19 Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20 But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek [dispute], because they disputed with him. 21 Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah [opposition]. 22 He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth [room], saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land (Gen 26).”
Conflict resolution takes many forms. In this account the precious resource of water is at stake. This has led to wars, and perpetuated famines in the past. Issac’s approach is not to add to the “dispute,” nor to further the “opposition.” He instead moves on till there is enough “room” for all.
We so often get caught up in our petty grievances, and perceived “wrongs” committed by others to look for alternative approaches. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean to be walked over by others, but rather for options to be sought. Gandhi once famously said, “there are things I am willing to die for, but none for which I am willing to kill.” What a wonderful attitude! Think where we would be if everyone took the approach.
The well at Rehoboth, therefore is a symbol. A symbol not only of God’s blessing (“we will flourish”) to Isaac, but of Issac’s wisdom and perseverance. A wisdom and perseverance that led to peace.
Let us have “Rehoboth” [room] for peace today.