
mistreat us. Help us to remember that You
have everything under control and help us to
trust You to "even the score."
In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
Isaac Digging Wells
Isaac Was Blessed
Bible Color and Learn: Abraham Book 4
Romans 12:18 Scramble
Cross Word Puzzle
Dads and Sons Matching Game
Young Peacemaker Activity Books (Set of 12)
Well Coloring Page With Craft Idea
The Young Peacemaker
Extreme Adventures with God:
Isaac, Esau, and Jacob (Kay Arthur)
The Patient Bird
Bible Stories For Kids
Abraham--God's Brave Explorer
(Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids by Kay Arthur)
Rebekah: The Mother of Twins (Bibletime)
Goodbye Grumpy Feelings (Lyrics and MIDI)
Goodbye Grumpy Feelings (Sheet Music) (Adobe Acrobat Reader Required)
Cedarmont Kids sing Father Abraham (Audio CD)
Abraham (Bible Collection)
Bible Comes Alive 1 (12 Audio CDs) (Your Story Hour)
Great People of the Bible: Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob & Joseph
The Story of Abraham and Isaac
Towering Pride and True Lies
What's in the Bible: In the Beginning
Young Abraham from the ancient stories of the Israelites
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS
The Birth of a Nation (Abraham to Joseph) pg. 2
The Young Peacemaker
Words Do Hurt - Puppets or Skit
What Do I Do?
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Last updated February 23, 2016.
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