We know from Genesis 25:11 that Isaac was living in Beer Lahai Roi (which means "well of the living One that sees me," named after Hagar’s encounter with the Lord in which she named the Lord God “El Roi” - “the Seeing God” see Genesis 16:13-14).
In the beginning of Genesis 26, we are told there is a famine in the land where Isaac is living so God commanded Isaac not to go to Egypt but to go to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar and settle there for a while. In the bible the place names and names of people often have significant meanings. Isaac was living in the place of “the Seeing God” - comforting to remember in hard times, but by God’s command he moved to live in the territory of Abimelek (meaning father is king) of the Philistines (rolling in ashes, an act of mourning) in Gerar (meaning to drag away, destroy or chew). It’s good to know that even in the land of mourning our Father is King and our blessing cannot be dragged away!
However despite the Lord reassuring him in Genesis 26:3-4: “I will be WITH you and will BLESS you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,” nevertheless, Isaac began his time in Gerar in fear. He followed the example of his father Abraham by telling everyone that his wife Rebekah was his sister- like his father, he feared that the men of Gerar would kill him in order to take his wife who was very beautiful! However as before, Abimelek discovered Rebekah’s true identity and commanded all the people not to harm Isaac or Rebekah!
So as the Lord had promised, while Isaac was in Gerar the Lord blessed him:
Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.
But with the blessing came jealousy and opposition:
He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 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.
Eventually Abimelech told Isaac to move away:
Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.”
So Isaac moved away to the Valley of Gerar but still he encountered problems:
Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek (which means Dispute), because they disputed with him. 21Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah (which means Opposition).
Notice that even though God was with Isaac and was mightily blessing him, he still encountered jealousy, disputes and opposition. But through it all, he was still UNDER THE BLESSING OF THE LORD!
Finally though, he dug another well:
He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth (which means Room), saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”
When we encounter jealousy, disputes and opposition in seasons of our lives, it does not mean we are not under the Lord's blessing or that God is not with us. It just means we have an enemy who tries to oppose God's will for our lives but God's purposes prevail and eventually He will bring us into a roomy place where we can flourish!
So if you are in the midst of opposition, know that you are still covered by the blessing and favour of the Lord and He will lead you to a spacious place where you will flourish!
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
God's word to us today is the same as He spoke to Isaac in Genesis 26:24: “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you... for the sake of my servant Abraham.”
And just incase you're not sure why God should bless US for the sake of Abraham, it is because we who have faith are counted as children of Abraham!
7Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
Thank you Lord that you delight in me, you are with me, your favour and blessing are upon me and you are leading me to a spacious place where I will flourish!