Notes Genesis 13
Last week we found Abram on the hills of Bethel. He was not in the high places of Bethel but:
the hill [of] Bethel, that was against the east, and setted there his tabernacle, having Bethel from the west, and Hai from the east.
We looked at what the names of these places mean and discovered that Bethel means ‘House of God” and that Hai was the old the royal Canaanite city of Luz and its name means ruin or destruction . So Abram was on the foot hills of Bethel, or hanging around the outskirts of God’s perfect desire for his life and right outside of there was that place of destruction. And as we saw when a famine hit the land Abram strayed from the land in which God had called him.
Then we discovered the results of trying to do things “in the flesh” instead of depending on God and the first result was fear the second was denying who he was and denying his intimate relationship with his bride.
Finally we saw how the Lord had mercy on Abram and delivered him out of Egypt and we finished with the first four verses of chapter 13.
And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; Unto the place of the altar, which he had make there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
If we look back to Genesis 12:8 we will see this is the same place Abram was before he left for Egypt.
Now let’s take a look at this weeks lesson.
And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
There is something I want you to see about Lot. Verse 5 says “Lot which went with Abram”, if we look at 12:4 we see; “and Lot with him”, and again in 13:1 the Word of God says, “Lot went with him.”
Everywhere Abram goes Lot follows; the only problem with this is Lot is following a man and not God. We see this so often among Christians, many Christians tend to follow men. Many people want to look to another man for direction, inspiration and guidance instead of building their own relationship and following God. The problem with this is, men never have enough for them, somehow men always fail them, men always fall short and this is what we see here.
And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
In following Abram around Lot was blesses with substance, cattle, sheep and tents, he was blessed with material things. Even though we may attach ourselves to a man of God, someone whom God is blessing we too may reap of the overflow but to handle what we have and to handle ourselves wisely only comes from building a personal relationship with the Lord.
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.
It is only when both men have great substance that we see their true nature revealed.
When things are tough, when the follower is small in his own eyes, he is satisfied with following, but let that person enter into prosperity and suddenly, he is his own man.
I once heard a pastor say; “You know it is something when a person comes into my church and is weak and hurting, maybe out of a job and low on money, this man will take my advise, he will pay his tithe and feel that I know best how to us the tithe he has given. Once we have prayed that he will be bless, once we have ask God for favor and we see this same man begin to walk in prosperity and suddenly, I don’t know what I am talking about, and when he tithes he wants to direct where the money goes, well you know it was easy when 10% was only $50.00 a week but let that 10% grow to $500.00 a week and that person feels I am no longer capable of handling that kind of money correctly.
This was Lot; he was content and even felt safe following Abram everywhere he went, drawing inspiration from him, being blessed with him, but once he had his own stuff, “Strife” broke out.
And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
Why do you think that the Word of God mentions the Canaanites and Perizzites (ones dwelling in the open country) dwelling in the land?
The Canaanites and Perizzites were enemies, remember the Canaanites were cursed and represent the giants and evil in the land. Any time “Strife” breaks out between brethren we need to remember that evil is waiting at the door.
Isn’t that what God told Cain (the father of the Canaanites) in Genesis 4:7
If thou does well, shall you not be accepted, and if you do not well, sin lies at the door.
And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we be brethren.
Look at Abram character here, he gets it.
Abram says: Let there be no strife…for we are brethren.
Abram says there can’t be any strife between us because we are family; you are blood of my blood and bone of my bone. If I hurt you I am hurting myself and if you hurt me you are hurting yourself.
Oh, that Christians would realize this fact. If Christian would get this fact we would stop killing our wounded.
Story of Chimes.
Act 13:38-39 NIV
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.
The Lord hates it when there is strife among brothers.
Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us there are 6 things the Lord hates and then there is a seventh thing that is an abomination unto him…
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
1. A proud look, 2. a lying tongue, and 3. hands that shed innocent blood,
4. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, 6. feet that be swift in running to mischief,
6. A false witness that speaketh lies, and 7. he that soweth discord among brethren.
What is the seventh thing that is an abomination to Him? It is someone who stirs discord among the brethren.
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.
In these verses we see Abram showing wonderful Christian character. He lays down his rights for his brother.
You see Abram was Lots uncle, the acknowledge leader of the family, he had the right to first choice and Lot would have known this. Yet Abram for the sake of the brotherhood laid down his rights for his brother.
That is what the verse in 1 Corinthians 6:5-8 was talking about:
I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
Why can’t we learn to lay down our right to be right!
VERSE 10 Pictures of maps.
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
I want you to see something here. Obviously from the story we can determine that Lot and Abram went to a lookout spot to survey the land. Lot looked out over what is known as the “Jordan River Basin”. This ground we are told was lush and green, even like the Garden of the Lord before He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot also saw that the land with its cities was like Egypt, this is where he and Abram had gotten rich.
However what Lot does not see is what happens at the Dead Sea.
The Jordan River which makes the lushness of the land flows from the “Sea of Galilee” which is teaming with life, but it empties into the Dead Sea which is 1300 feet below sea level and is the lowest spot on earth the water has now ability to flow and comes to a dead stop and the water that was teaming with life now becomes a place where nothing can live.
How true this is in the Christian life; when we get our eyes off of God’s intended reason for our blessing and we take in but do not give out, we die. God had told Abram He would bless him so he could be a blessing.
