Working for Harmony
Be with me, Lord, in a special way, so that I can maximize the hours of this day for Your glory.
Read GENESIS 21:22–34
22 At that time Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23 Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you now reside as a foreigner the same kindness I have shown to you.”
24 Abraham said, “I swear it.”
25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelek about a well of water that Abimelek’s servants had seized. 26 But Abimelek said, “I don’t know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today.”
27 So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelek, and the two men made a treaty. 28 Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock, 29 and Abimelek asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?”
30 He replied, “Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well.”
31 So that place was called Beersheba, because the two men swore an oath there.
32 After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God. 34 And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“God is with you in everything you do” (Gen. 21:22). With great privilege comes great responsibility.
Abimelech has already seen that God has endowed Abraham with power and that going against Abraham may be going against God. In seeing that God is with Abraham in all he does, it appears that he fears for his own position, for he wants confirmation that Abraham will not deceive him; after all, Abraham has already done so once (Gen. 20). Whether or not Abimelech was accompanied by the chief of his army for a particular reason, Phicol’s only role today is that of an observer, for Abraham willingly complies. However, it becomes apparent that, while the well in the previous chapter was a source of blessing to Hagar, the well here has become a matter of discord. Once again, it seems that Abimelech is innocent of any wrongdoing to Abraham, though his servants have not been. It is often the case, particularly in the workplace, that those in positions of authority have to account for the behavior of those who are under that authority. Through no fault of our own, we may find that we are in conflict with another or that our best practices have been compromised.
It is worth noting that while Abraham was the aggrieved party, he was the one who took the initiative. In giving the cattle to Abimelech as a witness that he dug the well, the matter was settled harmoniously with the two men swearing an oath. On this occasion, the man of God behaves in the right way. He had already lost out due to Abimelech’s servants seizing the well, but he is willing to part with more for the sake of peace. Neither does he suggest that Abimelech should have known what his servants were doing. There may be times when we are innocent but still need to pay a price to maintain harmony.
Have you ever made agreements or promises that you have not kept? How can you fulfill your end? Start by counting a few blessings and then think if there is any way in which you can bring about harmony, even if it is costly.
Promise-keeping God, I thank You for Your faithfulness at all times. Enable and equip me so that I can model Your faithfulness to others in my daily life.