Can you dig it?
Do you ever wonder as you turn on the spicket to shower every morning where the many gallons of water are coming from and how much work went into channeling the water from its original location to your shower and to making the water clean and pure enough to cleanse your body? One of the greatest commodities in biblical times was di-hydrogen-oxide (H2O), water. Even today, it is one of our greatest natural resources. During times of drought, even in prosperous twenty first century America, we have to limit our usage of this resource and cling to it for its life giving and life saving properties. And yet still, it is hard to imagine, living in our culture, how important water would have been in Biblical times. It seems like every day in America a new bottle of water is available on store shelves. We water our grass with it, wash our cars with it and really don’t give much thought to how it arrives for our consumption. We even get fancy and squeeze lemon in it. If characters from Biblical times appeared today for a visit, I believe they would spend most of their time playing in the kitchen sink and possibly pressing Jacuzzi water stream buttons.
The book of Genesis accounts for us the importance of the struggle and search for water. Not only was the discovery of fresh water wells rare, it was essential. Issac discovered three such wells that we will take time to examine.
Gen 26:19-22 19 (NIV) 19. Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20 But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him. 21 Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. 22 He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”
The significance of this scripture in our modern twenty first century lives may not stand out to you immediately, but with further dissection, we can all learn how to dig wells in our life and apply these Biblical principles.
Well # 1.) Esek means to quarrel
Well # 2.) Sitnah means to strive or have strife
Well # 3.) Rehoboth means board places (the place that they flourished)
Water meant life. It gave the ability to sustain crops, provided hydration for herds of animals, and for Isaac and his family to live out in the desert they needed to drink a lot of it. Wars were often not fought with weapons but with the abundance or lack of water. If one could destroy the water supply to anothe,r they would win the battle without having to draw their sword. Understanding this, the Philistines had attacked the wells of Isaac’s father Abraham. The Philistines had been an arch enemy of God and his people and they are an Old Testament representation of our enemy Satan. They depict to us today the evil men and seducers that we face in our modern world.
Gen 26:15 (NIV)
So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.
Our sworn enemies, whether natural or spiritual, are trying to stop us from being productive. Their goal is to see us fail and destroy our lives. Water also symbolizes the washing and regeneration that we find through New Testament baptism. Our sins and our failures are buried with Christ in baptism. The enemies of our soul and of our lives try to dry up the refreshment that we feel after repentance, water baptism, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. They want to remove the water from our lives and to deliver to us such a life damaging blow that we will not be able to recover. If we give into this attack, we are left to die. Whether the water is physical or spiritual, it’s still the best source of refreshment and renewal. Death, even if not physical, can destroy our future. In Isaac’s day they were trying to kill him physically, they were trying to destroy his family, and they were jealous of his success.
Have you ever felt like someone was throwing dirt into your well? Was someone trying to destroy the source of life that you drink from? Have you ever felt like someone was trying to destroy you, and trying to push you away? Many people try to eliminate the possibility of you being productive and versatile in the kingdom of God.
Oftentimes you feel like people are trying to destroy you and manipulate situations to get you out of the workplace. Sometimes there are even people around you that are allowing the enemy to use them to push you out of the church. Satan would love to get you to throw in the towel on your ministry and your family. But, even with a sworn enemy trying to stop us, we need to keep digging. There is nothing that can stop us. What made Isaac successful was the fact that he was not willing to stop digging. When things got tough and when the Philistines tried to destroy everything his father had worked for, instead of giving up, Isaac dug in. The choice is simple to dig or not to dig.
So in the middle of your seemingly impossible situation, you are faced with a decision. Can I dig it? Can I grab my shovel and dig another well? While you are digging, sometimes strife will break out, but keep digging. Don’t throw in the towel, dig another well. The fact of the matter is if you keep digging you’re going to have a Rehoboth, a big place, a broad place, a place for all your dreams that you thought were destroyed by the enemy. The dreams and times of refreshing are about to come to pass.
What separates the successful from the defeated? A lack of problems and situations is not what makes somebody else thrive in a toxic environment while everyone else crumbles. We all have our enemies and our seemingly impassable situations. What separates the failures from the victors is simply one thing, keep digging when everyone else stops.
I refuse to allow my past, pain and problems; poison my future. It does not matter what has happened to you! It does not matter what others are saying about you! It does not matter if you do not meet all the criteria that the religious and the Pharisees say you need to meet in order to work for God. What matters is do you have the tenacity, the determination, the faith to keep digging in spite all the dirt that’s being thrown at you? Do you have a desire to read, study, and digest the word of God and make it become relevant to your situation and life?
We can all find the silver lining in our situations. Every time life threw dirt on you and ever person that gave up on you actually pushed you to just dig another well. They created the success that you are going to be. Everyone that does you dirty is actually doing a service of justice for you. If no one moves your cheese, you will never be forced to reevaluate and come up with better and more successful solutions for victory. You can stand and be grateful for every time you were forced in a prayer closet by a person or a life circumstance. Open your mouth and shout, “Thank you for pushing me to my knees and thank you for helping me realize that no matter what happens God is faithful to help me through anything life can bring.”
I want to encourage you as you read this that God has given you the power to reinvent yourself. Today is a new day; forget about what’s happened in the past and stop stressing about what’s going to take place in the future. All you need to do is be willing to keep digging in spite of the circumstances that are surrounding you. Rehoboth, can you dig it?