Keeping Good Company

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Genesis 26:19-3519And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. 20And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. 21And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. 22And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. 23And he went up from thence to Beer-sheba. 24And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake. 25And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well. 26Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army. 27And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you? 28And they said, We saw certainly that the Lord was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; 29That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the Lord. 30And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. 31And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. 32And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water. 33And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day. 34And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 35Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah. (Genesis 26:19‑35)
After Isaac had digged out all his father’s wells, then his servants dug another one — a well of springing water. There is progress here. We cannot stand still in the things of God, for if we are not growing in our souls, we are sure to go backward. The new well is a special cause of con­tention. How the enemy hates to see the children of God making progress! Notice they say, “The water is ours,” not “The well is ours.” Unsaved people do not want Christ, the Source from which all blessings flow, but they like to get the blessings. No doubt there could have been more energy display­ed on the part of Isaac, in contending for these wells, for God had said, “So­journ in this land, and I will  ...  bless thee.” However the Lord graciously undertook for him, allowing him to have other wells until he finally got back to Beersheba. There a covenant was made, as Abimelech had made with Abraham previously, to have peaceful possession of that part of the land. May the Lord give us the energy of faith to go on possessing more of what is ours in Christ, even though there are “many adversaries.”
It is a good thing indeed when others see in us as Abimelech observed about Isaac, that the Lord was with him even though they hated him. If we walk honorably and blamelessly, but do not confess Christ, we escape His re­proach; or if we talk well but walk badly, we bring reproach on His Name. God would have us to talk of Christ, and walk to please Him too; then we will bear His reproach, and bring honor to His worthy Name.
When Esau was forty years old, he took a wife of the daughters of the land. We often read of periods of forty days, and forty years in the Bible. The children of Israel spent forty years in the wilderness; Moses spent forty years in Pharaoh’s court, forty years on the backside of the desert, and forty days on the mount. Other cases could be given too. It is always looked upon as a period of testing, and so here we can see the true state of Esau’s heart. Dear young Christian, weigh this statement well, and even the younger folks can remember it when they grow older: “The partner you choose for life will show your state of soul more than any­thing else.” If you walk with God, He will lead you to the right one, for be assured it will mold your whole life for good or bad to a tremendous de­gree. No wonder Esau’s choice to marry wives from among the idolatrous people of the land was a grief of mind to his father and mother.
If you belong to the Lord, dear reader, be careful of the company you keep. There is a good verse in Psalm 119:6363I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. (Psalm 119:63) for us all to remember, “I am a companion of all them that fear Thee, and of them that keep Thy precepts.” Our intentions may be ever so good, but we are only safe as we “cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart” and learn to walk in the path of obedience day by day. Then when the time of decision comes, we will be able to say like Abraham’s servant, “I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren” (Genesis 24:2727And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master's brethren. (Genesis 24:27)).
Further Meditation
1. How did the Lord graciously undertake for Isaac?
2. A companion for life can have a huge impact on our spiritual lives. How did a bad companion affect Ahab? How did a good wife encourage Aquila?
3. The pamphlet Companionship in Courtship and Marriage: Part 2 by B. Anstey gives a wonderful encouragement to allowing the Lord to make the choice of our life’s companion.