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Nov.19 Genesis Study

Categories: Genesis Study,News


Genesis 13:1-18

The tale of two men”

I. Intro.

II. Vs. 1-4 The road to restoration

III. Vs. 5-18 Living in the land of vision and fellowship

I. Intro.

gen-studyIn the 13th chapter we see the tale of two men and what they learned in Egypt. One man went to Egypt (the world) and lost his taste for it, the other gained an appetite for it. In looking at Abram and his nephew Lot we see the same two choices we face when we are confronted by the things of the world.

II. Vs. 1-4 The road to restoration

Vs. 1 It says here that Abram “went up” from Egypt not only is the right term geographically it is the right term spiritually as well. Egypt is of a much lower elevation then the land of promise, Abram had thought of Egypt as a step up from a land of famine and instead found that it was a step down. But he returned a better man then the one he was when he left and all it cast him was humility. Abram, by his actions the hardest phrase to say in every human language “I was wrong!” We see that three things came out of Egypt and every one of them was effected by its experience with the world.

  1. His wife”: Lack of trust. Abram had almost lost her because of his choice to turn to the world for help. It appears that this effected Sarai in chapter 16:2 as she does not trust the Lord to fulfill His promise of a child and suggests Abram to “go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.”

  2. All that he had”: Years of strife. In verse 7 we are told that Abram’s and Lot’s herdsmen had strife over that which was gained in Egypt, then latter on Hagar and Sarai have strife over Ishmael. Nothing gained in the world has any value and all it will eventually bring is strife!

  3. And Lot with him”: Tainted experience. Lot goes to show us that you can take a man out of Egypt (the world) but it is a far different story when it comes to getting the world out of him. Everything the world touches seems to become tainted by the experience.

Vs. 2 Even Abram seems to have difficulties because of his experience with the world. It says that Abram was “very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.” The Hebrew is literally “heavy with wealth”. This is the first mention of personal wealth in the Bible yet we are told in verse 6-7 that it was because of this great personal wealth that they could not dwell together. There is no righteousness in riches, neither is there any piety in poverty. The fact remains that in dealing with what God has blessed or what we have gained through our encounter with the world we will be faced with only two decisions:

  • We will possess our possessions: If this is the case then they will be used as a tool to further God’s kingdom.

  • Or our possessions will possess us: If this is a case they will become a tomb which will hold us is death.

Vs. 3-4 “And he went on his journey”! The word “journey” literally means stages. Abram had walked off the path and ended up in the world (Egypt) but now he gets back on the right road and leads him to Bethel (The house of God), where he had pitched his tent to begin with. We are all prone to do that which Abram did, wonder off the path of grace, but the way back is easy you must go back to the house of God which is where we always where we left. In this picture of Abram returning with have a clear Biblical picture of restoration: The three “R’s” of restoration

  1. Receive: Vs. 3 Abram “journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai”. Abram had to go back to the place where had dwelt in the beginning which was in between Bethel and Ai. These two areas are very suggestive as Bethel is “house of God” and Ai means “ruin”! Abram needed to receive a fresh dose in the place where he could see his former place of “ruin” as well as his future home of hope. The first step in restoration is when we receive a new the place where we appreciate what God has done for us.

  2. Return: Vs. 4 Abram returned “to the place of the altar which he had made there at first.Restoration not only is about receiving a new an appreciation for what God had done on our behalf it also involves two acts that we need to return too:

  1. Surrender:

  2. Worship:

The altar always involves those two ingredients which are the same at the beginning of our relationship with the Lord as in our daily walk a continual “return” to the altar which we made at first.

  1. Renew: Vs. 4 Abram renewed his trust in the Lord when he “called on the name of the LORD.” The third aspect of restoration is a renewed trust in God and dependence upon Him for our lives. This only follows receiving a fresh glimpse Who He is and what He has done and a return to surrender and worship.

