Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
CHAPTERS 13 and 14
Vs. 1-2 So Abraham, along with his clan and servants left Egypt and soon he became a very wealthy man
From Negev he ended in Bethel and there he built an altar “called on the Lord.”
Vs. 5-13 Lot, Abraham’s nephew grew in number and wealth as well. His servants started having quarrels with his uncle’s servants. Abraham decided to that the best solution is for Lot to move out. He generously allowed Lot to have the first dibs. “If you go to the left, I will go to the right.” Lot chose the eastern portion that looked lush, “like the garden of the Lord,” which meant they still knew where Eden was and how it looked like! However, the land he chose was close to Sodom. Abraham stayed in Canaan.
Vs. 14-18 God now confirms His promised land to Abraham. As far as his eye can see to the north, south, east and west, God appointed the land for Abraham. He also affirmed that his descendants will be as numerous as the “dust of the earth.”
1. God is faithful. He is true to His promises. When Abraham obeyed God, his wealth was multiplied. God provided earthly blessings to Abraham’s obedience. Abraham did not know it then, but he was to be the Father of Israel, the line from which the Messiah will come. In this regard his descendants include those of us who will believe and follow this Messiah. Therefore, his descendants all thru generations are truly more than the number of sand so to speak.
2. Another principle here is that it is okay to part ways with someone you love to avoid conflict, or at least not be in the close proximity.
1. I have to learn to TRUST and OBEY God. He takes care and uses the people whose hearts are truly His.
2. I have to be wise about the handling conflict – be unafraid to “lose” the person to avoid conflict. Many times, this is the only way to preserve a relationship.
GENESIS 14: Abraham rescues Lot and honors Melchizedek
Vs. 1-12 These verses made my head spin. There were too many kings and kingdoms fighting and making alliances to fight against each other. The only thing that made sense was that the kingdom where Lot, Abraham’s cousin was living was living in Sodom, one of the warring kingdoms. Sodom lost in the fight, and as the custom the winner gets to take home the losers to be their slaves, and their possessions becomes their loot.
Vs. 13-16 A man who escaped the battle somehow made it to Abraham’s place and he told him about what happened to his nephew. Abraham called 318 (not 319!) men from among his clan and pursued those who took off with Lot. The long and short of it he was successful in recovering Lot along with his clan, servants and possession. Perhaps Abraham even returned home with more – the verse mentioned him recovering “women and other people.” His pursuit of his relative made him an ally to those who lost the battle which include Sodom and Salem. These kings sought him to seal the deal.
Vs. 17-20 The king of Salem, Melchizedek was described as the “priest of the Most High.” This king/priest blest Abraham, and in return Abraham gave him a tithe – tenth of the loot he recovered from the war.
The king of Sodom was not as unselfish. He asked Abraham to give the prisoners of war, and he can keep the stuff or goods.
Vs. 23- 24 God refused to accept anything from the king of Sodom lest he say later on the he’s the reason why Abraham became rich. However, he recommended that the Aner, Eshkol and Mamre keep their fair share.
1. Lot realized now that making a decision solely based on material wealth does not guarantee peaceful and comfortable life. He now gets embroiled in the wars and disputes between kingdoms surrounding the place where he chose to live.
2. It is good to have great connections – esp. God. Abraham, Lot’s uncle came to his rescue. Because God was with Abraham (even Melchizedek said so), Lot was saved along with loved ones and he even all his possessions. I think this is pretty remarkable. I am sure this is not an exaggeration. I can imagine Lot’s wife counting his china or silverware and happily concluding not one teaspoon was lost! When God saves, he saves completely!
3. Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High who acknowledged the God that Abraham serves proves that there are other peoples who acknowledges and worships Jehovah. God takes notes of everyone who worships and serves Him.
3. Was this the first time tithing started? Abraham gave his tithe to a priest – a servant of the Lord.
4. When Abraham declined the loot from the king of Sodom, he demonstrated his complete and utter trust in God to provide for him and his family. He did not want anybody to rob God of the glory.
1. Several times the writer of the Genesis mentioned the tribes living around the places where Abraham and Lot chose to settle (or where God made them settle). It pays to pay attention one’s surrounding and be aware of the lurking dangers and temptations. Lot was simply focused on the wealth of the land and failed to realize that by choosing the land where he settled, he had placed himself right smack in the center of ungodly territory full of sin and strife.
Making decisions based solely on material wealth is not how God wants us determined where to go and what to do. In Abraham’s case, he packed up and left to settle in a new place he did not immediately know where. He was not sure if it will be in a barren, dessert place. For sure Abraham’s decision to move was based only on the fact that the God told him to go – surely not because he was promised wealth and comfort although he ended up with greater wealth in the end!
2. Abraham gave his tithes to the priest of the Most High. I must take care to share a portion of what God gives to those who serve Him.
3. It was so easy for Abraham to accept the loot that the king of Sodom was offering him as God’s provision. He probably knew in his spirit that the king of Sodom is not really pro-God and his motives unclean. He wisely protected himself for any future conflict or snide from him. What he said allowed him to testify to the king of Sodom about His God who faithfully and abundantly provided all His needs.
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