12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.
13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
15 For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.
16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.
17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.
18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.
19 And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.
20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him.
21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.
22 And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
K.J.V. Bible Text
Because Abimelek allowed Isaac to remain in the land under his protection, Isaac was able to plant crops on the land and reap such good crops that he became very wealthy, having a lot of livestock and servants. The Philistines began to envy him. They stopped up all the wells that Abraham had dug.
When Abimelek thought Isaac had become too powerful, he sent Isaac away. Isaac went back to the land where his father had dug the wells and reopened them. His men dug another well in a valley that also gave them fresh water. The well led to a dispute with the herders of Gerar who claimed the water as their own. Isaac dug another well and the herders also disputed over it. When Isaac’s men dug a third well nobody disputed their claim on the water. With the third well in place, Isaac was sure that his people would flourish.
Isn’t it interesting what kind of man Isaac was? Apparently, when pressured he bent rather easily because he moved away from Abimelek when requested to do so and also apparently gave up the first two wells because a quarrel developed over them. Yet he was a persistent man because he dug up wells the Philistines had plugged up. (Wasn’t there a chance this would make them angry?) He also continued to dig wells until he obtained water he could use without dispute. Perseverance does pay off.
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