III. Vs. 5-18 Living in the land of vision and fellowship

Vs. 5 In verse 2 we were told that Abram was “very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold”, but here we see that Lot too was blessed with flocks, herds and tents. In 2 Peter 2:7 we are told that “Lot was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wickedLot chose to be near enough to their filthy conduct as to be oppressed. The thing about Lot is that he looks an awful “lot” like us at times as he put the things of the world ahead of the things of God and escaped the judgment having everything that he thought as precious destroyed.

Vs. 6-7 These two verses point out two sad realities:

  1. Vs. 6 “Their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together.” What separates fellowship between believers is nothing more than stuff! Jesus would say to His disciples in John 13:25 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” All too often our love for our possessions is greater than our love for one another and we end up not being able to dwell together.

  2. Vs. 7 “There was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land.” The love of possessions led to separation which effected their witness to the world. The truth is that many in the world will never listen to what we have to say on account of how we behave.

Vs. 8-9 It is Abram who initiates peace, not Lot. Abram being the older of the two had the right to choose yet he had learned that it was better to have what the Lord wanted to give him even if it was famine then all the riches of the world. This time Abram chooses to trust the Lord in the same situation that he had just trusted in himself, lesson learned. Abram gives Lot the choice even though first pick was his, why? Because Abram understood that you can never out give God! The separation from Abram’s point of view had nothing to do with stuff and everything to do with “surrender, worship and trust!” Abram had come back in the place where there was no strife thus he could say to Lot, “You choose what you want and I will take what is left!” Abram worried more about those things that would separate fellowship between the Lord and himself then the things of the world that would establish his position.

Vs. 10-11 It is said that the eyes of a person are the window to their soul, then this verse reveals what was in Lots soul. We read that he, “lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east.” The wealth of Egypt had polluted him to where all he wanted was worldly advantage. Folks, it’s the choices we make that reveals our hearts condition not the words we speak. Lots judgment of the plain of Jordan was based upon outward signs and not the character of the people who dwelt there. In Ezek 16:49-50 the prophet speaks of the character of the people saying; “This was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me.” Notice as well that Lot compares two separate things:

  • Like the garden of the LORD

  • Like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar

I propose to you that Lot confused the counterfeit blessings of the world with that of the true blessings of God’s grace. In so doing Lot moved away from the land of promise, with the altar, and moved east towards the world even to the very gate of Sodom.

Vs. 12-13 Here we are told of the differing fates of these two men:

  • Abram dwells in the land of promise

  • Lot moves further and further away from the Lord and closer and closer to the world and the sin of Sodom. By the 19th chapter Lot is sitting as a judge in the city gates and his family is living in sin city. In fact it appears that this is where Lot finds his wife. It must not of been too long before he began to see the true character of the people in which there were not 10 righteous (18:32). Yet with that said his hunger for prosperity over ran his conscious and one step further leads to another and another.

Vs 14-18 While Lot is moving further and further away from the Lord Abram is moving closer to the Lord and being blessed in so doing. Look at the difference between Lot and Abram:

  1. Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan

  2. The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are; northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.” In other words the Lord lifted Abrams eyes to see what was his by faith which he could only see by looking at the Lord.

If we make the Lord our vision He will lift up our eyes and give us His vision. If our eyes are on Him then all that He has for us will be ours and our descendants after ours. Which will include plans that that are so numerous they can’t be numbered.

In verse 17 as Abram is told to “walk in the land through its length and its width”. Abram is called to enjoy that which he will only possess by faith. This reminds me of Paul’s words to the Ephesians (1:3) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”. “Has blessed us with every spiritual blessing” but they are in the heavenly places in Christ! So only in Christ do we get to walk around and enjoy them!

In verse 18 the word “Mamre” means vision and the word “Hebron” means fellowship. Abram make his home, built an altar in a place where surrender and worship would take place regularly. He made his choice to live in the place of “VISION” and “FELLOWSHIP”. What could be greater than trusting the Lord in the place of where He grants us greater vision & fellowship?