If somebody nicked something very valuable off me, I think I’d want it back pretty quick. I’d be off to the authorities to complain. I wonder if that was how the conversation started in Genesis 21 v 22 – 31. I can just imagine Abraham coming storming in to Abimelech’s palace, with a look like thunder. Seeing him coming, Abimelech and his commander, Phicol, decide they’d better get this rather powerful man on side, and ask him to make a treaty with them – a powerful friend is muuuch better than a powerful enemy. Abraham accepts, but there is a condition. He wants his well back. Some of Abimelech’s servants have purloined it, and water is about one of the most valuable resources.
Abraham knows he’s on foreign soil, and needs friends every bit as much as Abimelech. But not at any cost. He wants to know that this king has order in his ranks, that he can sort out an injustice, that he can keep control within his own borders. For all he knows, Abimelech himself might have given the orders to seize the well, and Abraham needs to be sure that his own position would not be weakened by aligning himself with a dodgy administration.
Without clean, pure water Abraham had nothing. Nothing to give his family, nothing for his flocks, and nothing to offer guests. His own ranking depended on it. His survival depended on it.
‘Digging wells’ is often taken as an analogy for establishing and deepening your prayer life and relationship with God. We do have to be careful who we align ourselves with. First and foremost, we have to ensure that our relationship with God is in no way compromised. Unless we are able to regularly partake from the well of Living Water, then we have nothing to refresh ourselves with, and nothing to give out to others. Don’t let anyone steal that from you!