Wednesday, 07 November 2007 00:00

Digging the Wells of Our Forefathers

Genesis 26:18-25 (ESV)

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. But when Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 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. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah. 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." From there he went up to Beersheba. 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." 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.

"Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, and it shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14 KJV). God's blessings are often compared to "wells of water," and rightfully so. He's the source of all blessing. "Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of his father" (v.18).

  1. We should keep our eyes open for the blessings from our past.
    There are things that have been done in the past in our church and in our families, by our forefathers, that were a source of blessing. I have heard some of the founding members of our church talk about those good old days when people were involved because they had to be involved—and from that involvement sprang community, caring, and commitment.

    One of the good things about the past here at Emmanuel is small group discipleship—what we call Sunday School. We as a staff have sought to multiply small group meetings through the formation of Community Groups that meet at different times during the week, and these were to spring our of REFUGE, but what we have discovered is that our worship attendance is growing but our small group discipleship is shrinking. While we are excited about reaching more people in our worship services, we must do everything possible to rediscover the blessings of small group discipleship.

  2. We should be prepared to work hard to maintain those blessings.
    Those things that are the source of our blessing, our enemy, like the Philistines in Isaac's day, will seek to "stop up." The enemy would love nothing more that for the very thing that brings real strength to the people of God (discipleship) to be covered over by programs and busy work. The simple story shared in a Sunday School class, the simple act of opening your home to a Sunday School fellowship, are all activities that remove the rocks that cover the mouth of the well that leads to blessing. Will you work with us?
  3. We should know that coming to the well often brings blessings to others.
    Charles Spurgeon used to tell the story of looking out his hotel window in France at a well in the center of the town square. One afternoon he kept seeing a man return again and again with his bucket. Finally his curiosity got the best of him and he followed the man and saw that he was taking the water from the well to the widows that lived in the neighborhood. The man had a choice. He could give the widows just a little water and make one trip, or he could give each widow a bucket of water and that would require coming to the well again, and again. May each of us find our place in discipleship ministry at Emmanuel Baptist Church. May we each work hard to recover that blessing.

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