Genesis 13:1-7 – When they left Egypt they did not stop until they reached Bethel, the last place where Abram called on the name of the Lord. It was there that Abraham last had fellowship with the Lord. Sometimes we need to return to the last place we were in fellowship with the Lord to discern where it was that we got off track. When we confess our sins fellowship is restored (1 John 1:9).
Lot was with Abram all through this. God told Abram to leave his relatives but Lot had become as a son to him, and so it was too difficult for Abram to leave him behind. But now circumstances cause Abram to obey God’s call to him. Lot too had been blessed by God and had flock, herds and tents. The land that they traveled through would not support two large groups so there began to be quarrels between the servants of Lot and Abram’s servants. Because the Canaanite and the Perizzites lived in the land they had to settle in areas that they were not located.
Genesis 13:8-11 Now that Abram was restored to faith he could trust that God would provide for Him. Genuine faith produces godly works, and we see this in how Abram handles a difficult situation. Abram allows Lot to choose where he would like to dwell, and he would go in a different direction. He didn’t exercise his rights as the elder, and the one to whom God promised all this land to.
Lot seized on the opportunity and chose the well watered valley of the Jordan River. Not only was it a lush territory, but nearby were the prosperous and lively towns of Sodom and Gomorrah. Before they were destroyed they were lush and verdant cities, Genesis 13:10 says they were like the Garden of Eden. Though the cities were noted for their cruelty at that time, Lot chose to go in that direction anyway. It is amazing how deceptive the eye can be.
Genesis 13:12-13 – While Lot had the first choice Abram did not suffer for the land was abundant with rich land and water. It was after all still the land of promise. It was not much different than the land that the two million plus children of Israel entered after their deliverance from Egypt. It was then a land flowing with milk and honey. (Exodus 3:8).
Genesis 13:14-18 – Abram was now free to serve the Lord and walk with him without being hampered by Lot who was not called by God. Once Abram met the condition of leaving his family he was in a position for God to reconfirm His covenant with Abraham. He instructed Abram to walk through the land that would be his. Abram never did actually own the land in his lifetime or in the lifetime of Isaac and his grandson Jacob.
His family was not powerful enough to possess the land, that would not come for another 400 years when God would bring 3 million of his children to occupy this land, but the land was Abram’s just the same. In much the same way God has a land that is ours but which we do not yet possess. (Ephesians 2:6) “and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,” When we walk in the Spirit of God we are walking in the heavenly realm.
The land of God is present where the rule of the Lord is present. The adversaries of the Lord are present in the earthly and heavenly realms for the time being. So like Abraham we have a land that is ours but we have not yet come to possess it. When the Lord returns to establish His kingdom here on earth we shall possess the land. In the meantime we are in the world but not of the world. God also declares once again that he will multiply Abram’s seed as the dust of the earth.
This has been fulfilled in not only the physical seed of Abraham consisting of Jews and Muslim, but also the Spiritual seed of Abraham who are Christians. He settles in his tent in the vicinity of what would become Hebron by the “Oaks of Mamre”, Mamre was an Ammorite who had settled there.