“The LORD appeared to him and said, ‘Dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you,.. and will give to your offspring all these lands… So Isaac settled in Gerar…And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy… So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father. But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, he herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, ‘The water is ours…’ 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’… They said, ‘We see plainly that the LORD has been with you.’” Genesis 26:2-4,6,12-13,17-20,22,28
The LORD’s promises were sure, though Isaac’s steps were not. God gave instruction, and assurance the land would belong to Isaac and his descendants, but this came about through the patriarch’s faltering ways, misjudgment, and antagonism. At first he lied in fear about his wife Rebekah, risking life, reputation, and his seed with King Abimelech, but God in grace protected him and used it for building up his wealth. Then he encountered quarreling with herdsmen over wells. Many were his sojournings and settlings, none without travail, contention, or hostility, until he finally arrived at Rehoboth, “broad places; room,” and built an altar and pitched a tent at Beersheba.
The Lord indeed prepares us room when our hearts prepare Him same, calling upon and honoring His name. He bids us “go,” to sojourn in the land of Scriptures and life, to learn to listen and follow and make wise choices, to interact with others and remain above reproach, to take hold of and appropriate His good promises. We take detours, meet opposition, learn from errors of judgment and relational havoc, but can return by His kind mercy to the altar of worship and know we are in His appointed place. (Proverbs 2:1-8; Colossians 1:22)
When sojourning takes us through regret and consequences over past choices, or valleys of sorrow, doubt, depression, or conflict with colleagues or family members, or pain of diagnoses or harmful habits, or pressures of job, finances, life challenges, we can know the One Who sends. He is good, trustworthy, present, our constant companion. He has prepared the land for fruitfulness. As I step and turn along the way, what good fruit of love, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control am I yielding? (Psalm 111:7; Joshua 1:9; Galatians 5:22-23)
LORD my King, keep me in Your paths and set my heart to trust and honor You in any circumstance. May the choices I make, the way I interact with others, the places I set up camp, bear evidence that You have been with me.