Message Ten: Two Wells—Two Sources of Living
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Scripture Reading: Gen. 21:15-34
Gen 21:15      When the water in the waterskin was finished, she cast the child under one of the bushes.
Gen 21:16      And she went and sat herself down opposite him, a fair distance away, about a bowshot away, for she said, Do not let me look upon the death of the child. And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.
Gen 21:17      And God heard the voice of the boy. And the Angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven and said to her, What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.
Gen 21:18      Rise up; lift up the boy, and hold him with your hand, for I will make of him a great nation.
Gen 21:19      And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the waterskin with water and gave the boy a drink.
Gen 21:20      And God was with the boy, and he grew. And he dwelt in the wilderness and became an archer.
Gen 21:21      And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran. And his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Gen 21:22      And at that time Abimelech and Phicol the captain of his army spoke to Abraham, saying, God is with you in all that you do.
Gen 21:23      Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my offspring or with my posterity. According to the kindness that I have shown to you, you shall do to me and to the land in which you have sojourned.
Gen 21:24      And Abraham said, I swear it.
Gen 21:25      And Abraham confronted Abimelech concerning the well of water which Abimelech's servants had taken by force.
Gen 21:26      And Abimelech said, I do not know who has done this thing; and you did not tell me about it, nor have I even heard of it until today.
Gen 21:27      And Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech. And the two of them made a covenant.
Gen 21:28      And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
Gen 21:29      And Abimelech said to Abraham, What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves?
Gen 21:30      And he said, These seven ewe lambs you shall take from my hand, that it may be a witness for me that I dug this well.
Gen 21:31      Therefore he called that place Beer-sheba, because there the two of them swore an oath.
Gen 21:32      So they made a covenant at Beer-sheba; and Abimelech rose up with Phicol the captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
Gen 21:33      And Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and there he called on the name of Jehovah, the Eternal God.
Gen 21:34      And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days.
 
 
I.     A well signifies the source of one’s living; the two wells in Genesis 21:15-34 signify two sources of living:
Gen 21:15~34   (be omitted.)
A.     One well is the natural source in the wilderness of our soul; this source is represented by Ishmael, who lived in the wilderness and was joined to Egypt—vv. 19-21.
Gen 21:19      And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the waterskin with water and gave the boy a drink.
Gen 21:20      And God was with the boy, and he grew. And he dwelt in the wilderness and became an archer.
Gen 21:21      And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran. And his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
B.     The other well is the redeemed source in the garden of our spirit; this source is represented by Isaac, who lived at Beersheba and was brought to Mount Moriah—vv. 25, 31; cf. 22:2.
Gen 21:25      And Abraham confronted Abimelech concerning the well of water which Abimelech's servants had taken by force.
Gen 21:31      Therefore he called that place Beer-sheba, because there the two of them swore an oath.
Gen 22:2        And He said, Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.
C.     Today there are two kinds of Christians:
1.      One kind is like Ishmael, living for themselves in the wilderness of their soul and being joined to the world—1 John 2:15-17.
1 John 2:15    Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him;
1 John 2:16    Because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vainglory of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.
1 John 2:17    And the world is passing away, and its lust, but he who does the will of God abides forever.
2.      The other kind is like Isaac, living for God in their spirit and in the church life and being brought to Zion—Rom. 8:4; 12:4-5; 16:1; Rev. 14:1.
Rom 8:4         That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.
Rom 12:4       For just as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
Rom 12:5       So we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Rom 16:1       I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a deaconess of the church which is in Cenchrea,
Rev 14:1        And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.
3.     Even we, real Christians, may be like Ishmael, living in and for ourselves and being joined to the world, unless, as typified by Isaac, we live in our spirit and in the church life so that we might reach God’s goal—21:2; 22:16a.
Rev 21:2        And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 22:16a     I Jesus have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. …
 
II.   Ishmael’s well, the source of his living, was in the wilderness, a place rejected by God—Gen. 21:19-21; 25:12, 18:
Gen 21:19      And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the waterskin with water and gave the boy a drink.
Gen 21:20      And God was with the boy, and he grew. And he dwelt in the wilderness and became an archer.
Gen 21:21      And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran. And his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Gen 25:12      Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's female servant, bore to Abraham.
Gen 25:18      And they dwelt from Havilah to Shur, which faces Egypt, as you go toward Assyria. He settled down opposite all his brothers.
