Rev. Brian K. Brown, Pastor, St. Mark M.B. Church
Even before Covid we experienced valley moments with some of the same situations we find ourselves experiencing during Covid. Sometimes we can be in the valley because we sent ourselves there and other times someone made a valley moment for us. We may be in the valley, but the valley does not have to be in us for God is still God on the mountains and in the valleys. In the valley we can still trace, trust and treasure him and he can meet us and give us what we need to hang on a little while longer. The text is a reminder of a deja’vu moment for Isaac.
He was facing a famine much like his father Abraham had experienced earlier in Genesis when Abraham didn’t acknowledge his wife as his wife, but his sister. His son Isaac now does the same with his wife Rebekah. God sometimes leads us to places where we are uncomfortable as he led Isaac and we feel we have to be fake to be safe and blend in. Both Abraham and Isaac decided to play a part rather than be who God called them to be. Some of us are in the valley and don’t know it because we don’t know the signs and believe this is just our lives. If we pay attention to where we are God can show us that even when things don’t go our way, he is the way and his way, word and his will shall prevail.
The first point from verse 18, The way of the valley can be fatiguing. We can get tired emotionally, mentally, financially, relationally, and physically. We’re in a place where nothing is going our way. If you’re tired when you wake up, all through the day and go to bed tired, that can be a sign that you’re in the valley. Isaac moved from dirt work to being over his own corporation. Sometimes God brings you to the valley where you have to do what you used to do, and you don’t want to do it. But in order to survive you have to do it all over again. Before Covid we did things we had the economic ability to do but in Covid times we’ve let some of those things go. We may also be spiritually tired. We attend church, do what is right, still we may find ourselves asking why when we’re doing all we know to do to serve the Lord.
The second point from verse 19, The way of the valley can be frustrating. Isaac’s herdsmen worked hard to dig and find a wellspring of water but the herdsmen of Gerar fought with them over the water and claimed it to be theirs. They had worked hard and were frustrated because others claimed it. We too can find ourselves in similar circumstances when we have worked hard, and others came along after our hard work to lay claim to what we’ve accomplished. We become frustrated when things don’t go our way.
The third point from verses 20 and 21, the way of the valley has its feuding. In the valley there is struggle and strife. People can be fighting, blocking, and trying to hinder us and we don’t know why. Sometimes we even fight with ourselves. The old man and woman may want to react by resorting in like manner, but the new person says to turn the other cheek. We have a tendency to act like where we are. In the valley we may go low. God says he brought us from the mountain to show those in the valley how to live on the mountain even when in the valley. Let us not find ourselves feuding with everything and not clinging to what scripture says we are.
The final point from verse 22, The way of the valley can be favorable. In the verse Isaac digs a third well and the herdsmen of Gerar did not fight them. Isaac then calls the place Rehoboth because God had made room for them. When there is fatigue, frustration, and feuding we need faith. Faith is not just speaking but doing. God made a promise to Isaac in Genesis 26:3 that he would be with him through all the things in the valley. He pressed forward until he received the promises of God. Let us also press forward and hold to our faith through our fatigue, frustration, and feuding.
Join us Sunday mornings in the sanctuary or via live-stream on YouTube @ St Mark MBC at 10:20 for Sunday School, worship service at 10:45 a.m., and bible study on Wednesdays @ 7:00 p.m.