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What happened at the well at Beersheba?

Now we look at how the deep supply of water was utilized in the Old Testament and what it meant to those who found it.

Genesis 21, 22, 26:23-33 and 46:1-5

The first we hear about Beersheba is when Hagar and Ishmael were sent away from Abraham’s family. Feeling all alone and deserted Hagar and Ishmael arrived at Beersheba, there they were met by God and were blessed. (Genesis 21).

A short time later God took Abraham to the same place and made an oath with his enemy after conflict over wells.

Much later after God’s test with Isaac, Abraham stayed at Beersheba. (Genesis 22).

Then many years later God led Isaac to the very same place for a blessing and peace with his enemies! (Genesis 26).


They all met with God who told them not to be afraid and God blessed them.

Hagar heard that her son Ishmael would be blessed with a heritage similar to his father Abraham.


Both Abraham and his son Isaac had conflicts with their enemies over wells in that area and after pronouncing the oaths of peace with their enemies received the same blessing from God. (Gen 21:25-30)

Because of these oaths Beersheba can mean well of the oath but margin notes say Beersheba can also mean a well of seven.

Why seven?


What else is interesting about the well at Beersheba?

Hagar did not have to dig! (Gen. 21:14-20)

The well was there and obviously easy for her to get to the water.

When talking to Abimelech Abraham said he had dug the well (Gen 21:30)


However when Isaac went there later, his workers had to dig the well. (Gen 26:32)

As with other wells nearby the well was blocked up by those not wanting the flow of water to continue.


Then many years later Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, went to see his long lost son Joseph in Egypt and went via Beersheba.

God met him and once more with a further promise. (Gen 46:1-5)

This time God promised to be with him in Egypt, he would meet Joseph and make him a great nation.


God had taken both of Abraham’s sons and grandson to the same well and blessed them, confirming God’s individual promises to each one.

But Jacob had the promise of God’s presence with him in a foreign land.


How thirsty are we for the Spiritual water?

Will we keep going even when the enemy attacks?


All these things happened at the well at Beersheba.


What can we learn from these interesting occurrences?


First, when you seem to have everything going against you with those you love turn against you, look to God’s provision and blessing.


Beersheba is obviously in a desert area and so worthy of making oaths of peace with the enemy to keep it in one’s control.


Thinking of water as a symbol of the Holy Spirit it is important that we have ready access to the Holy Spirit when we are going through dry places in our lives.


As we receive the flow of the Holy Spirit God moves we are blessed and our enemies become our friends and with Jacob we have the promise of God’s presence with us.


But wells in desert places are places of rest and nourishment and it takes a concerted effort and cost to reach the thirst quenching water.


In the Bible there are any other references show Beersheba to be a destination in the desert area.

A place to stop, find nourishment before continuing your journey.


These happened many years a go, but there was another episode relating to Beersheba during the 1st World War.

In mid 1917 decisive action was needed to capture Beersheba.

The army, especially the horses, desperately needed water.

With daylight fading, the order was given for the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade to attack.

Up to 800 Light Horsemen, in three lines, 300 to 500 metres apart.

It was a reckless headlong gallop into the setting sun but they needed water.

The horses galloped some five metres apart.

For almost three kilometres they charged over exposed ground against small arms and artillery fire.

Once the horses got the smell of water, there was no stopping them.

They were thirsty so they kept going through all the enemy fire.


As we travel through life we must know where to find a well, a source of the Holy Spirit, when are going through dry “desert” experiences.


The questions are we thirsty enough to fight through all forces in our way and how can we build up a reserve of the Holy Spirit, so there will be available us when we are going through desert experiences.


Can we find our own Beersheba?


Yes, as in a desert, there is a river that flows deep underground.

We just need to allow it to flow up and out of our lives.