Making the right Choices. 
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Genesis 13) Abraham and Lot separate.

 

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

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, 

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

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. 

8 So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. 

9 Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left."

10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. 

11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. 

12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 

13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord. 

14 And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are--northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 

15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.

16 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. 

17 Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you." 

18 Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the Lord.
 

We remember from chapter 12 of Genesis that Abraham went down to Egypt because of the famine in Canaan.
He had reached Bethel but decided to go down to Egypt. Although things did not go well at first for Abraham, to protect his own life he lied about his wife, saying she was his sister and he encouraged Sarah to lie too, almost losing her to Pharaoh. It was only when God stepped in and caused the plagues that Pharaoh gave back Sarah and told Abraham to leave.
In spite of all this, God still blessed Abraham with much cattle and gifts.
Finally, Abraham back tracked.

A good lesson here for Christians.
Sometimes we step out of the will of God and make bad choices, going our own way and not following the will of God. However, God is gracious and very often blocks our way and brings us to a point where we recognise what we are doing is wrong.
What do we do? We turn around and head back. Turning around is repentance. We repent and get back on the right path.
Sometimes it means doing what the song says, “we pick ourselves up, brush ourselves down and start all over again”.
God does not punish us, we may have suffered some consequence of our wrong choices but God is merciful to us.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.

So Abraham left Egypt and headed back the way he came.
1 Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South. 

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, 

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


Abraham made his way back to where he had made the bad choice, Bethel (the house of God).
All that God had blessed him with, he took with him.
God led him back to where he should have stayed in the first place. This is the graciousness of God.
David said this in
Psalm 23 “He leads me in path of righteousness”
The meaning of the word “paths” in the original Hebrew, (Ma gal) (a circular track) is circles of  Righteousness. It gives meaning of the shepherd leading the sheep round and round till they reach the fertile plateau. This is what the Good Shepherd does each time with us. He leads us in circles of righteousness.
God always brings us back to the cross, where we can start again. Whenever we fall, God takes us the way of the cross.

From this point at Bethel, Abraham could look across the expanse of the land, he built an altar and called on the name of the Lord.
Bethel was situated in the hill country and so there would be a very good view of the land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He could look towards Ai and beyond, to where he had originally come from, Ur of the Chaldees, to the east.
It is good sometimes to remember from where we came and realise that it was God that brought us out and put us on the right path.
We too are on a journey and although we are not what we should be, or what we could be, we can thank God that we are not what we were.

He could see all the land that God would give him and his children to come.


Genesis 13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

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


When God first spoke to Abram when he was dwelling in Ur, (Acts 7:2), He told him to leave his family and his land and go to the land that God would show him (Canaan), however we see that Abram did not obey at first.
We remember, Abram went with his father and his family and settled in
another centre of pagan worship, (Haran). Eventually Terah, Abram’s father died and Abram became the patriarch.
God called Abram a second time (
Genesis 12:1) and at this call Abram left Haran and headed south to Canaan.
However he still was in disobedience, for he took Lot with him. He neglected to leave his family.

The next part of scripture reveals the consequences of this.

V5 says Lot went with him. Lot also was quite wealthy, with herds and tents. Obviously Lot was not as wealthy as Abraham, he did not have much gold and silver.

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. 
 

We see here a problem develops, strife breaks out between Lot’s herdsmen and Abraham’s herdsmen.
Strife (Hebrew - rı̂yb) (a contest (personal or legal): -  adversary, cause,
chiding, contend (-tion), controversy, multitude [from the margin], pleading, strife, strive

Besides this, they have to contend against the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
Most of the following problems for Abraham could have been avoided had he obeyed the word of God in the first place.
However, we see how God can work all things together for good to them that trust Him.


Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 

In the next piece of text we see the difference between the two men.

8 So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. 

9 Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left."
 

Notice, being the patriarch of the family, Abraham could have told Lot to leave but we see here how Abraham was gracious. “Please separate from me”. He not only asked Lot nicely, he gave him the first pick.   

Remember, all this land was promised by God to Abraham, he had the first choice of where to go but we see here benevolence in action.
Abraham allowed Lot to choose where he would go. There was no selfishness here, Abraham put family before his own personal gain.
That’s the first choice. It’s a choice between finances or family. Is money, and land and what belongs to him more important than his family? Is he willing to forsake his finances to benefit his family? Is he going to provide for his
relative or isn’t he? Abram of course wants to provide for Lot. He wants to give not only peace, but also vegetation to feed his animals. He’s not going to send Lot back to Haran, back to a pagan world. So Abram decides that even though all the land has been promised to him, he is going to let Lot stay on some of it.

