Genesis 13:1-18

Genesis 13:1-18

Chap. 13:1-7 – When Abraham and Sarah left Egypt they did not stop until they reached Bethel, which was the place where Abram called on the name of the Lord.  It was there that Abram last had fellowship with the Lord.  Sometimes we need to return to the last place we were in fellowship with the Lord to seek and discover where and how we got off track. If we seek the Lord, we will find Him and He will reveal His way through both His Word and Spirit and show us how we lost our way.  When we confess our sin, fellowship with God is restored (1 John 1:9).  Lot was with Abram all through all of this.  God had told Abram to leave his relatives, but Lot had become like a son to him, and so it was too difficult for Abram to leave him behind. But now God’s blessings on their livestock causes Abram to be able to fully obey God’s call to him.  Lot had been blessed because of God’s blessing on Abraham in his flocks.  The land they settled in would not sustain two large groups so there began to be quarrels between Lot and Abram’s servants.  Because the Canaanites lived in the land they had to settle in areas where they were not located. 

V 8-11 Now that Abram was restored to his faith, he could trust that God would provide for Him.  Genuine faith produces godly works, and we see this in the way Abram handles this most difficult situation.  Abram allows Lot to choose first 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 the land.  Lot seized 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. I can’t help but believe his decision was influenced by his wife who later demonstrated an unwillingness to leave Sodom. Before those cities were destroyed, they were lush prosperous and verdant. Verse 10 describes them to be like the Garden of Eden. Though these 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. 

V 12-13 – While Lot had the first choice Abram did not suffer because the land he settled in was abundant with rich soil and water.  It was after all the land of promise, blessed by the Lord.  It was not much different than the land that the two million plus children of Israel entered after their deliverance from Egypt.  It was at that time described as a land flowing with milk and honey (Exo 3:8).  

V 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 him.  He instructed Abram to walk through the land that would be his.  Abram never did own all the land in his lifetime or in the lifetime of Isaac or his grandson Jacob.  His family was not powerful enough to possess the land, that would not come for another 400 years when God increase them to close to three million when they were in Egypt. With those numbers they would be able to capture and occupy the land, but though that day would be much later the land was Abram’s just the same.  In much the same way God has a land for us but like Abram we too for now do not yet possess it.  (Heb. 11:39) “And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,”   When we walk in the Spirit of God we are walking in the certain promises of God just as Abram. The kingdom of God is present where the rule of God is present.  The adversaries of the Lord are described as the rulers of the earthly realms for the time being.  So, we like Abraham have a land that is ours but have not yet come to possess it.  When the Lord returns to establish His kingdom here on earth, we shall possess the land promised.  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 the sons of Hagar and Keturah, but also the Spiritual seed of Abraham who are Christians.  Abram now settles in the vicinity of what would become Hebron by the “Oaks of Mamre”.  Mamre was an Amorite who had settled in that region in the town of Hebron.    

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