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 Rehoboth - The Lord has made room for us by Zac Poonen

WORD FOR THE WEEK 24 December 2006
Christian Fellowship Centre,
40 Da Costa Square, Bangalore 560 084, India

Rehoboth - The Lord has made room for us

Zac Poonen

Isaac had some of the good qualities of his father Abraham,
when it came to dealing with people outside his family. In
Genesis 26:18 we read of a time when Isaac re-opened the
wells that his father had dug earlier and that the
Philistines had closed up out of jealousy. Those wells
belonged to Abraham, because he had dug them. And so they
now belonged to Isaac. But the herdsmen of Gerar quarrelled
with Isaac’s servants and said, “The water is ours!” So
Isaac’s servants went and asked Isaac, and Isaac said, “Give
it to them”.

Just like Abraham gave Lot the land Lot wanted, Isaac also
follows in his father’s footsteps here. Then Isaac dug
another well (Genesis 26:21) and the Gerarites quarrelled
over that one too. And a second time, Isaac said, “Give that
also to them.” He moved away from there and dug another
well. The Gerarites were ashamed by now and did not fight
for this well. And so Isaac named it ‘Rehoboth’, saying, “At
last the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful
in the land.”

Think about that phrase “Rehoboth, the Lord has made room
for us.” Isaac did not make room for himself by pushing
people out. No. He gave up his rights and the Lord made room
for him and he became fruitful. This is the way to build
Jerusalem. This stream (of giving up one’s rights) began
with Abraham, continued with Isaac and flowed on finally
into Isaac’s grandson Joseph many decades later.

This is the principle we must live by: “I won’t fight or
grab for earthly things. Let the world, and worldly
Christians have what they want. I’ll take what’s left over.
And from the leftovers, God will make room for me and I will
be fruitful in the land.” Those who grab Sodom and Gomorrah
and its wealth will remain barren. The way of the church
(Jerusalem) is the way of giving up one’s earthly rights,
even as Jesus our Lord did. His kingdom was not of this
world. Neither is ours. The way of Babylon however is the
way of grabbing.

Jacob started life as a grabber and he had to be converted
before he could became Israel and thus be in the “Jerusalem
stream”. Otherwise he would have been in the “Babylon
stream”. These are some of the important principles that we
find in the book of Genesis that apply to us even today.
Look at the number of believers who are seeking for position
and honour in Christendom.

The very first qualification to be a Christian leader (or
elder) is that you have no desire to be a leader because you
are thoroughly convinced that you are not fit to be a
leader. We must allow the Lord to make room for us and to
make us leaders. Then we will be fruitful in the land. If we
try to make room for ourselves, we will never be fruitful.
That is certain.

In Genesis 26:28, we read that this man who was Isaac’s enemy
finally comes to Isaac and says, “We have seen clearly that
the Lord is with you,” and he makes a feast for Isaac. That
is God’s way. A man of God makes peace with his enemies. If
our enemy is hungry, we must feed him. That is the way of
the Jerusalem-stream.
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