Build an Altar, Pitch a Tent, and Dig a Well
Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well. – Genesis 26:25
I don’t think Isaac gets a lot of recognition in the Bible. He’s kind of like the middle child. Even when we say “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” he is surrounded by the two well known giants of the faith. His dad of course was the Father of Israel, and his son would have his name changed to Israel. Even now typing this, I can’t think of a lot that Isaac did other than have the twins Jacob and Esau. But, this one verse teaches us a lot about Isaac. We can certainly learn a lot from him. Isaac led a very balanced life. Check out the order of verse 25…he first built an altar, which means he put God first. Then, he pitched his tent, which means he put time and effort into building his home. Lastly, he dug a well, which dealt with his occupation and what he did for a living. We can lead a very joyful and abundant life if we will do likewise.
First, Isaac built an altar. He put God first. I know this is going to sound like weirdo stuff, but when the foundation of my house was being poured, I came over here one night all by myself. I knelt down at the corner of it and prayed. I told God that I wanted to honor Him in this home. I asked Him to always protect me and lead me in the path of righteousness. I asked Him to help me keep sin out of it. I asked Him to place a big angel to protect it. To this day, especially when I walk outside to get the mail or take out the trash, my angel is there and I tell him thanks. I tell God that I love Him. I didn’t realize it then, but I built an altar that day. Before I started a life in my own home, I put my God first. I’m not saying He has always been first since I’ve been here. But something must have worked…He is first right now, and I can’t get enough of Him. Can you think of the time that you put God in absolute first place in your life? If not, you’ve got some hard adjustments to make. Make them as soon as possible!
Next, he pitched his tent. He built his home. I almost fell into a pretty deep trap. I started doing all kinds of stuff for God. I was preaching, playing the guitar, attempting to lead on our leadership team, and I was coming home an awful lot with my wife and kids already sleeping. Other than getting them ready for school in the mornings…I had spent no time with them. My little boy didn’t like going to church. He wasn’t getting to see dad excited about going to church because he was already there before he even got up. I had a pretty special woman come and ask me “what good would it be if you gained the whole world, but lost your kids?” That cut me to my soul. I quickly made some adjustments. I heard a statement one time that a person was “so Heavenly minded that they were no Earthly good.” It didn’t make sense to me at the time, but it sure does now. Even though God is first in my life, my home holds it’s rightful second place now. I’m going to spend time dating my wife. I‘m going to spend time with my kids, and I’m going to show them that daddy loves God, but he also loves them. As for me and my house…we will serve the Lord!
Lastly, he dug a well. He went to work. Notice that work did not come first. There are so many men out there working and making tons of money. The price tag is lots and lots of hours, and little boys and girls growing very rapidly to adulthood without the leadership of their dad. The Lord Jesus Christ must be the first priority. Then, your family life must be rock solid. Then, and only then, is it time to worry about work. Work gets about 45 to 50 hours a week of my time. When I’m there, I work at it with all my heart. I’m not saying I’m that good at it. I know there are many, many teachers that are way better than me. But, I want to make sure that there are no other teachers that work harder. I want to make sure that there are no other teachers that could possibly put more of their hearts into their job than me. Once I leave the place, I want to do two things. I want to tell God that I love Him, then get home to hear those little feet run to me and yell “DADDY!”
I don’t know what this looks like for you. I have only attempted to tell you what it looks like for me. Are you building the altar first? Then, does your job take away from the God you love and the family that needs you to lead them? If your life is out of order…
Take the steps to fix it!