Lot’s greed and irrevocable decisions cost him everything. The only items of value Lot was left was his two daughters who got Lot intoxicated, seduced him, and both became pregnant by their father. The offspring of this became the nations of Moab and Ammon. Both are today terminated and in hell. How awful it must be to know greedy irrevocable decisions can cost a person their home, spouse, children, and descendants.
ABRAHAM THE FRIEND OF GOD
by Delbert Young
Scriptures: Genesis 13:1 ,Genesis 13:2, 3 John 1:2, Deuteronomy 8:18, Proverbs 13:22, Proverbs 19:4, Genesis 13:3, Genesis 13:5, Genesis 13:8-12, Genesis 13:14-17
Genesis 13:1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.
1. Abram went up out
We will all take trips into our personal Egypt during the journey with the Lord. Egypt is the world. It is where we should never go, but for whatever reason end up there. Abram went to Egypt in a time of famine. There he became deceitful and lied and became wealthy by that deceit. However Abram did not stay in Egypt. In fact, Egypt is now cut off from Abram. Pharaoh rebuked Abram and sent Abram out of the country. Abram never went back to Egypt.
For whatever reason all believers will from time to time get into areas they need not be. The Lord seems not to be distraught with Abram because Abram went to Egypt. He never addressed Abram about going to Egypt. Nor did the Lord address Abram concerning the Sarai deception. We often get a feeling that the Lord departs from us when we do a foolish thing such as Egypt. If not cautious we stop reading, praising, praying, and ministering. What we do not grasp is the Lord is far more interested in our going up and out of our mistakes than that we made them. The Lord God was Abraham’s friend and friends are like that. A friend is far more concerned about our going on than our messing up. Abram only sojourned in Egypt. Abram did not remain in Egypt. In our times away from where we should be, we too must only sojourn. As soon as we can we need to get “up out.”
Genesis 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
2. Abram was very rich
The Hebrew word for rich is kabad (Strong’s #3513) meaning “to be heavy; burdensome; numerous”. There is a burden that comes along with riches–burden in getting them, burden in keeping them, a burden in the proper use of them. Abram was “heavy” rich. However though it is difficult for a rich man to get to the kingdom of God it is not impossible. Abram is proof of that. Abram was very rich–heavy rich. The Lord had said that He would bless Abram. Abram was very rich and very relational. He was the friend of the God.
Once I was at a meeting. I had a new automobile and a member of our church was also there with a new automobile. A person at the meeting said we were wrong in that preachers should not have nice things such as new cars. He boasted of how he had put a guilt trip on his pastor when his pastor had purchased a new car. So much so that the pastor returned the new car and drove a junker instead. I challenged his thinking and asked him to show me that teaching in the scriptures. Naturally he could not. I told him that Jesus came to give us life and that abundantly (Joh 10:10). I told him to those who seek the kingdom first then all things would be added (Mat 6:33). I told him that Jesus came to preach the gospel to the poor (Luk 4:18). I told him about Abraham’s being very rich, and about Isaac, and Jacob. I told him about Boaz (Rut 2:1) and Job (Job 31:25) and David’s wealth and the great wealth of Solomon. I told him that obviously Jesus was financially secure. Jesus could support twelve men on the road. Also the disciples must have been in good financial condition to leave everything for years and follow Jesus. I told him that Biblically it was a blessing of God to be financially able to lend and a curse to have to borrow (Deu 15:16; 28:12, 44). The Lord did give the power to get wealth did he not? (Deu 8:18).
I do not know where that poverty mentality came from. It was obviously from someone justifying their inability to prosper. Abram had silver and gold. Some teach that silver and gold jewelry is sin. They say it is adorning. The Bible says it is prosperity. God’s people are to prosper (3Jo 1:2).
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. KJV
Deuteronomy 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
Why does the Lord give the power to get wealth if He does not want His people wealthy? It is time God’s people learn that God’s plan is for them to be wealthy.
Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
How can we leave an inheritance to our children if we have nothing to leave? Did you know that the word “inheritance” in found 221 times in the King James Version Bible? Did you get an inheritance? Will you leave one? The devil with his any minute rapture which is actually an escape doctrine has tricked the people of God. We are told we are an army and then we are told we are escaping. We have a sword in one hand and a suitcase in the other. The sword is Biblical. The suitcase is not. Rather than a mentality of prospering and overcoming we have developed a mentality of escape.
Why would the wealth of the sinner be laid for the just if the Lord was going to rapture us away any minute. No, the people of God are supposed to accumulate the wealth of the sinners. Abram was heavy rich. He passed his riches on to his son Isaac and on and on. What are we monetarily leaving our children and grandchildren? Many only leave a false hope of a false rapture and a false religion.
