Genesis 26:15-35 (That Which has Been)

Genesis 26:15-35
That Which Has Been

Introduction: Last week we saw events which I believe focused on the reestablishment of Israel up until modern times. Today we’ll see some parallels which I am certain will be fulfilled in the days ahead. As I perceive the world, they’re already in motion. This is an exciting adventure which I hope and pray will bless you.

Text Verse: Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’” 3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:2, 3

There are wells of water and there is the well of water. Some satisfy for a moment and then we need more, but there is one which will fill us eternally. As Jesus told the woman at the well, “…the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” Let’s heed His words and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. Green with Envy

Last week we saw Isaac sow and reap a hundredfold becoming very prosperous and because of this the Philistines envied him.

15 Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth.

Last week I connected the story of Isaac with the events leading up to and following the re-establishment of Israel in 1948. I’m certain this is correct and is the reason God has placed these stories in here – to show us what will occur again.

Here today we see the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which Abraham’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham. The immediate reason is because they were jealous of him and his wealth, and so in an attempt to slight him, they filled the wells.

This is exactly what people do all the time. When they’re jealous of what others have, they will destroy it. In the case of wells, you can fill them with dead animals or salt to poison them or fill them up with stuff to in order to make them completely inaccessible.

The story tells us that the reason they did this was because they envied him. This is in direct violation of the agreement which was made between Abraham and Abimelech 80 or so years earlier and it shows the distrustful and jealous nature of the people of the land.

Remember what we saw last week though. The Philistines are the same people as the Palestinians today. Same name, same dirty habits, and the same green-eyed envy. What Israel builds because of God’s blessings, they destroy out of jealousy.

16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”

Imagine that… the Palestinians telling Israel to go away from them because they are mightier than they are. This is what happened to Isaac and this is exactly what the people very close to the same location did just a few years ago. They booted Israel out of Gaza.

The thought of the story doesn’t just imply that Isaac was mightier in strength, but in goods and blessings from God as well. He inherited Abraham’s camp which would have been in the hundreds if not thousands and he inherited the blessings of God to boot.

Rather than working with Isaac and being blessed along with him, the Philistines kicked him out. And as obvious as it is, whether actively or passively, this is exactly what our government is doing to anyone of industry and hard work.

Instead of joining in and participating in their blessings, they rob them through taxes and unfair legislation until they either close their doors or move to another country. This is the state of Israel in the mid-east today too. It is the state of conservative labor in the capitalist world, and it is how things always turn out.

Blessing ends in envy and taking by theft of that which people aren’t willing to work for.

17 Then Isaac departed from there and pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.

Isaac departs now from living closely with the Philistines and encamps in the Valley of Gerar. This area is about halfway between Gaza and Beer-Sheba. As you can see, the same thing that happened in Isaac’s time has happened in modern Israel. Get a map and look for yourself.

Don’t be deceived by the papers or news media who side with the Palestinians. God has placed these things here and expects us to pay attention. As we draw nearer to the end times, it will become clearer and clearer to those who read and believe their Bible.

It’s good to note that Isaac doesn’t fight with the people. Instead, he simply… picked up and moved. Israel could have annihilated the Palestinians and kept the entire land they lived in, but they simply packed up and left.

18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them.

All of the hard work that was accomplished, and the sources of water that were dug by Abraham are destroyed after he died. This shows the cowardice and envy of the people even more.

They waited until Abraham died to do this, knowing that he would have gone in and destroyed them by force. But Isaac is a new generation. They’re jealous of the blessings and abundance he has and they take advantage of his easier demeanor.

And so they simply attempt to destroy what they believe is the source of his blessings. Can you see modern Israel here? They are hemmed in by these same people with their same jealousy and greed. But Isaac moved back to the area and re-dug the wells, calling them the same names as Abraham called them.

By doing this, he is attempting to reestablish the link which proves that he is the rightful owner of the wells. If you go to Israel today, you can see all kinds of places that were laid waste during the Diaspora which are now rebuilt.