A.     Ishmael’s well, the source of his living, made him an archer—21:20:
Gen 21:20      And God was with the boy, and he grew. And he dwelt in the wilderness and became an archer.
1.      An archer is a wild hunter like Nimrod in 10:8-12, a killer in the wilderness.
Gen 10:8        And Cush begot Nimrod: He began to be a mighty one on the earth.
Gen 10:9        He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah; therefore it is said, Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before Jehovah.
Gen 10:10      And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
Gen 10:11      From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-ir and Calah
Gen 10:12      And Resen between Nineveh and Calah, that is, the great city.
2.      If we stay in the wilderness of our soul and drink water out of the well for Ishmael, the source of his living, we will be made an archer using the bow to kill life for building up our own kingdom, not a planter growing life for the building up of God’s kingdom.
B.     Ishmael’s well, the source of his living, joined him to Egypt, to the world—21:21:
Gen 21:21      And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran. And his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
1.      Hagar took a wife for Ishmael from Egypt, her own source, sealing him with the things of Egypt.
2.      There is a well, a source of living, that can make us a wild hunter who kills life and that can join us to the world.
 
III.  Isaac’s well, the source of his living, was in Beer-sheba—vv. 25, 31:
Gen 21:25      And Abraham confronted Abimelech concerning the well of water which Abimelech's servants had taken by force.
Gen 21:31      Therefore he called that place Beer-sheba, because there the two of them swore an oath.
A.     Many verses in the Bible refer to this well, the divine source:
1.      At Elim “there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees”—Exo. 15:27:
Exo 15:27      And they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; and they encamped there by the waters.
a.      In the Bible a spring signifies life that flows out of God in resurrection— John 4:10, 14; 7:37-39; Rev. 22:1.
John 4:10       Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.
John 4:14       But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water springing up into eternal life.
John 7:37       Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
John 7:38       He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:39       But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Rev 22:1        And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.
b.      Palm trees signify life that is flourishing, rejoicing in satisfaction, and victorious over tribulation—Psa. 92:12; Lev. 23:40; Neh. 8:15; John 12:13; Rev. 7:9.
Psa 92:12      The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree; / He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Lev 23:40       And on the first day you shall take for yourselves the product of stately trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before Jehovah your God for seven days.
Neh 8:15        And that they publish and proclaim in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, Go out to the mountain and bring olive branches and wild olive branches and myrtle branches and palm branches and branches of other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written.
John 12:13     Took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out, Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!
Rev 7:9          After these things I saw, and behold, there was a great multitude which no one could number, out of every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and palm branches in their hands.
2.      “Then Israel sang this song: Spring up, O well! Sing to it! / The well, which the leaders sank, / Which the nobles of the people dug, / With the scepter, with their staffs”—Num. 21:17-18:
a.      The well here at Beer typifies Christ within us—v. 16; John 4:11-12, 14.
Num 21:16     And from there they journeyed to Beer; that is the well where Jehovah said to Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.
John 4:11       The woman said to Him, Sir, You have no bucket, and the well is deep; where then do You get this living water?
John 4:12       Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank of it himself, as well as his sons and his cattle?
John 4:14       But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water springing up into eternal life.
b.      The digging of the well signifies the digging away of the “dirt,” the barriers in our heart—our mind, emotion, will, and conscience —so that the Spirit as the living water may spring up within us and flow freely—cf. Gen. 26:15, 18.
Gen 26:15      Now all the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father the Philistines had stopped up and filled with earth.
Gen 26:18      And Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been dug in the days of Abraham his father and which the Philistines had stopped up after the death of Abraham; and he called them by the same names which his father had given them.
3.      “A fountain in gardens, / A well of living water, / And streams from Lebanon”—S. S. 4:15:
a.      The fountain in gardens and the well of living water of the life-giving Spirit are streams from the resurrection and ascension life (Lebanon, v. 8)— John 7:38-39.
S.S. 4:8         Come with me from Lebanon, my bride; / With me from Lebanon come. / Look from the top of Amana, / From the top of Senir and Hermon, / From the lions' dens, / From the leopards' mountains.
John 7:38       He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:39       But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.
b.      The fountain and the spring stream out from the overcomers, flowing out from what they are and from where they are.
B.     The well for Isaac was a redeemed well— Gen. 21:28-32:
Gen 21:28      And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
Gen 21:29      And Abimelech said to Abraham, What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves?
