Summary: Abraham and Lot discover how to let God help us to make the right decisions and choices in our lives.
A. How many of you have enjoyed watching the TV show “Let’s Make a Deal” over the years?
1. It has been on and off the air since its beginning in 1963.
2. The longest running and best known host was Monty Hall, but Wayne Brady has been hosting the show since 2009.
3. We can picture the host saying, “You can keep your money and prizes or you can trade it all for what’s behind door number 3. What’s your choice?”
4. The audience and viewers watch as the contestant twitches nervously while thinking: “What’s behind that door? Is it a new sports car? Or is it a year’s supply of dog food? Should I risk it all or hold on to what I have?”
5. Meanwhile, some of the audience members shout, “Go for it!” While others shout, “Don’t be a fool! Hold on to what you have!”
6. Inevitably, some contestants made the right choice, while others made the wrong choice and got “zonked.”
B. But as we all know, life is no game show.
1. Every day we are faced with all kinds of choices; some big and some small.
2. The consequences of the choices we make can lead to marvelous blessings or painful zonks.
C. Today, as we continue our study of the life of Abraham, we will explore an episode where he and his nephew, Lot, have some decisions to make.
1. As we will see, Lot chose door number 3 and it didn’t work out so well for him.
2. I hope we can learn from Abraham and Lot how to best to follow after God in the choices and decisions of life.
I. The Story
A. Before we jump into today’s segment of Abraham’s story, let’s be reminded of the developments of the story of Abraham that we have studied so far.
1. God called Abraham when he was living in Ur of the Chaldeans and said to him: “Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen. 12:1-3)
2. Abraham left Ur along with his father, Terah, his nephew, Lot, and his wife, Sarah.
3. Unfortunately, Abraham traveled only about half way to Canaan, but stopped in Haran, and stayed there until his father died.
4 After Terah died, God renewed the call to Abraham and he resumed the trek to Canaan.
5. But not long after being in Canaan, a severe famine struck the area.
a. Abraham faltered during his first crisis, and rather than trusting in God, he fled to Egpyt and reverted to his default coping strategy – falsehood, rather than walking by faith.
6. From all of this we come to realize that faith begins tentatively and imperfectly, and that God uses our experiences to help us grow stronger in faith.
B. Our story today begins in Genesis 13.
1. The Bible says: 1 So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. 2 Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. 3 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 4 and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD. (Gen. 13:1-4)
2. Let’s be reminded of the fact that much of Abraham’s wealth had come from Pharaoh in Egypt after Abraham had failed to trust God.
a. How gracious of God to grant Abraham such undeserved riches and to compound his wealth so quickly.
b. It is likely that these blessings that were bestowed upon him rather than the punishment he deserved from Pharaoh or from God, helped Abraham to be genuinely humble.
3. Did you notice how the narrator makes a point of portraying Abraham’s return from Egypt as backtracking?
a. Abraham traveled up from Egypt, through the barren Negev region, and back to Bethel, where Abraham had built his last altar.
b. Abraham came back to the place where he had last gotten it right.
c. He arrived back at the place where he’d been on track, he worshiped the Lord there again.
d. It was as if with his completed return from his faithless trip to Egypt, Abraham was ready to start over.
C. Let’s notice the next verse of the story: 5 Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. (Gen. 13:5)