When Israel was gone, the land was of no value and the inhabitants did nothing but sit idly by after destroying what was once there. But Israel has moved back into the land and reestablished it, just as Isaac did then. Many of the places have the same ancient names that existed before Israel was dispersed. This ties them again to the land of their past. (Explain the column recently found.)

19 Also Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there.

The term for well of running water is beer mayim chayim or well of living water. It is a source of continuous life and blessing to the people of God for their health and prosperity.

Although this is speaking of water, which is the source of prosperity in the land at that time, I feel confident that there is a modern parallel which isn’t speaking of water at all. What is the modern source of wealth and prosperity in the middle-east today?

Anyone who said gas or oil is right. In 1999 a maritime drill struck gas in commercial quantities just 250 meters beneath the Mediterranean 25 miles out from Israel’s southern port of Ashdod. Production began in 2004 at what is called the Mari-B, and some 2.8 billion cubic meters of gas are piped ashore each year from reserves that may be as large as 22 bcm.

Another field, known as Tamar, a name which comes right from the Bible, was discovered in 2009 off the northern end of Israel’s coast. Tamar, where the gas is much deeper down, holds 238 bcm. Tamar was the world’s largest gas find in 2009.

But this is dwarfed by another find which is a bit further off the coast. This one is named Leviathan and has a potential of 453 bcm. And all of these, of course, have the surrounding nations crying foul and there are shouts of protest as to Israel’s rights to them.

If you’re not seeing the modern parallels of this ancient story about Isaac and his wells, you’re not looking very closely. The term “well of living water” can be described perfectly by this paragraph from the Economist Magazine from an article in 2010 –

“As a former chief rabbi of Norway and later an Israeli politician linked to the Labour party, he is urging the government to follow Norway’s example by putting the state’s share of profits into a sovereign wealth fund and earmarking the income for social welfare. “A one-time chance,” he says, “to bring truly historic change to Israeli society.”

Just as water blessed Isaac, the gas and oil God placed in the land of Israel will be a similar source of blessing, but also of contention.

20 But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they quarreled with him.

Although we can’t tell which wells Israel will give up in the future, we know that the do-nothing Palestinians and the Muslim world at large will continue to contest everything Israel works for through diligence and by God’s blessing. Cries of “It’s ours” will fill the blogs and magazines of the world.

The name Isaac gives the well is Esek, which means “contention” or “quarreling.” I’m sure some astute journalist in Israel will pick up on the name in the future and use the term again.

21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also. So he called its name Sitnah.

Isaac finds another well and the leeches quarrel over that one too. What they are unwilling to look for and earn on their own, they fight over when the opportunity arises. This is an exact description of the people around Israel in the mid-east today.

Isaac names this well Sitnah, which is the feminine form of the word Satan and it specifically means enmity or hatred. Just as the people of God are the bride of Christ, the Muslim people are the bride of Satan. They are at enmity with Israel. If you don’t believe my comparison is accurate, listen to the words of John –

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22

Are you seeing the parallels here from a story which took place 4000 years ago and today’s modern land of Israel?

22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

I can see it already; there will be two major gas or oil finds by Israel and the terrorists around them will claim they own them both. Israel will simply pull up stakes and walk away from them in an attempt to appease them.

Only when a third well is found will they stand firm and refuse to be quarreled with. If you think I’m making all this up, just pay attention to the days ahead. I’ll lay down my last dollar in belief that this is coming, and probably soon.

Rehoboth means broad or spacious and it will be so obvious that the land and the well were dug by Israel that it will be beyond controversy. From this well, as the verse says, they will be fruitful in the land. Coming soon to an oil find in Israel near you.

It very well could be that these wells are also representing the land itself. Israel was kicked out of Gaza, next they will certainly be kicked out of what is called the West Bank, and they will also lose ½ of Jerusalem as Zechariah says will happen.

Only through these transactions will there be a covenant of peace between Israel and her enemies. So if not oil, then it is land.

II. A Covenant is Made

23 Then he went up from there to Beersheba.

This is the spot that Abraham was at when he made a treaty with Abimelech. It’s also where Isaac and Abraham departed from and returned to when they went to Mount Moriah.  It is a place where God’s people have found peace and restoration. The same will be the case for Isaac this time…

24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night 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.”

