November 13, 2017
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Next in the Two… series is two relatives, the two choices these two relatives made, and the two outcomes of their two choices!
• Who are the two relatives? Uncle Abraham and Nephew Lot!
✡ Abraham (known as Abram in Genesis 13) was the chief patriarch of Israel! (See Romans 4:16). Here is the promise God gave him in Genesis 12:1 through 3 when He called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees:
Get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father’s house,
to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless
you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless
those who bless you, and I will cures him who curses you; and in you all
the families of the earth shall be blessed.
✡ Lot was Abraham’s nephew. According to Genesis 11:27, he was the son of Haran, Abraham’s brother. We are told in Genesis 12:4 that “…Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him….”
• Two choices that these two relatives made — First, we have to look at a choice Abraham made, recorded in Genesis 12:10: “Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there….” Apparently, Lot accompanied him (see Genesis 13:1). When they returned some time later to Canaan, they had both grown so wealthy that they could not dwell in the same area because of needed grazing for their large flocks and herds (see Genesis 13:2, 5, 6).
✡ Abraham’s decision (Genesis 13:8 and 9) – “So Abram said to Lot, ‘Please let there be no strife between you and me….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.” This was very magnanimous of the older man! In that culture, age took precedence, and Abraham should have had first choice!
✡ Lot’s choice – Part of our featured Scripture, Genesis 13:10 and 11, tells us this:
And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well
watered everywhere…like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt
….Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan….”
Why was Lot attracted to the plain of Jordan?
▸ “…it was well watered everywhere….” – It looked to be a good pasture land for his flocks and herds! According to Genesis 13:6 through 8: “Now the land was not able to support them…. And there was strife between the herds-men of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock.” They both needed good pasture, not arguments and fighting over grazing rights!
▸ “…like the garden of the LORD….” – According to Genesis 5:1 though 32 and 11:1 through 27, there were 21 generations from Adam to Lot. (In Luke 3:34 through 38, 22 generations are listed). The story of the garden of the LORD (the garden of Eden) and it’s paradisical environment, had been passed down generation to generation. The plain of Jordan reminded Lot of this tradition!
▸ “…like the land of Egypt….” – There was something else that drew Abraham’s nephew. The plain of Jordan, especially south of what is now the Dead Sea, reminded Lot of the fertile Nile Valley in Egypt!
➨ Now Egypt in the Bible has always represented the Godless world – a place from which God called out His own people unto Himself! (See Exodus 20:2; Matthew 2:15). And He did not want His people to return there! (See Deuteronomy 17:16).
➨ There was a cigarette jingle on TV years ago that went like this: “You can take Salem out of the country, But – you can’t take the country out of Salem!” In Abram’s nephew’s case – “You can take Lot out of Egypt, But – you can’t take Egypt out of Lot! ” He must have enjoyed his stay in this worldly country, and wanted to replicate that experience!
It is not easy to change our original mind-set that is based on the world! A follower of Jesus Christ must work hard to change his or her world view to that of God’s! Such a world view has a head start of sometimes many years before we come to Christ. In my case it was 19 years. What is the chief tool for this endeavor? It is the Bible! For it says in II Timothy 3:15 and 16:
All Scripture is by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of
God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The Bible shows us the mind of God revealed through our Lord Jesus! And Paul pleads with us in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” (See I Corinthians 2:16). Such a mind-set is in direct opposition from that of the world’s! This opposition Paul had in mind when he penned Romans 12:2: “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (See also I John 2:15-17; 4:5, 6). No wonder the apostle wrote in Colossians 3:16, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly….” For the Holy Spirit will apply to our hearts and lives the living words of Scripture (see Hebrews 4:12) to “…transform…[us] into the same image [of Christ – see Romans 8:29] from glory to glory…” – more and more becoming like the Son of God!
We will continue this vignette of Abraham and Lot in our next blog on Wednesday.