Do we realize it is easier for a wealthy person to make friends than it is for a poor person?
Proverbs 19:4 Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.
This is not because people are after the wealthy person’s money. A wealthy person can do things to help people and go out and enjoy life in fellowship when a poor person cannot. I have asked people to go out to eat, or go off for a weekend, etc. only to hear, “Well, if I only had the money I would go.” People sometimes cannot have people over or fellowship because of the lack of wealth. It is a lie to think wealth is wrong or bad. Abram was heavy rich.
Genesis 13:3 And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; 4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
3. Unto the place of the altar
After leaving Egypt Abram went to “the place.” The place was the place of the beginning. The place of the altar at the first. Abram remember “the place”. He went to the place where his tent had been. That was the place of home. We understand the place of home. It is the refuge, the rest, the place of relaxation. Abram went to the place of the altar which he had made there at the first. When we get out of our Egypt we need to get back to the place of our altar. So many want to stay away from God. Abraham visited God.
I had a phone call this week from a person who once was a faithful member of our local church. He moved to another state hundreds of miles away. A major event had taken place in his life and he had called me to tell me of it. He said of all the people that he wished could have been there with him and his family through this blessed time, the people he missed and needed the most were my wife and I. The reason was we represent the place. The place where his life changed. The place where the Lord appeared unto him. The place where he had built his altar and called upon the name of the Lord.
Abram was not too proud to return to the place. People leave churches for numerous reasons. Often they find themselves in Egypt. Because of pride they will not return to the place where the Lord appeared to them. They will not return to the place where they called upon the name of the Lord. Please never be like that. Know you can always return to this place. We may need to talk and we may need to work through some things, but if this place is the place of your beginning, the place of your altar, the place where the Lord appeared to you and you called upon His name, you can always come back to this place. A problem, a misunderstanding, a conflict cannot be larger than believers wanting to get to the place.
Genesis 13:5 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. 6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. 7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. KJV
4. And there was a strife
Lot too had prospered. The relationship with Abram had been very beneficial for Lot. Prosperity can cause a problem and a problem arose. A situation emerged where Lot felt he could no longer stay with Abram. There was strife between those who loved Lot and those who loved Abram. Mark it down. When we walk together eventually there will be a strife problem and people will always take sides.
Lot had been with Abram since Ur. Lot was Abram’s nephew, a blood relation. Lot had accompanied Abram from Ur to Haran to Canaan to Egypt and now back to Canaan. Obviously there relationship was lengthy, deep, and had been good for both. Yet, no matter how long a relationship lasts, nor how deep the relationship is, nor how good a relationship has been, a time will come when there will be strife. Strife is the Hebrew word riyb meaning “a contest”. Abram wanted things done one way and Lot wanted things done another way. We can all relate to this at some point during life and probably during our walk as a believer. I want things one way and you want things another so a contest begins to see which way things will be.
Rarely do people handle the problem as did Abram. I am not sure I ever have. We bow up and become contentious in the contest. We take offense. This is a long-time deep relationship. This is not a superficial shallow relationship. This could be a husband and wife relationship. This could be a long-term employer and employee relationship. This could be a long-term pastor and member relationship. This could be a friend and friend relationship. This could be a family member and family member relationship. We need to learn how the friend of God handled a situation of strife with a deep relationship. We will see how both party’s approached the problem and we will see how each concluded from the problem.
Genesis 13:8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. KJV
Rather than addressing the herdmen, Abram spoke with Lot. Abram said, “Please don’t let there be strife between us and our people because we have a relationship.” There was a very good reason not to have strife. Strife has the potential to destroy valuable relationships. The reason to avoid strife was to preserve the relationship. To us this could mean no strife so the marriage could be preserved, the job could be preserved, the pastor and member relationship be preserved, the friendship be preserved, the relationship within the family be preserved.
It is easy to say “Let there be no strife between me and thee,” but are we actually willing to do what is necessary to stop strife? Probably not. Abram said, “Take what you want.” To Abram the land was not more important than the relationship. He was saying I am willing to do anything to preserve our relationship. Which is more important? Is having things “my way” more important than the relationship? Is taking what I want more important than the relationship? As we will see it is obviously not the most important.
Abram’s heart is right. Abram honestly does not want relationship problems. Lot’s heart is greedy. Lot is not concerned with the relationship (Pro 18:24). Lot is concerned with greed. Abram is following the Lord’s instructions and prospering. Lot is following Abram to prosper.
