Isaac – And His Three Wells

We know very little about Isaac.  Much is written about Abraham and Jacob, but Isaac is mostly a mystery.  We know about Abraham offering him as a sacrifice, and we know about how his marriage was arranged, and we know a little about how Jacob received the blessing from Isaac that was intended for Esau, but not much else is written about Isaac.  We do, however, have the story of the three wells.

In ancient times, water was critical to anyone who lived in Israel or surrounding territory.  You either had to live close to a river, a lake, or if those were not handy your only remaining choice was to dig a well.  Lacking modern drilling equipment wells had to be dug by hand, and were laborious tasks.  Once a well was dug and producing water it was worth a great sum, and was protected by the owner against all-comers.

When Isaac came back into the land of his father Abraham (where he was is for another story) one of the first items on his agenda was to dig a well.  After the well was dug and producing, however, the herdmen of Gerar came along and claimed it as their own.  Isaac moved on and found another location, and dug a new well.  But, they took that one, too.  Finally, he moved to a third location and dug a well.  Well number three.  And he kept that one.

Well, what does this story have to do with anything?  A lot, actually.  It explains much of what remains a mystery to us about life itself.

There are times when nothing goes right.  I work, and work, and work some more, and sometimes I have to redo things, until I can finally get them to work as they should.  It doesn’t seem quite right.  After all, if I’m pleasing God, then why should I have to deal with these setbacks, and frustrations?  If I manage to put together some savings, meager as they might be, something comes along and wipes the slate clean, and I start over again.

I suppose Isaac must have had the same thoughts.  Let’s see what his thinking might have been…..

My father told me I was special.  I was the child that was born from a promise made to him by God, Himself.  Then my father took me to the mountain and was ready to offer me as a sacrifice, but God provided a ram to take my place, and I was saved.  So, now here I am.  I’ve dug three wells, and only got to keep one.  What is going on?  Am I special or not?  Will all the families of the earth be blessed through my descendants or not?  Did God make a mistake?  What is going on?  Have I done something wrong?

Hmmmmm… Isaac sounds a little like us.  Yes, he was God’s chosen line.  Yes, God’s blessing was upon Isaac.  But, yes, there were still problems to face.  Could God fix them?  Yes, He could, but often He does not.  Or, we should say more correctly, He doesn’t fix them when we think He should.

So, when things go wrong, don’t think you’re alone.  Everyone must deal with their share of life’s ups and downs, and there doesn’t appear to be any exemptions.  We might want to put on a ‘good face’ and fool those around us, but rest assured, no one makes it through without a few bumps and scratches.

One Response to “Isaac – And His Three Wells”

  1. Barbara McGuire Says:

    Well said my brother! Nothing to add at all….this blog says it all and explains it so well! Excellent! Blessings…..

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