When you can’t beat them, and it seems obvious that God is with and for them, it’s time to join them.
Abimelech had asked Isaac to leave his territory because he (Isaac) was becoming too prosperous. You know, people welcome strangers and may not mind improvement in their situation; but this must go only so far. The newcomer must get only so much richer, but not richer that those whose land they have entered. People are like that. They can easily rejoice with you when your circumstances improve, but not so much when your situation outmatches theirs.
The Philistines employed means of sabotage to hinder Isaac’s prosperity, stopping the wells that had been dug by Abraham. “Go away from us; you have become too powerful for us”. (Genesis 26: 16).
But with Isaac gone, only to dig more wells to which the people of Gerar laid claim, it was obvious that Isaac’s was meant to be a success story.
Well called Esek -‘[contention] ours,’ they claimed because, ‘ it’s our water’.
Well called Sitnah- [Enmity] ‘ours too’ they claimed.
Then came well called Rehoboth [Broad Room], and it was obvious that God was going to prosper Isaac anyway. If you can’t beat them, join them.
God assured Isaac that just as the Lord had been with his father, Abraham, so would God’s presence and blessing continue with and for Isaac.
Abimelech seeks peace. They take an oath to that effect. Abimelech and his people do not want to invite any curse upon themselves. They share in a feast with Isaac and his people. And indeed, all is well. ”We have found water!” The city of Beer-sheba heralds proof of prosperity still to come.
But Isaac also has to the fury of the Esau saga still to come…