At Beersheba, Isaac’s priorities are changed. His encounter with God (Gen 26:24-25) has a lasting impact on him, as he responds by building an altar there and calling on God’s name. Previously, he has stayed wherever he dug a well, found sufficient water and was not opposed. Now, he meets with God first and foremost, worships Him and then pitches his tent and digs a well. Isaac’s priorities have been rearranged; he’s learning to do what Jesus told us all to do: ‘Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.’ (Matt 6:33)
Having spiritual priorities is essential if we want to know God’s living water. We can only be filled as we hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness (Matt 5:6). If we have no appetite for God, we will not feast on Him. Ps 36:8 tells us, ‘they feast on the abundance of Your house; You give them drink from Your river of delights.’ God has so much to pour out on His people, but He will not do this unless and until we ask Him. We may not be entering into all that God has for us because we’re waiting for Him to bless us or because we feel we’ve got to get our lives sorted out first. God says it’s the other way around; we have to come first and then receive. In the book of Haggai, God’s people are challenged because they are so busy working on their own houses that they’re neglecting to build God’s house. (Haggai 1:1-11) God said, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’” Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your panelled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” (Haggai 1:2-4) Sometimes when God speaks to us, He challenges us to put Him first, to trust Him with our ordinary lives and to let Him deal with all the practical concerns we have. He is well able to provide for us all that we need: Paul reminded the Philippians, ‘my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil 4:19)
When we put God first in our lives, we will find our needs met and God sorting out the problems we couldn’t control (as evidenced by the treaty Isaac made with Abimelek at the end of the chapter.) Re-arranged priorities means handing the reins of our lives over to God.