Summary: Abram’s spiritual journey mirrors his eartly journey in the promised land and contrasts with Lot’s spiritual journey. Abram journey’s to peace as opposed to destruction.
For those of you who don’t know, I am the oldest of three boys and I grew up in a family that went to church every
church every Sunday?
Let me just say, most of the time, it wasn’t a piece of cake. My brothers and I would fight our parents about getting ready. Then, my parents would fight us, to get us ready. Voices would rise louder and louder until screaming would ensue. The screaming would begin with us boys screaming out our parents, then our parents would begin to scream back at us, but usually by the end our parents ended up screaming at each other.
You see (we boys) knew that if we began crying when Mom or Dad screamed at us, their focus would be taken off of us and on to each other (classic deflection). One of them would get mad about the way the other treated us. They would start arguing with each other. Their voices would get louder and louder and then it wouldn’t just be the boys crying, Mom would be crying too! 5 minutes late, this is how we would enter the church parking lot. Then, we’d dry the eyes, put on the smiles, ‘cause we’re walking into church.
Anybody been there? God having a wonderful sense of humor has blessed me with three boys. l’ve been there myself.
So we go to church on Sunday morning to celebrate the Prince of Peace, but many times our Sunday morning ritual of getting to church is anything but peaceful. And, unfortunately for many of us Sunday mornings are often just microcosms of the rest of our lives. We fight and quarrel with spouses. We fight and quarrel with our parents. We fight and quarrel with our kids. We fight and quarrel with our bosses, and our co-workers. We fight and quarrel with our neighbors and our friends.
If we worship the prince of peace, why are our lives anything but peaceful? How do we grow in our journey to become people of peace? How do we quit fighting and arguing? What happens if we don’t? We will answer these questions as we look at Abram and Lot and see how Abram journeyed in his faith to become a man of peace and Lot did not!
The first thing I want you to know is this: It’s a journey to become a person of peace. It doesn’t happen overnight and this is the case with Abram. Let’s look at Genesis 13:1-4:
" So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and there he first built and altar. There Abram called on the Name of the Lord"
Remember,… last week we learned that Abram didn’t have faith that God would provide for him during the famine. So, he left the land God gave him. He left God’s promise to give him a great future and went down to Egypt. Abram’s journey paralleled his spiritual condition. Abram’s faith was decreasing. It was deficient.
This week we pick up the story of Abram after, God graciously intervened in Abram’s faithlessness to get him and his family back on track—to get him moving back to the promised-land, to get him growing up in his faith once again. The text tells us that Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev. Now, Abram’s journey is taking him up and he is growing up in his faith.
Abram’s journey parallels his spiritual condition.
Take a look at this picture. It is the Negev. It is the desert Abram has to go thru on his way back! Put yourselves in Abram’s shoes. He has to trust or have faith that God will provide for him and all the livestock he accumulated in Egypt on his journey back thru this desert to the promised land where he will become a man of peace. That’s hard!! Abram couldn’t get around the famine—he has to go thru it! He tried to get around it by going to Egypt, but God makes him go thru it in another way.
THRU THE DESERT PLACE
Why? Why does God make Abram go thru the desert place? God wants to grow Abram’s faith so he will become a man of peace! As Abram goes thru this desert place, he sees God provide in difficult circumstances and his faith grows! That is what God wanted for him in the first place.
God makes us journey thru the desert, thru the valley, thru the famine, thru our difficulties in our life to grow our faith. Our journey to become people of peace takes us thru famine and the desert place. Our faith has to Grow Up in order to become people of peace.