Well, Well, Well… Now That’s A Deep Subject

In case you haven’t noticed, God often speaks to me through the writings of others. I see their words and then I see God’s Word. I hear their words, then I hear God’s Word. Of course, only after bypassing the eyes, ears and my mind, rushing the message of the Messenger (the Apostle or Sent One) straight to the Mind of Christ. God is such a chatterbox at times, if we will give Him an ear to hear, eyes to see and a heart to understand. It is hard to imagine life without Him walking and talking with me. In fact, there is no Life without Him. I pray for those who have not yet found Him and do not yet know Him in this Way.

First I will present a longer passage and then expound on what I see and hear (as best as words can relay the Word). It speaks volumes to me. I give testimony to what I have seen and heard. Blessed are the eyes that see and the ears that hear these things. The italicized body of text is from my reading of Oswald Chambers this morning:

The Tender Grace – Genesis 26:13-25

The only right a Christian has is the right to give up his rights. This is the tender grace which is usually looked upon as an exhibition of lack of gumption. The embarrassing thing about Christian graces is that immediately you imitate them they become nauseating, because conscious imitation implies an affected preference for certain qualities, and we produce frauds by a spurious piety. All the qualities of a godly life are characteristic of the life of God; you cannot imitate the life of God unless you have it, then the imitation is not conscious, but the unconscious manifestation of the real thing. “Pi” people try to produce the life of God by sheer imitation; they pretend to be sweet when really they are bitter. The life of God has no pretence, and when His life is in you, you do not pretend to feel sweet, you are sweet.

This passage sets up the classic Protagonist/Antagonist plot in which we, the sons of God, live in the present Time. The perpetual good vs. evil that pervades the relationships of men. For nature accepts her place and waiteth patiently for the manifestaion of sons. In the meantime, Good vs. Evil on the earth in the hearts of men. Isaac is the protagonist, the main character and advocate of the Cause of God while herdsman of Gerar (those who sojourn with no place to stay) are the antagonists, those who oppose as an adversary the man of God.

1. The External Greatness of Isaac
And the man waxed great, and grew more and more until he became very great. (Genesis 26:13 rv)
Isaac never became great in the way that Abraham did, his greatness is of a different order…

2. The Extraordinary Gentleness of Isaac (Genesis 26:14-26)
And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing [“living,” mg] water. And the herdsmen of Gerar strove with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek [“Contention,” mg]; because they contended with him. (vv. 19-20 rv)
The strife arose around a well of living water, and Isaac let them have it, that is, he refused to drink of the water of “Contention.” Whenever a doctrinal well becomes “Esek,” give it up; your life with God is more precious than proving you are right doctrinally. It is at the peril of your communion with God that you contend about a doctrine.

And so the man of God was labeled as an offense after bringing (through gentleness and meekness) living water to those who did not have a place in God. In my own life I have left those who I once shared place with in the traditional church because there was contention. They would neither see nor hear nor understand. Instead they claimed right to ownership over that place that they did not own, nor had they digged. When someone will not see nor hear nor understand move on.

“And they digged another well, and they strove for that also” (rv): and Isaac surrendered it, calling it Sitnah, that is, “Enmity” (rv mg). It is a great sign of grace not to break your heart because you cannot drink of the water of “Enmity.”

Once again, in another place, where kinsmen dwelt who did not have a place to call Home, those sojourners of Gerar, challenged Isaac over the living waters that he brought forth to that place. This other group went beyond contention to exhibit enmity, even hostility toward the man of God. It would have been heart-breaking except for the grace of having a place in Him. There are always more places to dig and bring wells, even places without contention and enmity.

I too have been here. This speaks to me through the experience of those whom you love and will not receive you nor the grace you bring to them. Jesus knows, he too has been tempted in this same way.

“And he removed from thence, and digged another well, and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth [that is, ‘Broad places,’ or ‘Room,’ rv mg]; and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

You must keep moving on in the face of contention and enmity. Those who are offended would murder if they were not restrained by the law. They will even invoke an unrighteous judge as they did when they crucified our Lord. It is a hellish battle-zone to remain too long.

Fortunately God always provides a way of escape for those who stand for Him and having done all stand. He opens a new and living way and leads you there beside still waters in the open places where you may finally enjoy green pastures. He brings you to peace and rest in Himself and you can abide there in the shadow of the Almighty.

“And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for My servant Abraham’s sake.”

Not only do you enjoy peace and rest when you seek Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. His Kingdom), but all these things (blessings) are added unto you as well by Him who is faithful and does not sleep but has His eye on you all the while. He is a Good Shepherd!

Isaac has come to a broad place and God appears to him, and for the first time the grand phrase, “I am the God of Abraham” appears. “And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord.”
When you stand up for another who has been grossly wronged and your stand to be of any avail must have the co-operation of the wronged one, there is nothing more maddening than to find that he is without any resentment. That must have been the heart-breaking embarrassment to the disciples over our Lord; they had built up their own ideas as to how He was going to bring in His Kingdom and they were prepared to fight for Him, then they saw Jesus meekly give Himself up to the power of the world, He did nothing whatever to assert His rights. In the Christian life the problem arises not from the world, which says you are a fool, but from your friends who are prepared to stand up for you.

Inoffensiveness, which is one of the chief characteristics of Isaac, usually means to our natural minds a quality unsuited to a strong personality. We have to bear in mind that the life of our Lord portrayed just this characteristic of inoffensiveness: “As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb; yea, He opened not His mouth” (rv). “He was crucified through weakness,” and, “we also are weak in Him.” Anything to do with meekness and submissiveness is antagonistic to robust human nature. Our impatience gets beyond its limit because of the characteristics Jesus Christ insists upon: “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. . . .” The natural heart builds on adventure, recklessness, independence, impulse; the characteristics God prizes are produced only in the son of sacrifice.

Natural inoffensiveness may be the weakness of constitutional timidity; supernatural inoffensiveness is almighty strength scorning to use the weapons of the flesh. Inoffensiveness is self-control indwelt by the Holy Ghost, “the fruit of the Spirit is . . . self-control [moffatt].”†

3. The Eternal and the Haphazard (Genesis 26:28-33)
Let there now be an oath . . . betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee. . . . And he made them a feast and they did eat and drink. And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another. . . . And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac’s servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water. And he called it Shibah: therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba [Well of the Oath, or well of Promise] unto this day. (rv)

All the transactions entered into by both Abraham and Isaac, no matter how temporary or casual, were based on their relationship to God, that is, they used their wits in their worship of Him. This recognition of God began to be lost during Jacob’s life, and the children of Israel went on ignoring it until they came to establish all their transactions on their own wits… A saint can be ridiculed because he sees haphazard happenings in the light of the eternal—“The Lord guided me here, and there.” The fact that a man who is a fraud says the same thing as a saint is proof that he is counterfeiting something which is real. No actual fact has its right name unless you can worship God in it. Remember, whatever happens, God is there. It is easy to fix your mind on God in a lecture, but a different matter to fix your mind on Him when there is a war on.* You never get at God by blinking facts, but only by naming Him in the facts; whether they are devilish or not, say, “Lord, I thank Thee that Thou art here.”1

1Chambers, O. (1958; 2002). Our Portrait in Genesis. Marshall Morgan and Scott.