To: en & others
From: Su Min
Subject: Lot & Abram
The tale of Abram and Lot is recorded for us in Genesis 13,14. Abram was wealthy. A great agricultural pool must have been accumulated in Egypt. Abram moves North till he reaches his altar between Bethel and Ai, and in reverence, Abram worships God. (Gen 13:4).
What does this tell us? Should we not pause and worship God as we reach our own Bethel & Ai? I think we should! These are our markerpoints in life: a birthday, Christmas, Easter, New Year, an anniversary, passing a test, an exam, any significant life event: we make a little mental altar, pause and worship God, calling out his name: if we are lost for words we can read a psalm, a passage from the old testament, the gospels, the letters, anywhere where we can find His Word that helps us reach up to Him, to hear his voice and feel his presence. For example, we shall end today's sharing with Psalm 84: we will look at it at the end of this text: so for the while, back to Gen 13:5-13.
We see that quarrels develop despite or because of the riches of agricultural wealth that have resulted in so many animals to look after. The small area of land cannot support that number of animals Gen 13:6, and it would seem quarrelsome herdsmen are about to start civil war (Gen 13:7). Oh, the fallen nature of man: in the face of a generous bounty from God, not gratitude but cannot live in peace and must quarrel.
Curiously he addresses Lot as his "brother", perhaps in old fashioned Aramaic that means "ka kilang (hokkien)" or "chia ren (putonghua)" Strong's Concordance lists the word in Gen 13:8 as "brethren", reference number 251, "ach" pronounced "awkh" being a primitive word "brother" used in the widest sense of literal relationship and metaphorical affinity and resemblance.
Abram decides to maintain peace by parting company, and generously offers his nephew the first choice of whether to go right or left (Gen 13:9). Lot sees that the whole plain of Jordan was well watered, and in spite of the proximity to Sodom, selects that area (Gen 13:11).
It was known that Sodom was a wicked area (Gen 13:13) How sinful Sodom was is re-emphasised in Gen 18:20, Gen 19:5. We know that human nature is "monkey see, monkey do". There is a greater temptation to fall into temptation if we place ourselves in tempting places. Part of learning to walk the straight and narrow path is learning to avoid the slippery slopes: If we need more lessons we can look at the prodigal son: If we realise we have a drinking problem, we should avoid going to bars, we should avoid drinking alcohol at parties and at home etc. Anyway, that was the choice of Lot and Abram accepted that choice and took the remaining land.
In Gen 13: 14-17 God reaffirms his promise to Abram, and delineates the area of the promise: As far as the eye can see, North, South, East, West. Abram is instructed to walk the length and breadth of this land (Gen 13:17). And how many descendants does God promise Abram? One for each dot of dust on the earth Gen 13:16. A nice comparison is seen in Gen 15:5, one for each star in the sky!
Having accepted Lot's choice, Abram moves to Hebron, a great place in OT history, and a place made notorious by the massacre of Palestinians by Jewish zealot in 1994! Abram builds an altar to the Lord. Markerpoints.
Let us end today's time together by reading Psalm 84. Read it softly. Read it aloud. Read it again. Dwell on thought and meditation upon verse by verse.
- So the main lesson for me is markerpoints. At significant points in our life, stop to worship God and give thanks and praise Him.
- Second point: stay away from trouble. If we play with fire we will get burnt. If we dabble with sin we will fall. The converse is to stick to the straight and narrow, and depend on God for guidance and for strength.
- The third point we can learn is to see how wonderfully God provides for Abram, and how wonderfully God provides for us.
- The fourth point is to see how faithful God is: He makes a promise and He keeps it. God never fails.
Vs 1, vs. 2 become precious prayers for us to use as we reach our marker points (Baca is a valley of weeping, named so because it was a dry desolate infertile place: but behold, with the presence of God it becomes well irrigated, springs of fresh water, pools fill up with water from of autumn rain.)
I will refrain from expounding verse by verse of this psalm with you today: I do enjoy this psalm. Use it and let God fresh you through his word. Amen!
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