…and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing.
Yet we see that Lot chose “for himself” he was only looking at the land for what he could get. Lot had himself in the center of his choice and not others and certainly not God.
Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
Look at Lot’s character in this verse; Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan. He wanted all the green pasture, all the well water ground for himself.
We see that Lot chose for himself the plain of Jordan or what is known as the Jordan River Basin. Little does Lot know that the Jordan River will become a symbol of death. You have heard the songs…when we cross over the Jordan…
There's a river somewhere that's called Jordan,
And they say that it's deep and it's wide;
And they say that the king and the beggar
On that shore will stand side by side.
Though the river is dark and stormy,
It will pass like a dream in the night;
And my soul will awake in the morning
In regions of endless delight.
John baptized in the Jordan River and baptism is a symbol of death as you go into the water and resurrection in newness of life as you come up out of the water.
When you chose for yourself it often causes a death in relationship.
Abram was disturbed over the strife that was arising between them and he was willing to lay down his privileges to keep the peace.
1. Lot was undisturbed and did not even acknowledge that Abram should have first choice.
2. Lot chose for himself. He made this choice before he prayed or before he acknowledges God.
This is where Proverbs 6: 5-6 would come into play.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct thy paths.
Lot was selfish in that he chose what appeared in the natural to be all the good land. But was it good.
Back in verse 10 we get a hint that Lot and Abram may have known the sin and the corruption of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, yet Lot did not care. He looked at what could be gained by this land not what might be lost, for the loss could only be seen in the realm of the spirit and the gain only in the realm of the natural.
So Lot chose Sodom and if you peek down to verse 13 you find this city was already full of sin.
Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
Here we see great faith in action. Abram was not afraid to let Lot have first choice; he was not upset when Lot took what appeared to be the better land. Look where Abram stayed, IN CANAAN where God had called him to. He stayed in and with God and when we choose to stay in and with Christ we can not help but to be blessed.
So why was Abram at peace with Lot’s choice?
Because Abram was not looking at the land for his blessing, he was not looking at anything in the natural for his blessing. God had told him he would be blessed!
Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
If God had to make grass grow out of rock, He could do so.
Abram saw God as His source of blessing. He was not looking at his natural surroundings as his source.
Story of power washer.
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
Where is your trust, in the realm of the natural or in the realm of the spirit?
Lot dwelt in the cities of the plains and he pitched his tent toward Sodom. Yet if we peek ahead to Chapter 19 we will see that Lot gets all tangled up with the people and the society of Sodom and there appears to be temporary gain.
We find that Lot has a wife in Sodom, there is no mention of a wife until chapter 19 and he has children. Lot no long dwells in a tent near Sodom but has a house in Sodom and he even has a place of authority because we finding him as a JUDGE who sat in the gate of Sodom; a place reserved for the most prominent citizens. Yet Lot’s destruction is just around the corner and if Abram had not interceded to God in “Lot’s” behalf; Lot would have lost everything even his own life.
But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
As we said before, this verse lets us know that sin flourished in Sodom and I am sure Lot was aware of it.
And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
I love this part. Abram laid down his rights for peace with his brethren. He looked to God for his blessing and not what he saw in the natural. Now look what the Lord does.
The first thing our Lord tells Abram to do is;
1. Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art…..
Our Lord says;
Get your eyes OFF of where you are. Do not look at your present surroundings, do not look at your present circumstances!
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
Jesus talking about his second coming said
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh
2. Look to the north, look to the south, look to the east and look to the west.
God wants Abram to look at the promises God had given him. Look at the Promise Land Abram, Look at the Promises I have made you.
God tells Abram to look in every direction, even the land which Lot chose. Look Abram, because you are looking to me, because you are trusting in me, because you are not leaning on your own understanding but you have acknowledged me.
I will give it all to you!
Oh what an example of Ephesians 3:17-19
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Paul says in First Corinthians 3:21-23:
Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your's; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
We are part of that blessing.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
He God tells Abram He is going to make him fruitful beyond belief. When we are in Christ, dwell in Him, we will be fruitful beyond belief.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. If you will keep your eyes on Jesus He will make you exceedingly fruitful, Fruitful in wisdom, Fruitful in knowledge, Fruitful in the Gifts or the Spirit and yes fruitful in the natural realm.
The third thing God tells Abram
Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
This is a great principle in the ways of God.
Arise...get up out of your mundane living and dwarfed dreams. Remember who you are. You are not just Abrahams seed through Jesus Christ but you are actually heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
When God gives us a promise we have to walk it out. It is a walk with Christ and in Christ but you have to be willing to MOVE.
WALK OUT THE PROMISES OF GOD. DO WHAT HE TELLS YOU TO DO. DO NOT HESITATE DO NOT REASON IT OUT IN YOUR OWN MIND BUT WALK IT OUT!!!!!!!!!
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 LORD.
We see Abram does not move to the plains of Jordan which means death but he moves to the plains of Mamre which means vigor a place of life and vitality. Mamre is in Hebron which latterly means the “Seat of Association”.
It is here that Abram builds an alter unto the Lord, he joins or associates himself with God.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Associate yourself with God and He will make your life full of vigor, full of fruitfulness.
1. Get your eyes off of where you presently are.
2. Look at the promises of God.
3. Be willing to walk them out. Move when God tells you to move.
4. Realize that you are associated and even seated with God.