January 12, 2017
“Rehoboth.” The name means “spacious.” And space to live in peace was really all that Isaac desired. The Philistines had stopped up the wells in the land of Gerar that Abraham had dug. So, Isaac dug again those wells and named them what his father Abraham had named them. Yet, the Philistines were envious of Isaac’s prosperity. The king of the Philistines, Abimelech, told Isaac to “go away” from them because they were too mighty. So Isaac moved. In the valley nearby, his servants found water and dug another well, which the Philistine herdsman claimed. Isaac moved again. Dug another well, but same story… locals quarreled with him and claimed ownership. So, Isaac moved again and dug another well, which he named “Rehoboth.” Finally, no locals quarreled over the well. Isaac gave the Lord thanks that He had given them peace and room to prosper at last.
I suppose Isaac could have fought and defeated the herdsmen in the valley of Gerar, but that would not have brought peace. Those wells were certainly his, he dug them, but he surrendered them to keep the peace. This wasn’t cowardice or weakness. Abimelech acknowledged that Isaac was “mightier” than they were. Isaac sought peace and God gave him that and more. God gave him spaciousness and blessing.