The Lord, or Jehovah, appears now to Isaac and speaks to him the same words of comfort that Abraham had received. He is with him, will bless him, and multiply him. This is all based on the oath He made with Abraham. He is there and His words will be fulfilled.

And simply to assure us that the same Lord who spoke to Abraham is with His people now, we read an amazingly similar passage in the book of Acts when Jesus spoke to the Apostle Paul –

Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. Acts 18

We may not have visions of the Lord now, but because of the surety of His word, we have every confidence that He is right here with us, keeping His covenant promises and attending to our security and blessing.

25 So he built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

We have here a parallel account from the life of Abraham – “Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.” Gen 21:33

In the same place where Abraham called on the name of the Lord, Isaac does too. This is the first recorded altar built by him. As the head of the family, he is also the priest and he is now serving the God of his father Abraham, the Lord, Jehovah.

This is his acknowledgment that he has placed His entire faith and hope in the Lord alone. In this spot, the servants dig another well, thus establishing a foothold in the area and making an implicit claim to the surrounding land.

If we look for a modern parallel of this, it would be the coming temple in Israel. They have already anointed a cornerstone for the temple and they are preparing to begin sacrifices. All of the temple instruments have been made and are waiting to be used.

26 Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, one of his friends, and Phichol the commander of his army.

This, along with the next five verses, is very similar to what happened with Abraham in Genesis 21. In fact, two of the three people who have come to Isaac have the same names – Abimelech and Phichol.

Abimelech means Father of the King and Phichol means “Strong” or literally “Mouth of All.” But along with these two comes another person, Ahuzzath. His name means “Possession.” The verb of his name means to take hold of, seize, or grasp and is used anytime two naturally disconnected entities become firmly united.

All of their names are important concerning what will come about.

27 And Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?”

Isaac probably looked at these three like a cowboy with a mouth full of chewing tobacco looks at someone they distrust. “What’re you doing here?” He was probably completely surprised that they’d show up at all and he even uses a specific word to show them how he figured they felt.

The word for “hate me” is senetem and is a reminder of the fighting over the wells, one of which was called Sitnah, or hatred. “Just like the well I named, so is the attitude you have.” And their response is exactly what we will see in the future as Israel continues to prosper in the midst of their satanic neighbors…

28 But they said, “We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, between you and us; and let us make a covenant with you,

Despite their jealousy and hatred of Isaac, they see that the Lord is with him. And the same is, and will be, no less true with the Muslims who hate Israel. They can cry out “allah” from every minaret in the world, but in their hearts, they know there is one God and it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

And so they ask for an oath and a covenant. And yes, the Bible says such a covenant is coming in the future. Daniel 9:24-27 is the framework of the entire end-times setting for Israel of the future and which includes the events of the book of Revelation.

In those verses, it says a covenant is coming between the anti-Christ and Israel – a 7-year covenant. If you don’t believe this is coming, study these things a little more. I assure you, the things that have been will be again.

29 that you will do us no harm, since we have not touched you, and since we have done nothing to you but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.’”

Either Abimelech and the other two are blind as to what happened between Isaac and the people who kept stealing his wells, or they are bald faced liars. They may not have touched him or harmed him directly, but they did so indirectly, causing him to move from well to well and finally telling him to leave their land.

If history is repeating itself, they were well aware of what was happening, just as the antichrist will be aware of what has been happening to Israel prior to their covenant. But, as Proverbs says –

When a man’s ways please the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7

What is happening here to Isaac is a repetition of what happened when the same group came to Abraham in Genesis 21:22 –

And it came to pass at that time that Abimelech and Phichol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do

III. The Impetus for War

30 So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank.

In the next three verses, you can almost see what’s coming in the future and how it will set up the final end-times scenario. Isaac welcomes these three in and makes them a feast. I can see Israel being the one to welcome in those hostile to her and sharing their many blessings with them.

As they always are, they are gracious and forgiving regardless of how badly their enemies treat them. As a people, they are the epitome of letting go and moving on when the opportunity permits.