This is not always an easy thing to do. Sometimes our selfish nature kicks in these kinds of circumstances.
Obviously the right choices to make, are, if there is not enough to go round, we make sure our children and families are fed and clothed before ourselves. The right thing to do is to look to the welfare of others.

The scripture teaches that if we do not take care of our family members and relatives, we are worse than unbelievers.


1Ti 5:8  But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 
 

That new gadget you have your eye on is not more important than a new pair of shoes for a child.
A bottle of beer or a new TV are not as important as making sure your family is adequately clothed or fed.
It is a sad day when children prefer to shuffle their parents off into nursing homes and forget them, rather  than provide for them in other ways. It is a sad day when sisters and brothers do not financially help family members who have lost jobs or are without work.

In our text we see an obvious difference between Lot and Abraham.
Lot appears to be like the child who is offered the choice of two pieces of cake and always takes the biggest piece.
Or someone that chooses what appears to be the most attractive avenue to go down, or that which is most pleasing to the eye, which is not always the most beneficial route.
We find that with Lot’s choice.


10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. 

11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. 
 

Lot looked at the plain of Jordan and saw all the rich vegetation, with plenty of water, just like the garden of the Lord.
He must have thought his boat had come in, “I’ll have a bit of that”.
I like the bit that is inserted there,
“before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah”.
Lot didn’t know what was around the corner. Lot’s choice was going to bring him and his family a lot of heartache.

It is interesting how most sin comes our way because of the eyes.
Eve
saw that the fruit in the Garden of Eden was pleasant and so ate.
David
looked at Bathsheba and fell into sin.

The devil even tried it on with Jesus in the wilderness.

Mat 4:8  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 

Mat 4:9  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 
 

Jesus said “If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out”.

Sin is really of the heart, but my eye leads to sin, because I see I am tempted.
Jesus is teaching here the horrible nature of sin and its consequences.

He is teaching the importance of dealing with sin and getting rid of it.

He says in effect, "If the most precious thing you have is the cause of sin, get rid of it."
 

V10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan.

Proverbs 28:22 A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him.
Luke 11:34 "The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
Numbers 15:39 "It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot,
Proverbs 6:17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood,

 

This was to become the way of Lot’s life, which will bring him many problems in the following days.
Lot ends up dwelling in Sodom and Abraham has to step in to save him.
Lot made worldly choices that were not wise from God’s viewpoint and settled in a wicked city.


12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 

13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord. 


In Genesis 14: 1 - 17
Lot gets captured and Abraham has to step in again to save him.
He loses his wife,

When God sent the angels to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, whilst Lot and his family were fleeing, they were told not to look back. However, Lot’s wife did look back and became a pillar of salt.

He has children through incest with his daughters.

Genesis 19: Father-daughter incest near the town of Tzo'ar: In verses 30 to 38, describes how Lot's two daughters got their father drunk on wine, engaged in sexual intercourse with him on two successive nights, became pregnant, and eventually gave birth to two sons Moab and Benammi. Their sons are described as founding the Moabite and Ammonite nations.
Quite a mess!

 

On the other hand, Abraham trusted God.
12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan. The land of promise.

14 And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are--northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 

Here we see the difference between looking in our own strength and looking at what God wants. “The Lord said” Here is where the scripture comes into play.

Luke 11:34 "The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.

15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.

16 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. 
 

This would take great faith from Abraham to believe what God was saying. Here he was, an old 75 year old with no offspring and a barren wife.

We know from a later text that Abraham took God at His word and trusted in Him.
Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

17 Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you." 

18 Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the Lord.
 

Metaphysical meaning of Hebron
Hebron, he'-bron (Heb.)--united; joined together; conjunction; cemented; welded; bound by a common bond; friendship; brotherhood; company; community; confederation; league; alliance.

The basic meaning is “Fellowship”

The final destination of Abram was Hebron. Hebrew meaning, (Fellowship).

This is the place where God wanted Abraham.

This is also the place where God wants each one of us. Not just in Bethel (The house of God) but in Hebron, (Fellowship) fellowship with other believers, living and functioning in the Body of Christ, making the right choices for our lives, in our families, our work, our leisure and amongst the brethren.

We can find out to make the right choices for our lives by reading God’s word, which is God’s will for us.

Read Understanding the Will of God. Blog 47

https://jeffreyunsworth.wixsite.com/teleiosbibleblogs/thewillofman

 

 

 

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