December 9, Saturday

The AMI QT Devotionals from December 4-10 are written by Andy Kim. Andy, a graduate of Northwestern University and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.) currently serves as a staff at Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco. And this past November Andy got married . . . to Jane. Congratulations.

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Genesis 26:18-25

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. 19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled 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 quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah.22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. 23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

Moving is stressful because it means finding a place to live in a crazy housing market, adjusting to different cultures, and embracing a new community. In the midst of this chaos, what we deem as non-negotiable keeps us sane: For some it’s an in-unit washer/dryer; the school district; bathroom water pressure; the type of people; nearby friends; etc. The general rule of thumb is that if you can secure what is non-negotiable to you, then you should sign the papers—or else you might lose it. And in the Mosaic period, the most important non-negotiable was a source of water.

Our passage today shows Isaac’s journey of searching for a well in hopes of settling down. Unfortunately, every time he finds one, the Philistines feel threatened and force him to leave. But as Isaac continues to wander, he finally finds a well unchallenged in Rehoboth; but rather than settling there, Isaac continues onto Beersheba— Beersheba was the first place Abraham and Isaac set out for after Isaac’s life is spared on Mt. Moriah. It most likely reminded Isaac of the traumatic memories of when his father almost sacrificed him, but the Lord provided. And yet, Isaac decides to settle down here. Why?

Notice how the sequence is reversed: (1) Isaac hears from the Lord and is reminded of the promise given to him; (2) he responds by building a place of worship; (3) he settles his tent there;   (4) finally, he digs the well. In other words, Isaac’s reason for settling there was that he encountered the Lord—not merely because of a water source. He prioritized his spiritual needs before his physical needs, because he knew the Lord would provide. May this be a good reminder for our lives. Whether it is moving to a new place, starting a new career, or even transitioning into a new season, may our non-negotiable be first and foremost His presence and His word. Let us take hope in that as we seek after Him, He is a good Father who will provide.

Prayer: Father, we confess that oftentimes we are driven by our material needs rather than our spiritual ones. Help us to set our priorities according to Your Word, for You are a good Father who will always provide. May we not worry about our lives, but help us to always seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness (Matt. 6:25-34).  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 41-42

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