As Abram gave the proposal to Lot to take what he wanted, Lot lifted up his eyes. Have you ever seen people do that? The offer is unbelievable and they sort of lean back and their eyes widen and their head tilts back just a little. Perhaps they attempt to hold back their excitement, but they can’t contain it. In their mind they are beholding what you just said. Lot “….beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt.” Too often we desire non-eternal things. Lot obviously was not as concerned about the relationship as was Abram. Lot’s greedy heart took over and he said, “I’ll take the plain of Jordan.” Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom.”
There is a difference in prospering because of greed and prospering form the blessings of God. Lot prospered because of greed. What happened to Lot? As we take a short detour from the study of Abraham’s life, we find greedy irrevocable decisions was a tremendous turning point for Lot. It was a turn for the bad. In fact it was disaster. There were irrevocable decisions. Lot beheld Sodom. Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom. Lot moved to Sodom (Gen 14:12). “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly” (Gen 13:13).
I pondered the thought of “sinners before the Lord exceedingly”. There obviously are people who sin and then there are sinners exceedingly. Are there big sins and little sins? I don’t know about the size of sin, but I do know that the “men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly”. I do know they will be destroyed and I know that Lot desired to live among them. The greedy irrevocable decisions of Lot eventually placed Lot in a place where Lot attempted to raise his children in a defiled environment. The mentality of Sodom would later come out of Lot’s daughters. The Lord must destroy Sodom and Lot is dwelling there. Lot is removed and loses his home as Sodom is destroyed. Next Lot’s wife disobeys the command not to look back (Gen 19:17). Lot loses his wife.
Lot’s greed and irrevocable decisions cost him everything. The only items of value Lot was left was his two daughters. These two daughters got Lot intoxicated and both became pregnant by their father (Gen 19:31-38). The offspring of this situation became the nation of Moab and Ammon. Both became enemies to the people of the Lord which would illustrate to us the fortunes of greedy irrevocable decisions. Both these nations are today terminated and in hell. How awful it must be to know that greedy irrevocable decisions doomed one’s descendants to hell. Lot lost his home, his wife, his daughters, and his descendants. How awesome is one greedy irrevocable decision!
What happened to Abram? His attempt to maintain the relationship brought very different results than did Lot’s irrevocable decisions. It would appear that Abram had lost a very bountiful portion of the land. However, upon investigation we see Abram actually was blessed beyond measure.
Genesis 13:14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
It seems that Lot had not gotten out of sight before the Lord rewarded Abram for the condition of his heart. Abram loved Lot and honestly wanted the relationship to continue at any cost. Because of this kind of heart, Abram was rewarded exceedingly. The Lord first appeared to Abram. That alone is a reward. Next the Lord said “Lift up now thine eyes….” The Lord said, “Now….look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.” Lot had lifted up his eyes. Lot’s seed was cursed. Abram was told to lift up his eyes and Abram’s seed and Abram was blessed. Abram’s eyes widened and his head tilted back as Abram lifted up his eyes and looked.
The land was now Abram’s and his seed forever. Lot’s generations were cursed. Abram’s generations were blessed. The land would never belong to any other. Others would live there and dwell there, but it belonged to Abram and his seed. Not only that, but Abram was told that his descendants would be as the dust of the earth for number. Amazingly, at this time Abram did not have a son and there was no promise nor hope of a son at this time. Yet Abram believed God and walked through the land.
If Lot could make his irrevocable decisions again what irrevocable decisions would he make? Would he take the well-watered plain? Would he pitch toward Sodom? Would he even leave Abram? I think not. Most likely Lot would say, “Let the animals run together. I do not care about the animals. I want to stay with you uncle Abram.”
What have we learned from this lesson that we can apply to our lives today?
1. We will from time to time find ourselves in our personal Egypt. We could find our self in a place of deceit or even sin. The friend of God, Abraham, “went up out” of Egypt. As soon as we can we must get “up out” of that place. Abraham–the friend of God–only “sojourn” in his Egypt. It was one of his irrevocable decisions to get “up out” of his Egypt.
2. Abraham was not at his best in Egypt. There was lying and intentional deceit. Once out of Egypt Abraham got back to “the place of the altar.” Instead of running from God, Abraham ran to God and visited with God. When we mess up we need to get to the altar. The Lord is far more interested in our going on than in our mess up.
3. Abraham was very rich. Any person that teaches believers should not prosper does not know their Bible. Jesus came to give us life and that abundantly. That abundance includes our finances. Because of riches it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom, but it is not impossible. Ask Abraham.
4. Strife can bring us to a place of an irrevocable decisions. Never make eternal irrevocable decisions in a time of strife. Cool down and think. Lot’s irrevocable decisions caused Lot to lose everything. His descendants ended judged of God and in hell.
5. No strife is worth a deep long-term relationship. No price is too much to pay to avoid separation of long wonderful relationships.
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