The eternal well

Genesis 26:18 “And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them.”

In the accounts of the patriarchs in Scripture we see examples of how God works in one generation after another.  This is particularly true in what the Bible tells us about the lives of Abraham and his son Isaac.  For one, they tended to sin the same sins.  Both Abraham and Isaac, to save their own skins, lied about their wives, claiming that they were not their wives but their sisters. These sins didn’t affect just their own lives, but also brought difficulties into the lives of the unsuspecting people around them.  Sin is like that, bringing pain not just into the lives of the sinner, but often to the lives of many others as a result.  Just look at Adam and Eve – their sin had horrible effects not just on their own lives, but on the life of every person in every generation since. 

Then there are the promises of God.  God’s promise to Abraham that a nation would come from him was repeated to Isaac.  And God gives many promises to every generation in every age.  His Word is true, and His promises are trustworthy not just to Abraham and Isaac, but also to our parents and grandparents, us, and our children after us.  God is eternal, and His words are eternal. 

Abraham and Isaac both had enemies – and some of the same enemies.  There was opposition in their lives, and contention.  And there is trouble in the lives of every generation.  We are told to “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you (1 Peter 4:12),” and we are told that “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man (1 Corinthians 10:13).”  Every generation has trouble, trials, and temptations. The battles you and I are fighting are often the very same battles our parents fought, and their parents before them.   

Then there are the blessings of God for those who follow Him. One of the greatest blessings of the nomadic patriarchs of the Old Testament was the wells of water God provided for them. They were life-giving, essential, a tremendous blessing in an otherwise dry and thirsty land.  The wells Abraham dug and was blessed by were the same wells Isaac dug and was blessed by.  And the blessings of God, the wells of God, are also available to us.  When Jesus asked the Samaritan woman at the well for a drink, but then told her that He had “living water,” her reply was “Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock (John 4:12).”  To this Jesus replied “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:13-14).” And that same spring has been available to every generation since, including our own and the generations that will follow us.  God would have us learn from His Word that “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).”

The same sins plague generation after generation.  The same “new” things that shock us today, are the same old “new” things that shocked those before us.  The same enemy that faced our forefathers, faces us today, encouraging us to sin the same destructive sins that they sinned. And in the face of all of this, God continues to provide the same promises, the same blessings, the same answers to those of any generation that will turn to Him.  Always the same remedy for the same failures and the same sins – the eternal, immutable Word from the eternal, immutable God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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