The king of Philistia, fearful of Isaac’s growing economic influence, asked him to leave. Isaac settled nearby, and then began his life project: digging wells to provide sources of water for new towns and villages.
Uncovering Hidden Potentials
וַיַּחְפְּרוּ עַבְדֵי יִצְחָק בַּנָּחַל וַיִּמְצְאוּ שָׁם בְּאֵר מַיִם חַיִּים: (בראשית כו:יט)
Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of fresh spring water there. Genesis 26:19

Although digging wells certainly served to further the advance of civilization wherever they were dug, they more importantly exemplified Isaac’s message to the world. As opposed to filling a pit with water brought from elsewhere, digging a well reveals an already-existing source of water concealed beneath layers of earth. Thus, whereas Abraham’s message to the world was: “Let me revive you with the refreshing water of Divine consciousness,” Isaac’s message was: “Now that you have been revived, look for your inner source of water. Dig away all the dirt encumbering your life, and you will reveal within yourself a wellspring of Divine awareness. This awareness will quench your spiritual thirst throughout your whole life.”

Isaac’s well-digging teaches us that our flashes of insight or inspiration must be followed up with self-improvement and self-refinement in order for them to make lasting changes.1