Abram Had a Lot to Lose
1Abram took his wife and all that he owned, and left Egypt. They returned to the southern desert region, and Lot went with them.
2Now Abram had become very rich # 13:2 Or “weighty” or “heavy.” in livestock, silver, and gold. 3And he journeyed on from place to place as far as the hill country region of Bethel. He returned to the place between Bethel and Ai where he had pitched his tent at the beginning. 4This was the place he had first built an altar to pray and worship Yahweh. # 13:4 Or “he called on the name of Yahweh.” Abram went back to the first altar he had built to commune with this God who had made promises to him. There are times we, too, need to go back to our beginnings in order to recapture our “first love” for Jesus before we can move forward. See Rev. 2:3–4.
5Now Lot, who accompanied Abram, was also rich and had accumulated flocks, herds, family, and servants. # 13:5 Or, literally, “tents,” meaning those who camped with Lot. 6-7Arguments erupted between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen because the land could not support both living together, for their animals and possessions were too numerous. At that time, Canaanites and Perizzites were also in the land. # 13:6–7 The implication is that grazing rights were in dispute between all four parties (Abraham, Lot, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites).
8So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not quarrel with each other, or between our herdsmen, since we are relatives. 9Look at the vast land that is in front of you! Let’s settle in different regions. If you choose the land on the left, then I’ll go right, and if you want land on the right, then I’ll go left.”
10Lot lifted his eyes and carefully surveyed the land around him # 13:10 Or “Lot lifted up his eyes.” When Abram offered the choice to Lot, he should have said, “Uncle, I choose you. God is with you. My choice is your choice.” Every young person likes to be separated from the older generation. Lot missed the will of God by separating from the called one, Abram. There is protection, covering, and anointing when we walk with those who walk with God. Our flesh would rather “do it on our own,” but God’s way is to walk in fellowship with called ones. The meaning of Lot is “covert,” “secret,” or “concealed.” Everything about Lot was hidden away in his heart. Compromise was a way of life for him. The secret tug of the world drew him away from the place of blessing. He had never really left Ur; he was still an idolater at heart. When he chose the rich plains, he was looking for the closest thing that resembled Egypt. He chose what would please him without considering the consequences. Lot’s possessions were eventually burned in the fires of judgment, and he ended up living in a cave. all the way to Zoar. He noticed that the Jordan Valley was fertile and well-watered (this was before Yahweh had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). It looked beautiful, like the garden of Yahweh, or like Egypt. 11So Lot chose to settle in the Jordan Valley. He departed toward the east, and the family split up and separated from each other. 12Abram settled in the land of Canaan while Lot settled in the cities of the lowlands, at a place # 13:12 Or “pitched his tent.” near Sodom. 13Now, the people of Sodom were extremely wicked and rebelled against Yahweh.
God Speaks Promises to Abram
14After Lot separated from him, # 13:14 Although the New Testament describes Lot as “righteous” (2 Peter 2:7–8), Scripture portrays him as an object lesson of one who compromised his faith by wanting both to follow Yahweh and to love this present world. See Luke 17:28–32. It appears that God waited until Abram and Lot finally separated before giving Abram further blessings. Through the life of Abram, we learn that separation brings revelation. Abram separated from (1) his country, (2) his relatives, (3) Egypt, (4) Lot, (5) his desire to get wealth (see Gen. 14), (6) Ishmael (see Gen. 21), and (7) from his beloved son, Isaac (see Gen. 22). These seven separations brought revelation, encounters, blessings, miracles, and inheritance. Yahweh spoke to Abram, “Lift up your eyes and look around you to the north, the south, the east, and the west. 15As far as you can see in every direction is the land that I will give to you forever—to you and your seed. 16I will multiply them until they are as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth. If anyone could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could also be counted. 17Now, get up and walk through the land—its length and its breadth. All the land you walk upon will be my gift to you!” # 13:17 See Josh. 24:3–4.
18Abram moved his camp and settled by the oaks of Mamre, # 13:18 Mamre means “fatness.” It is a picture of the strength of God’s anointing and the weighty glory of the Lord. Mamre was located about three miles north of Hebron. It was the site of a pagan shrine, but Abram reclaimed it for Yahweh and erected an altar there to the true God. which are at Hebron, # 13:18 Hebron means “to unite [in fellowship].” The modern Arabic name for Hebron is al-Halil er-Rahman, meaning “friend of the Merciful One,” a reference to Abraham, the friend of God. and there he built another altar to Yahweh.
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Abram and Lot Part Ways
1So Abram went up out of Egypt into the Negev—he and his wife and all his possessions—and Lot was with him. 2And Abram had become extremely wealthy in livestock and silver and gold.
3From the Negev he journeyed from place to place toward Bethel, until he came to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly been pitched, 4to the site where he had built the altar. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord.
5Now Lot, who was traveling with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. 6But the land was unable to support both of them while they stayed together, for they had so many possessions that they were unable to coexist. 7And there was discord between the herdsmen of Abram and the herdsmen of Lot. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were also living in the land.
8So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no contention between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen. After all, we are brothers. 9Is not the whole land before you? Now separate yourself from me. If you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.”
Lot Proceeds toward Sodom
10And Lot looked out and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan, all the way to Zoar, was well watered like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11So Lot chose the whole plain of the Jordan for himself and set out toward the east. And Abram and Lot parted company.
12Abram lived in the land of Canaan, but Lot settled in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13But the men of Sodom were wicked, sinning greatly against the Lord.
God Renews the Promise to Abram
14After Lot had departed, the Lord said to Abram, “Now lift up your eyes from the place where you are, and look to the north and south and east and west, 15for all the land that you see, I will give to you and your offspring forever.#13:15 Cited in Galatians 3:16
16I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if one could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. 17Get up and walk around the land, through its length and breadth, for I will give it to you.”
18So Abram moved his tent and went to live near the Oaks #13:18 Or Terebinths or Great Trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord.
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