Reading 5

Genesis 13-15

So, Abram, Sari, Lot, and all they had, left Egypt, and went back to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first.  

4 And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord.

Conflict was emerging between Abram and Lot’s herdsman, and Abram realizes that they must separate.

Abram, with wisdom and humility, offers Lot first choice of the land.

Lot chooses, what he believes to be the best for himself, the Jordan Valley.

And so 12 … Lot settled among the cities of the valley, and notice that over time, Lot moved his tent as far as Sodom.  We read God’s commentary on the city of Sodom— 13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.  

We can only wonder, why Lot is inching closer and closer to this evil city. 

Meanwhile, God reiterates, and expounds upon, His promise to Abram, saying, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” and as Lot becomes more comfortable with the sin of Sodom, Abram builds an altar to the Lord.  

So after a period of time, there emerges a regional war.  Various kings of the region are involved, Abram is not.  

11 So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12 They also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.

Notice that Lot goes from dwelling in the Jordan valley, to moving closer to Sodom, and now we see that he is living in Sodom.  

So, because of Lot’s compromising with the sin of Somom, he finds himself, and his family, in the middle of the conflict.  

14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people. 

This was not an evening out on the town.  Abram and his men, pursued these invaders for at least 240 miles to the furthest point, and then had to travel back.  This took a long time.  

So, at great expense, time and effort, Abram rescues Lot, and all that was taken.  And sadly, Lot returns to place in Sodom, seemingly, learning nothing from the experience.   

We meet Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High.  19 And he blessed him and said, 

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor

of heaven and earth; 20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And for an offering to God, Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

In ch.15, we see that God reiterates, and expands upon His promise to Abram.  

God said, Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

So God makes a covenant with Abram.  He will have a son, his descendants will be as the stars in heaven, and God will give them all of the promised land.  

But notice there will be some trials for Abram’s family between the Covenant and the fulfillment of the promise.  

13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

In these two chapters we see a division between Abram and Lot.  Abram draws closer to God, while Lot draws closer to Sodom.  Lot gets caught up in the drama of the world, and through Abram, God delivers him.  God makes a covenant with Abram, and Lot sinks even deeper into the city of Sodom. 

The decedents of Abram will occupy the promised land, but notice that they will need to suffer trial, and will have to believe and obey God for themselves.  Also note, there is an amount of sin that God will tolerate, and then He will tolerate no more.  God said, 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” 

All iniquity must be judged, all sin must be paid for.  You can trust in the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, or you can bear the penalty, for all eternity, on your own.  Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father but through me,” and in John 10:9, He said, I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Are you like Lot, moving closer to Sodom, or are you like Abram, drawing closer to God?  

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~ by James M. Winslow on 2022/03/09.

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