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Isaac's Five Wells

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Isaac’s Five Wells

Pastor Keith Hassell



Foundation Scripture:  Genesis 26:12-33

I.       God will test us through relationships with others.

A.      Isaac had been blessed by God.  His prosperity got the attention of his neighbors and turned them into enemies.

B.      Even good relationships can turn sour.  God doesn’t cause it, but He uses those relational problems to get our attention and to test our attitudes.  Isaac’s five wells represent various tests in our relationships.

II.      Isaac’s Five Wells


A.      The first well:  JEALOUSY (verse 14)

1.       For no apparent reason, the Philistines began to act strangely toward Isaac.  Once they had been open and friendly, but now, all of a sudden, their attitudes changed.  They became jealous and felt threatened by the blessing of God upon Isaac’s life.

2.       Many relationship problems stem from jealousy.  When you are blessed, you seem to be growing while others are diminishing.  The Philistines decided to just “sling mud” into Isaac’s wells.

3.       David faced the problem of jealousy with Saul; Abel with Cain; Hagar with Sarah; and Joseph with his brothers.  When a person “throws dirt,” it is usually because he is jealous.

          B.      The second well:  ARGUMENTS (verse 20) “Strife”

1.       Jealousy can be subtle, gently removing you from the scene (withdrawal).  However, as in this section of Genesis 26, jealousy can turn into opposition and even into open arguments.  Esek, the word used in the original text, can even mean a “lawsuit.”

2.       Envy brings strife, and strife brings contention.  A person you never quarreled with before will suddenly begin to act like your enemy, openly challenging you for no apparent reason.


C.      The third well:  ACCUSATION (verse 21)

1.       Isaac had to dig another will, and again, it was contested.  He named it Sitnah, which means “Satan,” or “accuser.”

2.       This is the third level of relationship problems.  At this point, the problem has gone from jealousy to opposition to accusation.  The person involved in the test has now begun to actually spread things against your character and is slandering you to others for no reason.

          D.      The fourth well:  ROOM ENOUGH (verse 22)

1.       At last, a breakthrough came!  Because Isaac “acted” and didn’t “react,” the enemy finally had to leave him alone.  He outlasted all his critics, opponents, and accusers.

2.       The fourth well was uncontested.  Isaac named it Rehoboth, which means “wide open spaces,” or “room enough.”  No longer was everything he did controversial and contested.  Now it was prosperous and abundant.

          E.      The fifth well:  RESTORATION (verse 23-33)

1.       Now came a strange turn of events.  Out of nowhere, his enemies appeared and asked for his forgiveness and blessing.  Isaac made them a feast, and their relationship was permanently restored with a covenant.

2.       That day, they hit another well.  Isaac named it Shebah, which means “seven” or “oath.”  The Lord will cause your enemies to restore back seven times what has been stolen from you (Proverbs 6:30-31)!

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