“So he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.” (Gen 26:25)
Did you notice the word “there” – it occurs three times in this short verse. We began this five-part study by looking at the importance of being in the right place; the place where God wants you to be. Then we talked about patterns, purity, and perseverance. We now come to our final principle.
#5 – The Principle of Priorities
THERE – in the place God wants you to be, with you being and doing what He wants you to do, and staying true to it no matter what sort of opposition comes – THERE – like Isaac of old, you will find yourself doing three things of great importance.
Isaac built an altar, he pitched his tent, and he dug a well. This speaks of the priority he placed upon God, Home, and Livelihood – in that order. How often in our world do we first find a job, then a house, and only then a place to worship? That is precisely backwards.
One would suppose we might have placed this matter of priorities at the front of the list, rather than here at the end. After all, we are talking about “priorities” aren’t we? Indeed we are – but that is precisely why we place this matter at the end – for it is in our prosperity that we need to make sure we keep our priorities in order.
“If riches increase, set not your heart upon them” the Bible warns us (Psalm 62:10). Earlier Moses warned the Israelites to beware, “Lest when you have eaten and are full….your heart be lifted up and you forget the Lord your God”(Deut.8:12-14).
In the New Testament Paul says, “Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage” (1Ti 6:17 The Message).
The “deceitfulness of riches” can easily turn an unguarded man or woman’s heart away from right priorities with great subtlety; reordering their world with compromise to a new set of cleverly rearranged values. Do not let this happen to you!
Build your altar at the place where God blesses you, and worship Him alone – first and always. Then make sure your home is where this altar abides; that God’s presence and blessing are in your house. And then, only then, dig your wells – that is to say, seek to flourish in the work of your hands and the prosperity that God brings to your labors.
Once these five matters (which we have discussed in five separate posts) are set in order before the Lord – you will find indeed the blessing of the Lord abounding in your life, and through you to many others.