Gen 21:30      And he said, These seven ewe lambs you shall take from my hand, that it may be a witness for me that I dug this well.
Gen 21:31      Therefore he called that place Beer-sheba, because there the two of them swore an oath.
Gen 21:32      So they made a covenant at Beer-sheba; and Abimelech rose up with Phicol the captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
1.      Abraham redeemed this well at the cost of seven ewe lambs.
2.      In typology these lambs signify the full redemption of Christ, indicating that the divine living water has been redeemed, bought back, by Christ’s full redemption—Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; John 19:34:
Eph 1:7          In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of offenses, according to the riches of His grace,
1 Pet 1:18      Knowing that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were redeemed from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers,
1 Pet 1:19      But with precious blood, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot, the blood of Christ;
John 19:34     But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.
a.      Today the whole human race is living by a source that is without redemption; we are living by a redeemed source.
b.      The living water that we are drinking today is not natural; it is water that has been redeemed at a great cost.
C.     The well for Isaac also needed a covenant— Gen. 21:31-32:
Gen 21:31      Therefore he called that place Beer-sheba, because there the two of them swore an oath.
Gen 21:32      So they made a covenant at Beer-sheba; and Abimelech rose up with Phicol the captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
1.      The covenant here, involving the redeeming of the well at Beer-sheba, is a seed of the new covenant, enacted through Christ’s redeeming blood—Matt. 26:28; Luke 22:20; Heb. 8:8-13.
Matt 26:28      For this is My blood of the covenant, which is being poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Luke 22:20     And similarly the cup after they had dined, saying, This cup is the new covenant established in My blood, which is being poured out for you.
Heb 8:8          For finding fault with them He says, "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, and I will consummate a new covenant upon the house of Israel and upon the house of Judah,
Heb 8:9          Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.
Heb 8:10        For this is the covenant which I will covenant with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will impart My laws into their mind, and on their hearts I will inscribe them; and I will be God to them, and they will be a people to Me.
Heb 8:11        And they shall by no means each teach his fellow citizen and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all will know Me from the little one to the great one among them.
Heb 8:12        For I will be propitious to their unrighteousnesses, and their sins I shall by no means remember anymore."
Heb 8:13        In saying, A new covenant, He has made the first old. But that which is becoming old and growing decrepit is near to disappearing.
2.      Isaac drank of redeemed water, the water of the covenant; likewise, the living water that the New Testament believers drink today is redeemed and covenanted water— John 4:14; Heb. 8:10-13.
John 4:14       But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water springing up into eternal life.
Heb 8:10        For this is the covenant which I will covenant with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will impart My laws into their mind, and on their hearts I will inscribe them; and I will be God to them, and they will be a people to Me.
Heb 8:11        And they shall by no means each teach his fellow citizen and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all will know Me from the little one to the great one among them.
Heb 8:12        For I will be propitious to their unrighteousnesses, and their sins I shall by no means remember anymore."
Heb 8:13        In saying, A new covenant, He has made the first old. But that which is becoming old and growing decrepit is near to disappearing.
 
IV.  “Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and there he called on the name of Jehovah, the Eternal God”—Gen. 21:33:
A.     As the tree of life is the center of Genesis 2, the tamarisk tree is the center of Genesis 21:
Gen 2, 21        (be omitted.)
1.      A tamarisk tree, having slender branches and very fine leaves, portrays the flow of the riches of life, the issue of the experience of the tree of life; thus, the tamarisk tree signifies the tree of life experienced and expressed—2:9-10.
Gen 2:9          And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Gen 2:10        And a river went forth from Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided and became four branches.
2.      The fact that Abraham planted a tamarisk tree after making the covenant for the well at Beer-sheba indicates that the water of which he drank was flowing in a rich way—21:32-33; cf. John 7:37-39.
Gen 21:32      So they made a covenant at Beer-sheba; and Abimelech rose up with Phicol the captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
Gen 21:33      And Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and there he called on the name of Jehovah, the Eternal God.
John 7:37       Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
John 7:38       He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:39       But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.
3.      The church life today is by the well in Beer-sheba; when we drink of this water and live by it, we will be like a tamarisk tree flowing with the riches of life:
a.      The church should be at the well of an oath with a covenant and should also be full of tamarisk trees, the tree of life experienced by us—1:4; 10:10.