31 Then they arose early in the morning and swore an oath with one another; and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.

Yes, Daniel 9:27 says this when speaking of the antichrist – “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week.”

There will be a 7-year treaty between Israel and those who have been hostile to her, a treaty which will be broken by her enemies after 3 ½ years. It will probably be broken based on something similar to what we see in the next verse…

32 It came to pass the same day that Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water.”

The same day that the treaty is made between Isaac and these three, another well is dug which discovers water. Once again, if I were a betting man, I would bet my bottom dollar that immediately after the signing of the 7-year covenant with the antichrist, Israel will find so much wealth in the ground that it will make everything else pale in comparison to it.

I can already see the cries of “foul play” by the surrounding people. They’ll say that Israel purposely waited until after the agreement to reveal what they’ve found. I’m not a prophet and I don’t see the future except as it’s given in the past.

And I am as confident of this as anything else. I could be completely misreading what’s being told here, but I doubt it. Like all of the other stories we’ve seen, there is a future fulfillment and there is every reason to believe that what I’m telling you is correct.

Israel has to be isolated and ready to be extinguished before the Lord returns. Daniel 12 says so – “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.” (6-7)

Along with Israel facing complete annihilation comes the promise of the return of the Lord to rescue them. This can’t happen unless things are lined up for it to happen and I believe Genesis 26 is showing us how it will all transpire.

And as surely as these three have come to Isaac, there will be the unholy trinity who makes the deal with Israel – Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet.

Even the names of these three imply this: Abimelech – Father of the King (Satan), Phichol – the Mouth of All (the antichrist), and Ahuzzath, Abimelechs’ friend – Possession (the false prophet).

33 So he called it Shebah.Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.

And so he calls it Shebah which means “oath.” The word Shebah here has an added letter on the end of it, a letter like our “h.” The addition of this letter then makes the word signify more than just an oath, but that which is full or abundant.

The well found then and the well of the future will be filled to overflowing. However, Sheba is also the word for seven and because of the agreement, the place is called Beersheba, the well of the oath or the well of the seven. As you can see, the coming seven-year covenant with the antichrist is being referred to here.

It should be noted again that the same thing happened at the same place with Abraham. Therefore there are two wells which were found and those two wells still exist there today to testify to the accuracy of this story.

Moreover, the Bible time and time again uses the number two to signify a difference – usually of things at enmity with each other. There are two testaments in the Bible, one based on law and one on grace. One shows fallen man, the other man restored. There are is day and there is night. There is darkness and there is light.

There is good and there is evil. There is Cain and there is Abel, Ishmael and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, Adam and Christ. There is Saul and there is David. There is life under heaven and there is life under earth. There is heaven and there is hell. There is life and there is death.

Each of these is in contrast, just as the two wells are in contrast. This pattern is so clearly laid out, that we even see it in the New Testament epistles. Anytime there are two epistles written to the same group of people we will see the pattern in the second letter.

In 2 Corinthians we see the power of the enemy and the work of Satan. In 2 Thessalonians, there is the working of Satan and the man of sin, also called the lawless one, who is the antichrist. In 2 Timothy we see the church in ruin as opposed to the church that rules in 1 Timothy.

In 2 Peter there is the coming apostasy. In 2 John the term antichrist is specifically mentioned. We could go on and on with these patterns, but this is enough to show without a doubt that this second well being found and named is pointing to the seven year covenant between Israel and the antichrist. It is coming.

To be fair though, I have to note that when there are two things, they also can be contrasting and yet confirming. The two testaments contrast and yet they confirm. The second Person of the Trinity has two natures – God and Man. They contrast and yet confirm.

The two witnesses of Revelation contrast – one a gentile and one a Hebrew and yet they confirm. Amos 3:3 shows us how this works – “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Even if things are at enmity in one way, they confirm in another.

In the end, you can’t know good without evil. So even what is evil shows us what is good. Likewise, the two wells of Beersheba also contrast, and yet they confirm. They stand as the testament to the name and nature of the place, even to this day in modern history and into Israel’s difficult future.

