Summary: In the story of the initial strive between Abram and Lot once returning to Canaan, we can see the way that we should handle adversity and problems in life today.
Abraham: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith
ABRAM’S TROUBLE WITH LOT
Intro: For Abram, everything isn’t smooth sailing! After his return to Canaan from his disastrous trip to Egypt, there arises a conflict between himself and his nephew Lot. It was a conflict that had serious ramifications and had to be resolved. How this conflict was settled is the focus of the message this morning.
Just like Abram, there are times in life when conflicts and troubles arise. How we deal with those conflicts and troubles reveals more about our characters than we want to admit. Because what you are when the pressure is on is what you really are!
Since that is true, let’s take some time to look into these verses this morning and notice some aspects of this story that speak to our lives today.
I. A TROUBLESOME PROBLEM (vv. 5-7)
A. The Cause of the Problem (vv. 5-6)
• Both Abram and Lot had gained immense wealth and power.
• Neither is inherently wrong as long as they are controlled by the right spirit.
• When our "things" control us, then we are headed for trouble.
B. The Course of the Problem (v. 7)
• Their problem remained unresolved and eventually developed into a bone of contention.
o Evidently, each wanted the best grazing ground for their flocks and herds.
o Trouble is always a certainty when the focus of life is removed from the Lord Jesus Christ and focused on self, individual right, or to the things of this world! Heb. 12:2.
• How Abram and Lot responded to this crisis in the family says a lot about the character of each.
o If you want to know the true character of any person, just see how they respond in a time of crisis or conflict!
II. A TENDER PROPOSAL (vv. 8-9)
A. Involved a Plea for Peace (v. 8)
• Abram displays a loving, gracious spirit when he deals with Lot.
• He gives a two-fold reason as to why they should live in peace.
• By the way, his reasons for them are still valid for the church today!
1. They Were Brethren
• They should love and respect one another!
• The same is true concerning the church - John 13:35
• Even in the best of circumstances, trouble is always a possibility.
• In the church, there should be peace, love and tenderness between the members, but, because we are sinful humans, trouble often arises.
• However, it is never right, regardless of the reason. There is nothing so important that it should be allowed to tear up the work of the Lord in His church.
• And, friends, He cannot bless in an atmosphere of discord and trouble.
• The best course of action is to forgive and to forget!
2. The Heathen Were Watching - Verse 7b
• This verse tells us that the Canaanites were living around them at the time.
• This presented a dual problem in the face of the conflict.
• First, it placed both Abram and Lot in danger.
• If these warlike people saw an opportunity to attack them and take their possessions they would.
• Second, no doubt these people were keenly interested in Abram’s God.
• They would evaluate his religion by the effect it had on his life.
• The same problems confront the church in our day!
• When we fight, Satan has a heyday in the church and scatters the flock.
• When we fight, the world sees our lack of love, tenderness and forgiveness and concludes that we are no better off then they are, and that this "Jesus business" means nothing!
B. Involved a Price for Peace (. v. 9)
• Abram willingly gave up his rights as the elder of the family.
• He could have chosen first, but he yielded to Lot.
• He willingly placed Lot’s happiness, wishes and rights ahead of his own.
• This is not something that we see often, but it what believers are supposed to do.
• We should never compromise the truth to please anybody!
• However, there are times when we should give in to the wishes, needs and rights of others!
C. Involved a Promise for Peace (v. 9)
• How could Abram so easily give up the best of the land to Lot?
• Abram knew that his cause was safe with God!
• The Lord has already promised to give him "all" the land, Gen. 12:7.
• When a believer’s faith truly rests in the Lord, then they can afford to hold their possessions and their rights very loosely.
• After all, it is God, not they, who look after their interests, Rom. 8:28.
• Abram did not get mad, bitter or puffed up when he did not get his way.