Iron Sharpens Iron: Life-to-Life® Mentoring in the Old Testament

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


Day 1: Abraham and Lot

Abraham provides us with one of the earliest examples of mentoring in the Old Testament. He walked alongside his nephew Lot, who followed him out of their hometown, Ur, to a new land promised by God. 

From the outset, Abraham was a mentor by example. Lot looked on as Abraham met with, heard from, and spoke to God. He watched how Abraham built altars to the Lord, who had appeared to him. Lot observed how Abraham was desperately dependent upon God, in whom he would come to put his trust as well.

As the Lord prospered them both, there came a time when the land couldn’t support each of their flocks, herds, and tents, and so they had to split. Graciously, Abraham invited Lot to select where he wanted to settle first, and Abraham settled elsewhere.

Notice how Abraham kept an eye out for his nephew. He came to his rescue when Lot found himself engulfed in a crisis, and he intensely interceded on behalf of Lot and his family when another crisis arose.  

What practical lessons in life-to-life mentoring can we take away from this relationship? First, do not underestimate the power of personal example! By your example, you are a mentor to many, particularly those with whom you’re walking alongside most closely. 

Second, we have to let those whom we mentor chart their own course. We’ll have only so much time with them, and we must release them into God’s care for the long haul. Sometimes they may make unwise, even tragic choices (Genesis 19:8, 33,34). At the same time, we never fully let them go. We remain ready to be used by God to speak truth into their lives, to do all we can to help them live long, fruitful lives in the Lord.