Read through the Bible in 2 years: Genesis 25-26
Genesis 26:22 ESV - And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, "For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."
In reading Genesis 25 and 26, I was first struck thinking about the pain and confusion Isaac and Rebekah must have felt in their 20 year wait to bear a child. Then, I pondered the plethora of problems that partiality causes, especially when it’s in a family.
But then when I came to Genesis 26:22 and felt led to look up that word “Rehoboth” which I learned means “broad place,” which then reminded me of a verse in Psalm 18 that I read last week.
Psalm 18:36 ESV, "You gave a wide place for my steps under me and my feet did not slip."
And I wondered, was the first well, the Esek well, not in a broad place? How about the second well, the Sitnah well, was it not in a broad place? I don’t think so.
Rather, Isaac and his herdmen made a conscious decision to avoid a quarrel … to choose peace over strife. The Lord had given them all of this land, but Isaac and his men had to choose to avoid a quarrel. (You can read the story in Genesis 26:17-22)
Well, that then reminded me of what I’m studying in 1 Timothy 3:2-3 ESV, “An overseer must be above reproach … gentle, not quarrelsome …” The NASB95 translation says, “An overseer must be above reproach … gentle, peaceable.”
That word that the ESV translates “not quarrelsome” and NASB translates “peaceable” is amachos (G269). a + machos … not + fighting, not + contentious. Paul uses this same Greek word amachos in Titus 3:1-2 ESV, “Remind them (that’s everyone, not just overseers or elders … look back at Titus 2:15 for more context) to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling (NASB95: be peaceable), to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
And I can’t talk about quarreling without looking at Proverbs. Proverbs has a little – I mean, a lot – to say about quarreling! Here’s a sampling of verses from Proverbs of quarreling:
- Proverbs 17:14 ESV – The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
- Proverbs 19:13 ESV – A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
- Proverbs 20:3 ESV – It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.
- Proverbs 21:9 – It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
- Proverbs 21:19 ESV – It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
- Proverbs 25:24 ESV – It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
- Proverbs 26:20-21 ESV – For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
- Proverbs 27:15 ESV – A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
And how about a few verses from Romans 12,
"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."Romans 12:16-21 ESV
No matter how big or small my house, no matter how big or small my yard, no matter how many or few people I have to share my place with, You have indeed given me a wide place for my steps. The boundary lines You have given have fallen for me in pleasant places. I have a beautiful inheritance. Because You, Lord, are my chosen portion and You hold my lot.
Whom shall I fear? You are the stronghold of my life or whom shall I be afraid?
In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. I can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
I pray that so far as it depends on me that I will live peaceably with all. Help me, Father, to avoid quarrels, to keep a careful watch over my mouth that I may not sin with my tongue. Help me to guard my mouth with a muzzle, especially when teh wicked are in my presence.
I pray that my mouth would be FILLED with Your PRAISE and with Your GLORY all the day.
I pray that I would not be a quarrelsome or contentious wife. Father, make me an excellent wife. Please help me to do my husband good and not harm all the days of my life. I pray that I would open my mouth with wisdom and that the teaching of kindness would be on my tongue.
I pray all this to the glory of Your name and for Your Son Jesus Christ who gave Himself up for me to redeem me and to purify me, to make me a woman for His own possession who is zealous for good works. Amen.
I love to pray scripture. This prayer is guided by Psalm 16:5-6; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 56:11; Psalm 118:6; Hebrews 13:6; Psalm 141:3; Psalm 39:1, Psalm 71:8; Proverbs 21:9, 19; Proverbs 31:12, 26; Titus 2:14