Fruitful Hostility


So Isaac left there, camped in the Valley of Gerar, and lived there. Isaac reopened the water wells that had been dug in the days of his father…. Then Isaac’s slaves dug in the valley and found a well of spring water there” (Gen. 26:17-19).

Isaac lived in the realm of king Abimelech. But as Isaac grew wealthier, Abimelech came to fear and hate him. Abimelech sent Isaac away (Gen. 26:27). So Isaac dwelled in the Valley of Gerar. Here, he opened wells dug by Abraham, as well as new wells of spring water. The words “spring water” literally mean “living water.”

The first two wells of living water dug by Isaac were named “Quarrel” and “Hostility” because the Philistine herdsmen fought with Isaac’s herdsmen over them. The third well of living water was named “Open Spaces” because there was no fight. Isaac said of it, “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land” (Gen. 26:22).

Isaac’s descent into the valley and digging into the ground show us Christ’s descent into death. He was sent to death by those that hated and feared Him, as Isaac was sent into the valley by Abimelech. Just as living water came from Isaac’s third well, Christ rose from the tomb in the ground on the third day. Yet the well of the resurrection was dug through quarreling and hostility, as Hebrews tells us: “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart” (Heb. 12:3).

Isaac’s path mirrors our fellowship with Christ. The living water of the Spirit is found in the valleys of our walk. Christ’s life is only tapped if we descend with Him in death. Knowing Jesus’s sufferings means hostility from others at times. Hebrews tells us to endure suffering or hostility as God’s discipline. This proves we are legitimate sons of God (Heb. 12:7-8).

The writer of Hebrews continues, “No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:11). Isaac descended into the valley, found living water, and was fruitful. We descend with Christ, know His sufferings, know His living water, and are fruitful.

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