'Isaac and the Bullies' - thoughts from the life of Isaac from Mary O'Connell
A New Parable!
I found a new parable when I was reading my Bible. It's in Genesis 26 and I could call it “Isaac and the Bullies” or “Isaac and the Wells” or a posh title:”Perseverance Despite Difficulties.”
God had promised the Land of Canaan to his servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But none of them owned the Promised Land in their lifetimes. It was a bit like us in this earthly world, really – we have been promised a land where we will live with God – but it's in the future. It's now – but not yet.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived in Canaan, off and on, keeping sheep and goats and moving round from waterhole to waterhole, looking for fresh grass for their animals. It was a hot, dry land, but God's blessing on his servants never failed. A bit like us, journeying through life, with God providing for our needs.
(Read Genesis 26 verses 17 to 29.)
See how Isaac was bullied by the people of the land! When he dug a well to water his flocks and for his people to drink, the people of the land came and argued with Isaac and his men, saying the water was theirs. Isaac wouldn't fight them – he just gave the order to move on, and left that place. Three times it happened – bullies came and made poor Isaac leave his work and his new camp and move on. But Isaac said to himself: “The Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”
He trusted, and persevered! At Beersheba God rewarded the faith and perseverance of his servant with a personal appearance and assured him: “Fear not, for I am with you!” So Isaac built an altar to God and prayed there.
There was a happy ending to this story. (Read Genesis 26 verses 26 to 33.)
The king of the land heard how God had blessed Isaac despite the bullies, and came to make peace. Peaceful as ever, Isaac threw the king and his men a party, and swore a peace-treaty with him. Soon after, they found water there, and dug another well!
God was pleased with Isaac, for several reasons. He persevered, he trusted God, and he was a man of peace. This little parable shows us God likes it when we don't give up, but keep on keeping on when there are difficulties in life. He likes likes peace and peacemakers too!