A march toward perfection (Genesis 26)
(Excerpt from the sermon "A march towards perfection" by Rev. Jerry Thangiah)
Rivers are the source of life. We see that all civilizations were started around the water sources mainly the rivers. The second alternative is the well. The rivers are natural gift from god and the wells are to be dug by human. Naturally the water from the well is clean and free from debris and is also sweet depending upon the soil. There are wells that remain giving water all the year. There are artisan wells that bring forth water even if you dig a few feet in the ground. In any way water is a source of life and life always emerged around the water source. The wealth of the ancient man was estimated with the size of the herd he had that was directly proportional to the water source. A person who could dig more wells to feed his flock was considered a hero of that time. Abraham was one among them. He dug many wells and let his cattle drink and multiply. He was considered a rich man. Isaac followed his fatherís footstep in many ways yet he sometimes tries depended upon the inheritance. Bible records an event where Isaac strives to keep up with the life style of Abraham even in spite of a famine.
Bible records that a famine struck the land, the worst dread by the nomads and farmers. Issac needs to find a place to take all his flock and people to keep them alive. The first instinct the God? No it did not happen. He looks at his fatherís step. When Abraham faced a similar situation he fled to Egypt. Isaac remembers that entire story his father told about the famine etc. Hence he set his mind to go to Egypt. The Bible records 13 famines altogether. This is the second famine recorded besides the one that happened in Abrahamís lifetime. Famines were one of the ways God communicated to mankind to show his disobedience. He also proved His faithfulness to those who obeyed and claimed His promise. That is His compassion.
Itís true Isaac did not seek God for His guidance but Godís compassion never failed. He appears to Isaac on his way to Egypt and advises him to stay at Gerar. That is His promise.
God not only makes promise he remembers them and honors them. God appears to Isaac and remembers His promise and assures Isaac of his protection.
In Gerar Isaac faces a situation where he could have been killed. God protects him with upholding his promise. God uses that situation to prove that He is the provider.
Because God was with Isaac he sowed in Gerar and he reaped a hundred fold. Every one was surprised at the rate of his growth. Yet the people in Gerar hated him and come after him and force him to go to the valley of Gerar. God uses this situation of Isaacís disappointment for his perfection.
Godís plan of perfection begins.
God let Isaac reopen the wells in the valley which were dug by his father Abraham. The people from Gerar follow him and dispute him about that well. Isaac moves away and finds another well that Abraham dug and found water. The Gerar people become his enemy because of that and he leaves the place to find some more well of his father. He found one in Rehobath and dug to find water. He praises God for nobody fights with him. It gives him strength and confidence to dig more wells as he decides to move to Beersheba. Thatís what God wanted him to do not just re digging the wells of His father but also digs wells of his own. God blesses him with fresh water all the time. God even appears to him the second time in this passage and confirms his promises. The result even the King of Gerar and the top leaders of the society come after him agin not to hurt him but to acknowledge that thet see God is with him. Yes God led him through all these trials, disappointments and troubles to a place of perfection where people could clearly see God in Isaacís life. Would you allow God to do that in your life.