Farming Life’s Valleys

Text: Genesis 26:17-25

Isaac is a good type of a Christian going through valleys in this life.  Isaac moves into the valley of Gerar and begins looking for the wells his father, Abraham, dug.  Those wells had been stopped up by the Philistines.

Valley isn’t a place you’re supposed to live (vs 17)

  • Isaac isn’t building a permanent residence there, he is passing through.
  • Valleys, for God’s people, saved people, are temporary.
  • Ministry of tears as Dewitt Talmage called it; it’s meant to keep this world from becoming too comfortable for you.

God’s provision in the valley isn’t new (vs 18)

  • Grief is a private, individual, lonely thing.  But you find that God’s provision in that time isn’t a brand new grace.  It’s been used before.
  • Jesus Christ a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Needs are met in the valley (vs 19)

  • True treasure is found buried.
  • God’s grace is found in the valley.  Paul said, when I am weak, then I am strong.  Thy strength is made perfect in weakness.
  • People on the mountaintop don’t have needs.  Life is good. What do I need God for?

Valley dwellers (vss 20-21)

  • These are the herdman of Gerar.  They live in the valley. They are the perpetual victims claiming every part of the valley for themselves.
  • Notice they don’t know how to get their needs met in the valley, so they just try to steal from others.  These valley dwellers don’t dig wells, they wait for wells to be dug, then steal the provision.

Fruitfulness is the result of God’s blessing in the valley (vs 22)

  • Isaac says fruitfulness will be the result of finding what was needed in the valley.
  • Solomon said in Ecclesiastes it was better to go to the house of mourning than mirth.
    • There are no needs in the house of mirth.
    • There is no improvement in the house of mirth.
    • God’s grace is not in the house of mirth.
    • Realities in life are faced in the house of morning, not in the house of mirth.

Valley experience would bring a renewed relationship with God (vss 23-24)

  • The blessing is based on Abraham.  Christian blessings based on Jesus Christ.  It is passed on to Isaac because of his relationship to Abraham, just like a Christian because of his relationship with Jesus Christ.

Remember the valley (vs 25)

  • Isaac builds an altar.  Notice he calls on the name of the Lord, same words Paul uses in Romans.
  • He doesn’t build the altar in the valley.  You don’t have to go back in the valley to remember the valley.
    • Every so often go back and visit our daughter Sarah’s grave in Corpus.  And that marker represents a few things. #1) the sorrow of a dead baby. #2) the reality that neither we nor Sarah are in that valley anymore. #3) It was a valley we all passed through and every soul was made better because of it.  Sarah is with the Lord and Mom and Dad were able to have the grace of God through that time.

Some here are in the valley, all here are getting ready to go through a valley, many have altars around valleys that have helped you.  In Jesus Christ, valleys can be farmed instead of feared. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Farm the valleys.  Then share the fruit.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.