Genesis 13 
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Genesis 13

Read Genesis 13:1-18

Abram and Lot went up out of Egypt as Pharaoh had told them to leave.  When they settled, the land was not big enough for Lot and Abram and it was causing strife between the two groups.  Abram didn't want conflict so he said to Lot in verse 8 and 9, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” Lot saw that the Jordan valley was well watered like the garden of the Lord and Egypt, so he chose the better land. He moved his tent all the way to Sodom (men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD). 

God then tells Abram to look to the North, South, West and East and says that he will give him all of this land to your offspring.  He says He will make Abrams offspring as many as the dust of the earth.  Verse 18: So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.

Notice that Abram and Lot were greatly blessed so much that there wasn't enough land for both of them to settle and there was strife between the two groups of people. Matthew Henry's commentary says, "Abram shows himself to be a man of cool spirit, that had the command of his passion, and knew how to turn away wrath by a soft answer." Abram was fine letting Lot choose, which means he was content with what the Lord had blessed him with.  He also trusted that the Lord would provide and guide him no matter where he went. 

Lot on the other hand was eager to choose the land that would allow him to grow, not consulting the wisdom of God. His interests were independant of God.  He was selfish in two regards, not asking God, and not being concerned about his Uncle.  Lot continued all the way to Sodom.  "All the way" leads me to believe that he could have settled before he came to the wicked people of Sodom.  I imagine there was something more enticing about Sodom, one that was for worldly gain. He did not care that the people of Sodom did not believe or care about knowing God.  I wonder if he thought he could stay out of their sin while living amongst them. 

Isn't it interesting how God then reminds Abram of his promise after this incident? The first thing Abram does is build an altar to the Lord.  This is evidence that Abram put God first in his life.  

Strife is guaranteed to come upon us.  This is inevitable and especially amongst loved ones.  We should take the example of Abram by solving the problem with a soft answer, consulting God's Word.  Lot on the other hand gives an example of the selfish, independent man, who seeks the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and lust of the eyes. 

Turn to John 2:16
For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world.

Lot's perspective in choosing was based on a worldly gain.  Isn't it interesting that he was already abundantly rich?  However, he still wanted more.  The world will satisfy the flesh for a brief time.  It's a temporary fix, and it always runs out.  Only God can give you food and water for the soul that will never run out.  God's word is your food and water.  If you aren't filling your soul with God's word, then you will be hungry and thirsty.  That's why all people seek out more land, more possessions, more sex, more food, more wine, more relationship, more shopping, more school, etc etc.  These things are not bad things, as God freely gave them to us to enjoy, but they do not satisfy the depths of the soul.  These things are temporary as we will all face the same after one day.  

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
Isaiah 55:1-3

Matthew Henry Commentary:
Passion and selfishness make men rude. Lot looked to the goodness of the land; therefore he doubted not that in such a fruitful soil he should certainly thrive. But what came of it? Those who, in choosing relations, callings, dwellings, or settlements, are guided and governed by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, or the pride of life, cannot expect God's presence or blessing.
Next week: We will study Genesis 14.  We will see how Lot gets taken away captive and Abram gathers soldiers to retrieve him.
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