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Genesis 13:5-18

Genesis 13:5-18

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Published by John Shearhart
Abraham’s faith is proven through his treatment of Lot and leads Abraham to worship.
Abraham’s faith is proven through his treatment of Lot and leads Abraham to worship.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: John Shearhart on May 08, 2013
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11/15/2013

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Genesis 13:5-18
 March 8, 2013
Abraham returns from Egypt to the place he had settled earlier between Betheland Ai. He’s fairly wealthy and has lots of livestock, but he’s not alone:
 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
6
 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
 And therewas a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’scattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
So, both of them have these huge flocks which require plenty of pasture and water.I imagine that one day Abraham’s men saw a nice spot off in the distance andstarted off in that direction while Lot’s men were doing just the same. Well, they’renot going to walk all that way for nothing, so each side tells the other to get lost because “we saw it first.”Well, the other side didn’t walk all that way for nothing either, so one thing leadsto another and then the staffs and slings come out. They’ve literally found a hillworth dying on.And this brings the possession of the land into question. Who will get it? WillAbraham take it by force? Will he use his right as an elder or as God’s called one?Or will he prefer Lot’s desires over his own and watch God take care of it?
8
 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between meand thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
9
 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
He says, “We’re brothers. We don’t need problems between us. You tell me whichdirection you want to go, and we’ll do it. If you go this way, I’ll go that. Just pickwhat you want, so there’s no more fighting.” (Heb. 12:11)
10
 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it waswell watered every where, before the L
ORD
destroyed Sodom andGomorrah, even as the garden of the L
ORD
 , like the land of Egypt, as thoucomest unto Zoar.
11
Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
12
 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the
 
 plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
13
 But the men of Sodom werewicked and sinners before the L
ORD
exceedingly.
The plain of Jordan is the area of land all along the Jordan River. Lot sees he’llprosper most there because the area is well-watered and fertile. The only set-backis that he’ll have to live close to the men of Sodom who were exceedingly wicked,but it’s a small price to pay to enjoy benefits of good land.But we know that he ultimately pays a much higher price: first, his conscience wastormented by all the wickedness around him (II Pt. 2:8) and then he had to fleefrom God’s wrath and lost everything. He ends up living in a cave with only histwo daughters (19:30) after his wife was turned into a pillar of salt.On the other hand, Abram might have seemed to get the short end of the stick, but that won’t be the case:
14
 And the L
ORD
said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Liftup now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
15
 For all the land which thou seest,to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
16
 And I will make thy seed asthe dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
17 
 Arise, walk through the land in the lengthof it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
The only thing that really matters in this whole episode is that “the Lord said.” It’sinteresting that Lot “lifted up his eyes” in deciding what land to take, but Godcommands Abraham him to lift up his. This isn’t the logic of man; this is thepromise of God. The land goes as far as he can see and it goes to all hisdescendants forever.Now, we can’t forget what’s being shown here:
 By faith Abraham, when he wascalled to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance,obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9
 By faith he sojourned inthe land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10
 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God
(Heb. 11:8-10).In Acts 7 Stephen rebukes the Jews by going through their history. It’s interestingthat he begins with this promise to Abraham. He shows how God led Abraham tothe Promised Land and then how He led the people into Egypt and then into thedesert where He commanded Moses to build a tabernacle according to a specificpattern (:44). Then he mentions the temple built by Solomon (:47), and then hesays, “
 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith
 
the prophet,
49
 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will yebuild me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? 
50
 Hath not my hand madeall these things? 
51
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye doalways resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
52
Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed beforeof the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
53
Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it
” (Acts 7:48-53).He’s saying, “You never did get the point. It was never about a patch of earth. It was never about a house made out of stone. These promises are and always havebeen spiritual!” Yes; they were fulfilled in a physical way, but the New Testament clearly shows that the greater hope was for something more. It’s not a city we canbuild or a temple we can fashion. God has called a people out for Himself and forHis own glory. He has prepared a place for us; it has a foundation, a realfoundation. This is the place where He will dwell with us and be our God andwe’ll be His people. It’s not a place where the circumcision of the flesh makes adifference—this is the place where those whose hearts are circumcised by God willdwell.
18
Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre,which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the L
ORD
.
Here again, after God’s provision through Egypt, the tension with Lot, and hearingGod’s promise reaffirmed, Abraham proves his faith by worshiping the Lord.Let’s close with a few thoughts:#1-
We seek to prevent dissension among the brethren even at the risk of being wronged.
Abram wasn’t worried about demanding his rights. When there wereproblems in the Corinthian church, Paul asks, “Why not rather be wronged? Whynot rather be defrauded?” (I Cor. 6:7).There’s to be order and we don’t expect people to allow abuse, but the examplesfrom Scripture show saints preferring to avoid strife even at personal cost. Hassomeone offended you? Has someone wronged you? What are you doing about it?Will you get revenge? Will you pout and refuse to fellowship with them anymore?Are you not brothers? Are you not part of the same body? Are you not together atemple being built for God? Repent of your sin and drop your pride! Choose to bewronged and trust that God is the rewarder of deeds and that He is the Judge of allthe earth.

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