‘At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land. From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, where the Lord appeared to Him on the night of his arrival.’ Gen 26: 22b-24a.
Isaac’s journey from a place of abundant, 100 fold blessing in Gerar to Beersheba (Gen 26: 1-25) is a journey worth reading. In many ways I recognise it. Isaac receives this fresh promise from God, the same promise made to his father, a promise of blessing. We see a glimpse of Grace..Isaac harvests an amazing crop, 100 times what he planted; even though he was deceitful. And yet this blessing comes in a location or place that God does not wish Him to remain..he hasn’t reached the final destination. It’s a blessing in season. The blessing is so considerable that Isaac is forced to move; there is no longer space for him to prosper. God uses jealousy to uproot and move him towards the next place in the journey. God knew that by blessing Isaac so powerfully, the human frailty of the Philistines would be the catalyst to moving him forward. Again, Isaac tries to settle, this time in the Gerar valley. Not there yet Isaac. Fresh water yes, but not the fullness of God’s plan. Have a bit of ‘argument’ to keep you moving! No no..not Sitnah either..far too much hostility for you to settle there!
Now without the benefit of hindsight..Isaac must have been sweating..is God in this? Why am I suddenly surrounded by argument and hostility? Life was so good, so comfortable..maybe too comfortable.
And finally he finds space at Rehoboth. Open space. Rehoboth..’there is room‘! He can breathe..reflect..rest. We don’t know how long he spent in Rehoboth, but we do know that it was long enough for the Lord to no longer have to ‘drive’ him. Something has changed, now he goes voluntarily..now he is willing to be led. To Beersheba..the land of worship and promise.
Is God driving you? Is he using circumstances or conflict to move you on in either your physical or spiritual journey? Have you come out of a season of instability into a place of ‘open space’? Listen then to the small voice. Are you willing now to be led to the promised land?