It shouldn’t have been so hard. After all, he was the child of promise. He was the miracle kid, born to parents who had no right, naturally speaking, bearing children–dad a centenarian and mom, at 90 years old, way past her prime for having kids. But with God all things are possible. And so, Isaac was born as the son God had promised to Abraham.
What’s more, beyond being a result of God’s promise, he was also a recipient of God’s promise. Just like dad, the LORD had appeared to Isaac and covenanted to be with him and to bless him. To give him the land promised to Abraham, to multiply his offspring as the stars of the heaven, and to work through those offspring to bless all the nations of the earth (Gen. 26:3-4). Like father, like son (Gen. 12:1-3).
So with all the promises, why so many problems?
Famine in the land. Fear for his life. Failure as he misrepresents his wife as his sister in order to protect his own skin. And then, fighting over wells that were rightly his.
Sure, he didn’t starve in the land. And beyond that, God rescued him from his fear and failure by exposing his treachery and protecting his wife. God even redeemed his transgression as he was left alone to grow his herds and his wealth. But when he got too big and too powerful, the king sent him packing, kicking him out of the kingdom.
And maybe being a pilgrim wouldn’t have been so bad if, every time his servants dug a well to provide much needed water for his family and livestock, others hadn’t fought with him to claim the sources of water as their own.
It shouldn’t have been so hard. They were in the promised land after all. But it was.
But what’s grabbing me about Isaac’s story this morning is that rather than giving up, Isaac continues to sojourn, . . . and continues digging wells, . . . and continues to keep on keepin’ on, . . . until God makes room.
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.”
(Genesis 26:22 ESV)
The LORD will make room for us. Promise is to be pursued until God makes provision . . . and God, who cannot lie (Heb. 6:17-18), WILL make provision.
God makes room. That’s the encouragement this morning. He makes wide the places. He enlarges the spaces. The work He has begun in us, He will complete. The promises He was given, they all will be fulfilled. And along the way, the hard way at times, He makes room.
Mine is to be faithful in sojourning. To keep my eyes on the city when it feels like I’m slogging along in the pilgrimage. To not lose sight of the prize while running the race. And to expect, that though I too am a miracle child of promise, “born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:12-13), and though I too am the benefactor of God’s ” precious and very great promises” (2Pet. 1:4), it’s gonna be hard sometimes.
Promise doesn’t forestall problems. Blessing today doesn’t preclude struggle tomorrow.
But God makes room . . . and we shall be fruitful in the land.
By His grace. For His glory.