12 ¶ Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. 15 For all the wells which his father’s servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. 16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. 17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. 18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. 19 And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. 20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac’s herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. 21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. 22 And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. 23 And he went up from thence to Beersheba. 24 And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake. 25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.
Abimelech was wiser than the Pharaoh of Moses’ time would be. He realized (v.16) that Isaac was becoming, due to God blessing him mightily and in a short period of time, greater than Abimelech and his people. He ordered Isaac to move on.
Exodus 1:8 ¶ Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. 13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
Isaac’s servants and Abimelech’s servants cannot get along. There is contention between them over the wells from which their cattle were watered. Esek, as the text points out, means contention. Sitnah means strife. Rehoboth, according to Strong’s dictionary, means a wide place, as God provided them enough room to not contend.
Jehovah appears to Isaac but God the Father is a Spirit and no man has ever seen Him.
John 1:18a No man hath seen God at any time;…
Since we have already discussed the three parts of God we know which of them is seen by man, the part of God who created all things including man.
Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
So, if your doctrine is consistent and you do not force the Bible to contradict itself to mean something you would like it to mean it is clear that when one of these people in the Old Testament actually saw God and He spoke to them, appeared to them, what they saw was the living Word by which all things were created, the pre-incarnate Christ, the second part of the three parts of God. Here, He enters time directly and is present in front of His person. At other times you have seen and will see again that He appears as the angel of the LORD which is an appearance or presence of Him and He acts on things through that appearance. In this and other cases though He directly appears.
God has blessed Isaac with wealth because Isaac’s part in His ministry of reconciling man to Himself requires a temporal base from which to nurture the future persons involved in this ministry, from whence Christ will eventually enter the world. Israel will be referred to on one occasion, in Amos 7:16, as the house of Isaac. God’s plan is moving forward which I hope you can see.