John 1:4        In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 10:10     The thief does not come except to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and may have it abundantly.
b.      Our Christian life and the proper church life are both a tamarisk tree, expressing the tree of life by which we live —6:57b.
John 6:57b     … so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.
B.     There in Beer-sheba by the tamarisk tree Abraham called on the name of Jehovah, the Eternal God— Gen. 21:33:
Gen 21:33      And Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and there he called on the name of Jehovah, the Eternal God.
1.      Here we have a special title of God—Jehovah, El Olam; El means “the Mighty One,” and Olam, meaning “eternal” or “eternity,” comes from a Hebrew root meaning “to conceal,” “to hide”:
a.      Abraham experienced God as the Eternal One, as the secret and mysterious One.
b.      God’s existence is eternal, for He has neither beginning nor ending; He is the Eternal God—Psa. 90:2; Isa. 40:28.
Psa 90:2        Before the mountains were brought forth, / And before You gave birth to the earth and the world, / Indeed from eternity to eternity, You are God.
Isa 40:28        Do you not know, / Or have you not heard, / That the eternal God, Jehovah, / The Creator of the ends of the earth, / Does not faint and does not become weary? / There is no searching out of His understanding.
c.      The divine title El Olam implies eternal life —1 John 1:2; 2:25; 5:11-13.
1 John 1:2      (And the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us);
1 John 2:25    And this is the promise which He Himself promised us, the eternal life.
1 John 5:11    And this is the testimony, that God gave to us eternal life and this life is in His Son.
1 John 5:12    He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
1 John 5:13    I have written these things to you that you may know that you have eternal life, to you who believe into the name of the Son of God.
2.      In Genesis 21 Abraham experienced God as the eternal life, as the divine person who is concealed, veiled, hidden, mysterious, secret, and yet real, ever-existing, and ever-living, without beginning or ending—Exo. 3:14; John 3:16:
Gen 21           (be omitted.)
Exo 3:14        And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. And He said, Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you
John 3:16       For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.
a.      The eternal life is the life “which is really life”—1 Tim. 6:19b.
1 Tim 6:19      Laying away for themselves a good foundation as a treasure for the future, that they may lay hold on that which is really life.
b.      Life is the Triune God dispensed into us and living in us:
1)      God the Father is the source of life (John 5:26), God the Son is the embodiment of life (1:4), and God the Spirit is the flow of life (4:14b).
John 5:26       For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave to the Son to also have life in Himself;
John 1:4        In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 4:14b     … but the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water springing up into eternal life.
2)      God the Father is the light of life (Rev. 21:23; 22:5), God the Son is the tree of life (v. 2), and God the Spirit is the river of life (v. 1).
Rev 21:23      And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
Rev 22:5        And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them; and they will reign forever and ever.
Rev 22:2        And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
Rev 22:1        And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.
c.      The eternal life, which is the Son, not only was with the Father but also was living and acting in communion with the Father in eternity—1 John 1:1-2; John 1:1-2.
1 John 1:1      That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life
1 John 1:2      (And the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us);
John 1:1        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2        He was in the beginning with God.
d.      The eternal life was manifested to the apostles, who saw, testified, and reported this life to people; the manifestation of the eternal life includes the revelation and impartation of life to men, with a view to bringing man into the eternal life, into its union and communion with the Father—1 John 1:1-3.
1 John 1:1      That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life
1 John 1:2      (And the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us);
1 John 1:3      That which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
e.      The eternal life was promised by God, released through Christ’s death, and imparted to the believers through Christ’s resurrection—2:25; John 3:14-15; 12:24; cf. Luke 12:49-50; 1 Pet. 1:3.
1 John 2:25    And this is the promise which He Himself promised us, the eternal life.
John 3:14       And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
John 3:15       That everyone who believes into Him may have eternal life.
John 12:24     Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Luke 12:49     I have come to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish that it were already kindled!
Luke 12:50     But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am pressed until it is accomplished!
1 Pet 1:3        Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
f.       The eternal life was received by the believers through believing in the Son; after the believers receive eternal life, this life becomes their life — John 3:15-16, 36a; Col. 3:4a; John 1:12-13.
John 3:15       That everyone who believes into Him may have eternal life.
John 3:16       For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.
John 3:36a     He who believes into the Son has eternal life; …
Col 3:4a         When Christ our life is manifested, …
John 1:12       But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name,
John 1:13       Who were begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
 
 
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