John 4:37-38 (Digging and Reopening)


You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.” (John 4:37-38)

Read: Judges 3:31 – 6:40

Relate: Isaac spent a lot of time digging wells and it was all for nothing. Isaac, the son of Abraham, was living near a town called Gerar. This was a Philistine town and he was on respectful, but not very friendly terms with Abimelech. (Abimelech is a title, not a name. It means “son of the king” and pretty much every time in the Bible we meet a Philistine king, from Abraham all the way to David and beyond, he bears this name) Anyways, Isaac spends a lot of time digging a bunch of wells and for a while he becomes pretty prosperous. This makes his neighbors jealous and relations degrade to the point they fill in all those wells he dug and Abimelech comes to him and very politely kicks him out.

Three times Isaac digs a well and three times he is forced to move on. Finally he heads back Beer-Sheba. This was the land Abraham had lived in. Abraham had once dug a few wells of his own. When Isaac moves back to the land of his father, he doesn’t have to spend all the work digging up new wells. All he has to do is reopen the wells of his father.

React: In the spiritual realm this is often what God does as well. (pun intended) What is the history of the place where you live? What has God done in your community or your city for previous generations? Sometimes God might call us to dig new wells, but often the work has already been done. When God brings revival to a place, often it is the result of the decades long faithful prayers of unsung heroes. Some people will toil and labor for years to see a move of God and only by faith do they take part. Others simply reap a harvest that has been decades or longer in the making. If God is doing amazing and miraculous things in your life, church, and community don’t be proud, be grateful. If things seem dry and barren, don’t give up hope. Dig those wells. Pray. Be faithful. Even if it doesn’t happen in our lifetime, when we are diligently faithful, there will be a harvest.


God, help me to keep digging. Even when I am reaping a harvest from the faithful prayers of those who have gone before, help me to dig deeper wells for the future. When the land seems spiritually dry and barren, help me to be faithful to go deeper for future generations. Lord, bring a harvest. Your word will not return void, I ask to see fruit. I ask for an abundance, an overflow, of living water. I do not ask so that we can receive the glory but that Your Kingdom might come here on earth just as it is in heaven. Help me, help us, to be faithful. For You are faithful.



7 thoughts on “John 4:37-38 (Digging and Reopening)

  1. This is brilliant and beautiful. Your post really encourage me…where I live it’s a bit like a moral battleground and a lot of young people are indifferent to things that really matter. I mean people get all worked up about their beliefs but they don’t take time to really know God and let Him lead. I will be thinking and living in a way that helps dig wells. I have been focused on Exodus and morals (for Passover) but I will also check out Judges 3:31 – 6:40. Pray for me and my community 🙂

  2. Pingback: Digging and Reopening | The Crusty Old Sailor Speaks

  3. This is good encouragement. My wife & I are well diggers & seed planters. We know this is how the Lord works through us but we still have our times of weariness & feeling like we make little difference. The Lord is faithful to sustain our faith at those times. Thanks for being part of His ministry to us!

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