34 When Esau was forty years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite.

Suddenly, here in verse 34, we make a transition to Esau. And interestingly, it notes that he has taken two wives. He married at the same age as Isaac, but instead of one wife, he marries two.

Instead of a wife from Mesopotamia and God’s people who are under a blessing, he marries two from Canaan, the people of the devil who are under a curse. Esau is living for what is carnal, Isaac lived for that which is spiritual. Beeri – my well.

It’s as if Esau’s inclusion here is to confirm to us everything we’ve already talked about, the contrast between good and evil.

35 And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.

Isaac, which means “Laughter,” didn’t laugh much around Esau’s wives. They were, as it says “a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.” Esau looked to gain worldly power and influence by marrying these two ladies, but in the end, he only brought unhappiness and trouble to himself and his parents.

This is how the chapter finishes – on an unhappy note. In the end for all of us, we have choices to make. Some of them will end in prosperity, some in grief. The only sure thing that we can count on is God’s promises. The closer we stick to Him and His word, the better off we’ll be.

Esau didn’t and his family life was strained and his marriages were a source of grief. Each of you should know that if you need advice in life’s decisions, you can come and talk with me any time and we’ll go to the word and try to find a happy resolution for your problems there.

Let me take a couple of minutes though and mention Jesus and the cross. Until you’ve settled things with Him, there really is no peace and there really is no point in going to the Bible for comfort. Once you have Jesus right, then everything else from His word will start to make proper sense to you…

Closing Verse: “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord, Proverbs 1:28, 29

Next Week: Genesis 27:1-20 (A Blessing in the Face of Death)

A Pact with the Devil

Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells
Which his father’s servants had dug in Abraham’s day
And they filled them with earth, as the story tells
And Abimelech said, “It is time for you to go away.”

You are much mightier than we
Then Isaac departed from there quietly

And he pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar some distance away
And there is where he dwelt and breathed his breath
He dug again the wells of water which were dug in Abrahams’ day
For the Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham’s death

He called them by the names which his father had given
Also his servants dug in the valley and found a well there
But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled to make him give in
“It’s ours they said.” So he named it Esek because they wouldn’t share

Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also
So he called it Sitnah and moving again, did he go

And there he dug another well
And they did not quarrel over it
So he called it Rehoboth, as you can tell
There was room enough for him to sit

“For now the Lord has made room for us
And we shall be fruitful in the land”
Then he went up from there to Beersheba without a fuss
Blessing and prosperity were at hand

And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said
I am the God of your father Abraham
Do not fear, I am with you now instead
I will bless you and multiply your descendants in the land

For my servant Abraham’s sake thus you have my word
So he built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord

And he pitched his tent there the story does tell
And there Isaac’s servants dug another well

Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar
With Ahuzzath his friend and Phichol commander of the army
And Isaac said to them, “Why have you come thus far?
Since you hate me and sent me away in a manner smarmy

But they said, “We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you
So we said, “Let there now be an oath between us and you

“Let us make a covenant with you that you will do us no harm
Since we have not touched you and only done you good
And we have sent you away in peace, have no alarm
You are now the blessed of the Lord, as we have understood

So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank
Then they arose early in the morning and an oath they swore
Then Isaac sent them away and each he did thank
And they departed in peace as they shuffled out the door

It came to pass the same day
That Isaac’s servants came and told him about a well
They had dug it and it turned out ok
“We have found water” is the story they did tell

So he called it Shebah, this is the name he did say
Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day

When Esau was forty years old he took as wives
Judith the daughter of Beeri and Basemath the daughter of Elon
They were both Hittites who brought grief to his parent’s lives
They were a source of grief to them from the first moment on

In the end, we are a product of our choices
We can choose wisely or foolishly, but the choice is ours to make
If our decisions are based on Jesus, surely God rejoices
And He will bless us for His own name’s sake

And so let us pursue Him at all times and in all ways
And let us bring Him glory and honor all of our days

Above all, let us look to the Lord, our Savior Jesus
Who has done such marvelous wonders for each one of us

Hallelujah and Amen…

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