Summary: Abraham and Lot. Two believers. One trusted God, and the other trusted in his own achievement, power and wisdom. The question for us as we examine their lives and story is simply this. Who do you trust?
As we come to Genesis 13, we find a chapter that gives us a powerful contrast between two very different people, Abram and Lot. While we are tempted to think that Lot was not a true believer, 2 Peter 2:7–8 tells us that he was indeed a believer, "And if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);"
Two believers. One trusted God, and the other trusted in his own achievement, power and wisdom. The question for us as we examine their lives and story is simply this. Who do you trust?
In Genesis 12, we read that during the famine, Abram fled for the safety and security of Egypt. For the SECOND TIME, his faith faltered. His first momentary lapse of faith was when he waited in Haran for several years before departing for the land that God promised him. NOW, he is BACK in the LAND that God promised, determined to OBEY GOD, and BE a BLESSING (Gen 12:1-2).
Do we really trust God?
BARNA RESEARCH shows that fewer than 10 percent of churchgoing Christians make important life decisions based on GOD’S WORD and SEEKING HIS WILL. In other words, more than 90 percent decide on the basis of their own intelligence, peer opinion, whim, or fancy. Yet every Sunday they sit in church pews singing songs like "Where he leads me, I will follow." -- Fresh Faith--What Happens When Real Faith Ignites God's People by Jim Cymbala, Zondervan Publishing, 1999.
We claim to trust god for eternal life,
But we don’t trust god for much less important decisions
The contrast between Abraham and Lot reveals an important principle in life: WHO do you TRUST?
Let’s begin by examining the lessons Abram learned in Egypt (13:1-4. ). TRUST in GOD when TRIALS COME.
Abraham returned to where he LEFT THE PATH OF FAITH. The text emphasizes that Abram returned to the place where he first entered the land and worshiped God. He is wise to return to the point to where he left the path of faith. This principle helps us in our lives. If you find yourself far from a life of obedience, you should ask the question, “where was I when I walked away from God?” I’m not talking exclusively about a geographic location (although that may in some cases be relevant!) I’m refering to the point in your life where you walked away from God. Return to that point of decision! It is usually a choice that we made. While some choices cannot be undone (marriages, contracts, home loans, etc.) we must at least recognize those wrong choices and return to the attitude of trust that we had prior to walking on our own.
Notice that when Abram returned to Bethel, he once again worshiped God. This gives us the impression that while he was Egypt his worship either discontinued or was very difficult. When Abraham returned to the place where God called him, his worship returned and his blessings returned!
Abraham returned to the DISCIPLINES that guided his life. 13:3-4. His journey to Egypt was NOT WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE! He returned from Egypt with HAGAR (ten years later she would cause strife with Sarah). He also returned with a very changed nephew. While Egypt did not completely corrupt Abram, it did corrupt Lot. Lot is now very materialistic, and taken up with city life and becoming a person of influence (we see him sitting at the city gate as a recognized leader of Sodom). These lessons from Egypt corrupted Lot. It might be said that Lot left Egypt, but Egypt never left Lot, and for this, Uncle Abraham was the one who led him there.
Our Second lesson from the text it that Abraham TRUSTED GOD when MAKING PLANS. 13:5-9
The PROBLEM: there was plenty of LAND, but most of it was BARREN. The SPRINGS and WADI’s were already controlled by the Canaanites and Perizzites, and there was little room for the flocks and herds of both Abram and Lot.
Notice the CONTRAST between ABRAHAM and LOT
Trusts in the LORD Leans on his own understanding
Left Egypt behind Carried Egypt with him
Prayerful, worshipfull Impulsive, self-willed
“Only God’s way” (he learned from Egypt) “God’s way won’t work”
Get’s closer to God Get’s closer to sin
Willing to wait for God’s blessing Wanted it now
The QUARRELING was because of Lot. “Quarreling” = meribah. Same word as Exodus 17:7–8 "And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Abraham acts to end the quarreling, even if it costs him wealth. Abraham valued his family relationships MORE than his own wealth. He offers the CHOICE to LOT. Through this, Abram demonstrates his complete confidence in God. He is no longer striving with God, but trusting God completely. Abram has learned his lesson! The Bible Knowledge Commentary notes that “Abram was waiting for God to give him the land; Lot just took it” (BKC).