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Summary: Verse by verse study of Genesis 13

Genesis 13

Sunday Morning Bible Study

January 28, 2007

:1-4 Abram returns and worships

:1 Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South.

If you recall, God had promised to give Abram the land of Israel. But when a famine hit the land, Abram packed up and headed south to Egypt.

The Scriptures do not specifically condemn Abram for this trip to Egypt, but I struggle with the things that Abram did in Egypt.

He lied about his wife. He brought trouble on Pharaoh because of his lies. He gets kicked out of Egypt. He collects some Egyptian things along the way, like a handmaiden named Hagar.

Is it a stretch to say that Abram may have “fallen away” a bit with this trip to Egypt?

Lot –Abram’s nephew. His father, Haran, died back when they lived in Ur of the Chaldees. It seems that Abram has taken on the role of raising Lot like a son.

Abram and Sarai weren’t the only ones that went to Egypt. They had taken Lot with them.

:2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.

:3 And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,

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When Abram first came into the Promised Land, he came in from the north and his first stop was up in the hills of Shechem. It was there that God first told Abram that he was now in the land that God would give him. Abram built an altar in Shechem.

From Shechem, Abram moved south to this hill area between Bethel and Ai, about twenty miles south. It was here that Abram built his second altar.

From this place, Abram made his trip to Egypt, which he has now returned from, back to the area between Bethel and Ai.

:4 to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

Abram returns to his second altar and calls on the Lord.

I find it interesting that we don’t have a record of Abram making an altar in Egypt or of him calling on the name of the Lord in Egypt.


Coming home

It almost seems as if Abram is returning to his “first love”.

Abram has “fallen away”.

When he returns to the land, he returns to the last place he had worshipped God.

Jesus told a story about a young man who made some serious mistakes (Luke 15). He took his inheritance and wasted it on wild living. When he ran out of money, he ended up as a servant working on a pig farm, wishing he could eat the pig food. He finally got to the point where he figured that he would be better off being a servant for his father, so he headed home, not knowing what to expect. Yet when he got home, his father didn’t make him a slave, his father ran to greet him. His father threw a party to welcome the lost son home.

You may think that you would never be welcomed back if you were to return to the Lord. That is not true. What you will find is a God who has been waiting for you to come home.

Jesus writes to the Ephesian church:

(Rev 2:4-5 NKJV) "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. {5} "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place; unless you repent.

If there was a time when you were closer to the Lord than you are now, you’ve left your first love.

Go back to the altar. Go back to what you used to be doing.

:5-13 Lot chooses Sodom

:5 Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents.

:6 Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together.

:7 And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land.

Canaanites – the descendants of Ham’s son Canaan. These were the people that were cursed because of Ham’s sin against his father Noah (Gen. 9:25).

Perizzites – P@rizziy – “belonging to a village”; a people who inhabited southern Canaan prior to the conquest; they are one of the Canaanite tribes.

This is the second time that we’ve been reminded that during Abram’s day, the Canaanites were alive and well in the land:

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