WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT BEERSHEBA – A PLACE OF SURRENDER

“They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.”

Amos 8:14 KJV

     The modern city of Beersheba stands somewhat southwest of the old city. The long-term excellence of the water supply in and about the town makes it an important source of irrigation for the area close by. It has also developed as the cultural and trade center of the Negev. Beersheba was built on a low hill on the bank of a wadi (a dry river-bed), which takes floodwaters throughout the months during the winter. The normal high for the temperature in the city of Beersheba is about 82 degrees Fahrenheit and the low is about 64 degrees Fahrenheit. The mean temperature for Beersheba is 73 degrees Fahrenheit. The people of Beersheba, since they are placed in the middle of the Negev desert, have little arable land. Since the people did not farm, they mostly herded animal like sheep and cattle. They wore the traditional clothing of desert dwellers, such as long cloaks and head covers to keep out the sun. The most important Bible references which Beersheba is mentioned are in Genesis. It says in the Bible, “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.” Genesis 21:14 KJV  This when Abraham sent Hagar into the desert of Beersheba (the Negev) because Hagar’s son was making fun of Isaac on day of his weaning and Sarah was mad and Abraham distressed so he sent Hagar away. The account of the treaty at Beersheba It says, “And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. And Abraham said, I will swear. And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away. And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing; neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day. And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them. Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land many days.” Genesis 21:22-34 KJV  Beersheba has many historical features to it. One of these is the well of oath, or the well of seven. It was preserved through Abraham’s gift of seven ewe lambs to Abimelech, giving Abraham a well and water rights in a land he did not own (Genesis 21). Access to water was an important term at this point for Abraham, one for which he blessed the Lord. He remained in the area of Beersheba to enjoy it for some time. Another historical feature is the four-horned altar. The altar was recreated because the original was probably taken apart during the revisions of King Hezekiah. This was mentioned in 1 Kings 18:4 KJV, “For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.”  This was during when they were killing off the Lord’s prophets. The altar was reformed with several elegant stones found in less important use in the walls of a later on building. Another reference in the Bible is in the Book of 1 Kings 19:3-4 KJV, “And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”  Here, Elijah experienced fatigue and depression right after a great spiritual victory, the defeat of the prophets of Baal and the victory of the God of Israel.  Thus confirming what was said before: Great victories, even spiritual, can lead to depression, especially if we focus on what man has done instead of focusing on what God has done.  Please note that God Himself lead Elijah out of that depression.  He never once gave him a reproach.  Instead He let Elijah rest and eat.  Then He encouraged Elijah to return to his mission, to be a witness of God in Israel.  Rest and nutrition, as well as a refocus of our mission on earth and keeping our eyes on Jesus is of vital importance to get over these humps of life. Depression can be overcome and our situation is not hopeless.  Remember Philippians 4:13 KJV, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  Leave this matter to God and trust Him, believing you are healed, like it says in 1 Peter 2:24 KJV, ” by whose stripes ye were healed.” He is faithful and will see you through.  He will not abandon you.  He promised Matt 28:20 KJV, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Come to Him right now and accept Him into your life, trusting Him for your complete recovery. Perhaps, like Elijah, you are despairing at the circumstances in your life. Let God speak to you. Instead of allowing you to quit, He will show you what you can do through His strength. So why not open up your heart to Jesus Christ today because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood for your sins and paid the penalty so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger

3 Responses to WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT BEERSHEBA – A PLACE OF SURRENDER

  1. Shahul says:

    Is there only one Beersheba or many Beershebas?

    If the Bible accounts mentioned above about Abraham leaving Hagar and Ishmael in the desert of Beersheba and the wells he built and and stayed together with Isaac were at Beersheba, then, Ishmael and Isaac were growing together in Beersheba?

    Something is greatly amiss there. For the sharp mind which reads these accounts again and again, will realise that the place which Hagar and Ishmael were left was not Beersheba. It cannot be. I’m not saying it, the Bible says so.

    • lnger says:

      Thanks for commenting on my blog. As far as being more than one Beersheba, I don’t know. I searched and couldn’t find anymore and I didn’t think there was. Now there is a Beersheva, and that might be what you was thinking about. As far as Hagar and Ishmael, I didn’t go into a lot of detail on this. the moral of the story was it is a place of surrender, were you can put your faith and trust in God that He will never abandon you. The story of Hagar and Ishmael can be found in Genesis 21:14-21 Abraham was fond of his son Ishmael who had grown up to be fourteen years old when Isaac was born. However, with Sarah, things were never the same with Ishmael’s mother, Hagar, back in her life. Now that Sarah had finally borne her own child, she could no longer stand the sight of either Hagar or Ishmael. When the teenager was jesting around, Sarah told Abraham to send the two of them away. She declared that Ishmael would not share in Isaac’s inheritance. Abraham was greatly distressed by his wife’s words and sought the advice of his God. The Lord told Abraham not to be distressed but to do as his wife commanded. God reassured Abraham that “Isaac shall seed be called to thee.” He also said that Ishmael would make a nation, “because he is thy seed”, too. Early the next morning, Abraham brought Hagar and Ishmael out together. He gave her bread and water and sent them away. The two wandered the wilderness of Beersheba until her bottle of water was completely consumed. In a moment of despair, she burst in tears. The boy then called to God and upon hearing him, an angel of God confirmed to Hagar that he would become a great nation. A well of water then appeared so that it saved their lives. As the boy grew, he became a skilled archer living in the wilderness of Paran. Eventually his mother found a wife for Ishmael from her native country, the land of Egypt. I hope this helps and thanks again for pointing this out. God Bless, Jeff

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: