The Well of Living Water

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Genesis 21
At last the time came for the promised son to be born. Abraham had waited fourteen years, before God fulfilled His promise in giving them Isaac. The birth of Isaac gave rise to difficulties with Hagar and Ishmael — difficulties which Abraham had made for himself when he acted in unbelief many years before. Hagar and Ishmael mocked at the feast which was made for Isaac, till at last Sarah asked Abraham to send them away. This was a hard thing for Abraham to do, but the Lord told him to do as Sarah requested. It is always difficult to take a firm stand, and judge the activities of the old nature, but it must be done if there is to be blessing.
The sending away of Hagar has a typical meaning too. It is one of the interesting pictures of the Old Testament which God has given for our instruction. Hagar was a slave, and she pictures to us the law to which we were in bondage, but when Christ (the promised seed) came, we were set free from the law. The law was God’s perfect rule of life for man, but we have all broken it. In Christ we have been delivered from the curse of a broken law and are now “under grace” (see Galatians 4:22-3122For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. (Galatians 4:22‑31)). Like Hagar, the law has been “sent away,” or set aside, while “grace reigns.”
God blessed Abraham in all that he did, and even Abimelech recognized this. The world watches those of us who are Christians, far more closely than we are apt to think. This should make us very careful that we do not hide our light, but rather let it shine.
You in your small corner,
And I in mine.
The Well of the Oath
Abimelech’s servants violently took away Abraham’s well of water, and then shortly after this Abimelech wished to enter into a covenant with Abraham. Abraham was willing to make the covenant on one condition only — the well of water must be returned to him. Dear young believer, we, too, have a “well of water” in Christ — a place of refreshment for our thirsty souls which the enemy will take away with violence, if he can. Let us be careful not to make any “covenants” to “dwell” with those who would rob us of our joy in the Lord. Perhaps they may not intend to do it, and like Abimelech they are ignorant of it, but nevertheless Abraham did not make his covenant until the well was returned to him.
The covenant which was made was founded on Abraham’s giving seven ewe lambs, which would tell us of the per­fection of the work of Christ, God’s Lamb. It is only through His finished work on Calvary that we have posses­sion of our well of living water. The Lord Jesus said, “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:1414But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14)).
Abraham planted a tree (margin) there. This tree would be a constant reminder of the seven ewe lambs, and of the covenant made there, for God would never have us forget the cost of our redemption. It was in that place, too, that Abraham called on the name of the Lord. The work finished on Calvary’s tree is the groundwork of all true worship. He called the place Beer­sheba (the well of the oath), and so we now have God’s own pledge that we have everlasting life through faith in His Son.
Further Meditation
1. What does Hagar picture to us?
2. How does our enemy try to take away our “well of water” in Christ? How do we resist his efforts?
3. In the pamphlet, Satan’s Operations on the Lord’s People by B. Anstey, there’s a nice and simple description of how the Word of God has described Satan’s tactics for us.