Step Aside


Many times in our lives we get caught up in finding the best place—whether it is where we should live, where to sit to watch a child play a sport, or where to park when we go to the grocery store. Have you ever been resentful when others crowd in or claim the spot you have chosen? We can sometimes get so caught up in responding to the demands from others that we react in anger or see a place as “our rightful place” rather than just moving on. Today we will see how Isaac reacted to the territorialism of others even though he had the right to remain.

  • Have you been faced with a situation in which you chose to just move on even though you had the right to stay?


17 So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them. 19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. 21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah. 22 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.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Who was the original builder of the wells (vss. 17-18)? Why did Isaac have to dig the wells again?
  2. Where were the wells located? Why did Isaac name the first well Esek?
  3. What happened with the next well (vs. 21)? Do you see a pattern with these unused wells?
  4. What happened when Isaac dug the third well? Why did he call the well Rehoboth, and what does his willingness to keep moving show about his trust in God’s promises?
  5. What are the areas in your life where you need to be willing to set aside your rights or desires and allow God to provide a place for you?


Isaac left the “Quarrel Well” (Esek) and then the “Hatred Well” (Sitnah) behind and traveled far enough that the men from Gerar no longer followed him. He did not have to assert his right to the land because he trusted God would provide for him and keep the promises he had made to his father, Abraham. The next time you are faced with a situation where you feel you need to assert your rights, consider whether you should give up those rights and trust that God will provide for you.

  • Pray that God would give you an opportunity today to step back and let someone else go first—whether it be in sharing a thought or choosing an activity or literally stepping aside.
  • Thank God that he has a place for you where you can be fruitful for him.