Bible Study: Spring Up Oh Well…or Fill Up The Well

Spring Up Oh Well…or Fill Up The Well?

Genesis 26:18-22

18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.

19 And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley and found there a well of springing water. 

20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. 

21 And they digged another well and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. 

22 And he removed from thence, and digged another well, and for that, they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now, the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. 


I.  Living in the desert, you will perish without wells.

A.  When a well was dug and water was available, it was a time of celebration.

Numbers 21:16-18

16 And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.

17 Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:  

18 The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves.


B.  Wells in the wilderness were used to keep people and animals alive.

C.  City wells were a place of gathering as well as a place of refreshing.

D.  Wells were landmarks and valued possessions.

E.  Wells were also considered tangible evidence of God’s divine blessings.

II.  It was common practice amongst rival herdsmen to fill up the wells of other their enemies.

A.  This practice was normally caused by jealousy.

Genesis 26:12-16

12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year a hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 

13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 

14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. 

15 For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them and filled them with the earth.

16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.


B.  Let’s look at the previous scriptures before our reading:

C.  As Isaac grew in possessions, he re-dug the wells Abraham dug.

D.  In doing so, the Philistines began envying him.

E.  This envy, or jealousy, caused them to fill up the wells.

F.  This represented the stoppage of God’s blessings.

G.  This was the ultimate insult against a man who had many reasons to celebrate.

1.  Remember, wells were a cause of celebration, as well as a source of survival.

H.  Isaac moves to the valley of Gerar.

I.  Here, he encounters more wells his father, Abraham, dug and were filled in.

J.  Isaac proceeded to re-dig the wells.

1.  He worked for a reason to celebrate.

2.  He tirelessly toiled for the refreshing springs of wells.

K.  The first well re-dug in this valley was filled back up by jealous herdsmen.

1.  They said this well is ours!

2.  Because they did not want Isaac to have it, they filled it up with dirt.

3.  Isaac called this stopped up, filled up well, Esek.

a.  This name means; contention.

4.  Because these men were driven by contentious emotions, they destroyed a place of celebration and life.

L.  Isaac moved along to another place and re-dug another well.

1.  The jealous, contentious herdsmen strove for this well too.

2.  They threw dirt in the well, causing it to cease producing the life-giving water.

3.  Isaac called that well, sitnah.

a.  This name means strife.

4.  Contention and strife will always try to stop the blessings of God.

5.  Contention and strife will always try to destroy another person’s reason to celebrate.

M.  Finally, Isaac found a place no one else wanted and dug a well.

1.  The name of this uncontested well is Rehoboth.

a.  This name means broad places.

b.  Finally here is some room to celebrate.

c.  At last here is room to enjoy the blessings of God.

d.  Now we have room for life.

N.  Every time someone tried to stop the blessings of God in Isaacs life, it was caused by jealousy, contention, strife.

O.  Isaac never rose to the occasion.

P.  He never had to defend himself.

Q.  He just kept looking for a place to celebrate and be blessed.

III.  Jesus spoke of another well.


John 4:14

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 7:38-39

38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

A.  The Holy Ghost is a well of living water.

B.  This well needs to spring up.  This well ought to bubbling and unstoppable.

C.  The problem is, people who are driven by contention, strife and jealousy will try to fill up this well in our lives.

D.  They will throw the dirt of jealousy in and try to discredit you.

E.  They will be contentious about doctrine, holiness, righteousness, and living for God.

1.  This contention will try to fill up the well of the Holy Ghost will the venom of lies and corruption.

F.  People who strive will try to fill up the well of the Holy Ghost.

1.  Strife means bicker and quarrel noisily or angrily.

G.  We need to be like Isaac…

1.  We will just move over and look for a reason to celebrate.

2.  We will not respond in like manner but pursue the blessings of God.

3.  We will dig for an experience that provides life.

Numbers 21:17

17 Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well.

H.  I want to sing the song of Israel in the wilderness:

I.  Don’t let your song be, “Fill up oh well”.

J.  Let your song be, “Spring up oh well”!

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