By Ps Victor Soo, Pastor of Reach Community Church, Northcote, Melbourne.
To encourage The Church to boldly fulfill The Great Commission.
“There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar. Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” So Isaac dwelt in Gerar.” Genesis 26:1-6
Our nation of Australia is going through a spiritual drought with The Church coming under duress from many quarters. Such trials and persecutions are not new, and we need not be alarmed over it as if something strange has come upon The Church. We are positioned for times such as these to be witnesses to the glory of God. The Church has always thrived often at great cost to the good of humanity.
As we go back to the days of our patriarch Moses; we understand he too experienced famine. He left his homeland in obedience to the Will of God to walk into difficulties. But he not only overcame the challenges of his days but thrived to be a blessing unto Lot and also the people of the land of Canaan. He was accorded the honour of prince amongst them.
Genesis 23:6 “Hear us, my lord: You are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places. None of us will withhold from you his burial place, that you may bury your dead.”
Then we witness another generation encountering a famine also. Under such great challenges, there are temptations to compromise. However, upon hearing God, Isaac remained to contend with the brevity of his days. In the natural, to see and understand how the blessedness of God was to be fulfilled was not easy. But thanks be unto God for he knew he was to walk by faith and not by sight, and the promise made to his father remained. When the ground was parched and hard, he sowed. He reaped, and not some but one-hundred fold.
What he needed most in support of his fields at times of trials led to his wells dug by Abraham getting filled with rubbish. As Isaac moved to dig up new wells through earth as hard as rock but he struck water. This was repeated on other occasions. The people picked quarrels and created contentions with Isaac and his herdsmen. Isaac persevered and dug other wells. Well, we know he was successful in all that he did as promised by Jehovah Jireh.
As Isaac faithfully obeyed God as His Source, The Lord became His Resource. In the same way, as we trust in God’s Will, He will supply all our needs. In the end, good shall always overcome evil got the love of God never fails. The Church must never stop boldly fulfilling The Great Commission, making disciples and investing into the communities. The need to engage and be relevant must continue though the famine for this is The Mandate of God. These tribulations shall refine us and our ways to be strong and effective. In the end, Isaac was vindicated by the king of the land he dwelled.
Genesis 26:26 “Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, one of his friends, and Phichol the commander of his army. And Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?” But they said, “We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, between you and us; and let us make a covenant with you, that you will do us no harm, since we have not touched you, and since we have done nothing to you but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.’”
Even Jacob, in his generation dug for water, and his good works blessed the generations well after him. Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob.
John 4:6 “Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.””
Lord, grant us revelation in such difficult times to be great witnesses to your glory. Give us wisdom that we may discern the spirit and respond righteously. Let us be encouraged and remain focused as we go about our walk in every sector of industry and strata in the community. Cause us to recognize the need to sow, dig wells and minister to a people who are thirsty for truth. May you be recognised as The Way, The Truth and The Life with The Church rising up gloriously in response at a tough time such as this. May we not grow weary in doing good but be comforted also and be blessed in order we can comfort others with the comfort you granted us. We pray in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
The Way – Pat Barrett www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAwjuFPoYBE