12 And Isaac planted in that land and harvested in the same year a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him,
13 and the man became rich, and succeeded more and more until he became very wealthy.
14 He had so many flocks and herds and many servants, that the Philistines envied him.
15 (And the Philistines had closed down and filled with dirt all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.)
16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much stronger than we.”
17 So Isaac left from there and resettled in the valley of Gerar and lived there.
18 And Isaac dug the wells of water again that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had closed down after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them.
19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water,
20 the herdsmen of Gerar argued with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him.
21 Then they dug another well, and they argued over that also, so he called its name Sitnah.
22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not argue over that one. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”
making room for peace
During a famine, Isaac and his family resettle in Gerar, where Abraham had lived before. He re-dug some of the wells that Abraham had dug, because the Philistines had closed them down. Two of the wells he named Esek (contention) and Sitnah (enmity). The names of these wells show the unsteady relationship that Isaac’s people had with the inhabitants of Gerar. But the LORD did allow Isaac to spread out further away from the Philistines and build a well that they had no interest in. He called it Rehoboth (wide places).
When you come to Christ, an eternal inheritance of peace becomes part of your life. It may not bring peace with your neighbors. But you should seek peace, even if it means turning the cheek a few times, and rebuilding. Giving his neighbors room was part of Isaac’s peace-plan.
LORD, thank you for the peace you have placed in our hearts. Help us to spread that peace to others by avoiding conflict whenever possible. Give us the patience to wait until the third well.