Abraham Part 3


A study

Part 3

The love of money is the root of all evil. (1Tim. 6: 10)

In Part 2 of this study we saw a time of failure and recovery occurring in the life of Abraham. In this present part (Gen.13: 1-11) we see a time of failure occurring in the life of Lot. But this was the first step of a continuous no return path of backsliding in the life of Lot. Such a path ultimately took him to a state of sorrow and shame on the darker side of a mount in Gen.19. At the same time Abraham was in the presence of the Lord, and had the privilege of conversing with Him as a “friend of God.”

The first step of Lot’s backsliding as we see in this section of Scripture, is that of SEPARATION from Abraham.

Separation is not pleasing to God. God desires unity among His people. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! …for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psa.133) A sanctioned relationship with others with whom we are one in Christ is what the Bible calls fellowship. It is one of the greatest privileges the Christian enjoys. Our relationship with fellow believers is also one of the main ways in which God speaks to and deals with us. Often He says about us through others what we would prefer not to hear. An added tragedy is that the flesh reacts more strongly against those with whom we have the closest relationship, our brethren in the faith, than against those who are outside the fold of church. If we are not willing to mortify the flesh it leads to Separation among the brethren. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: … enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, …and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Rom.8: 13, Gal.5: 20,21)

The enemy works through our flesh and breaks the unity and forces us into Separations, which results in great spiritual loss.

Gen.13: 2 Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. Gen. 24: 35 And the LORD had blessed Abraham greatly; and he had become great: for He had given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. In Gen.13: 5 we read that Lot also, who went with Abraham, had flocks, and herds, and tents. In a subtle way, covetousness was brewing in the heart of Lot. This hidden desire for accumulating wealth separately for himself became more conspicuously manifested later on in his life. The enemy also started working through their herdsmen. The Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. (Gen.13: 7) Probably the enemy, using the looks, the comments and the behaviour of these surrounding ungodly people added fuel to their strife.

But Abraham didn’t want a quarrel between him and Lot, especially in front of those people. And Abraham said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. (Gen.13: 8,9) This was a sincere attempt made by Abraham to avoid any untoward incident and the resultant spiritual losses.

But Lot did not make use of this opportunity to mend matters and strengthen the relationship with Abraham. Immediately, Lot lifted up his eyes to look for and chose the land where he would go, after separating from Abraham. It appears as if Lot had already made up his mind to go away from the fellowship of Abraham. Lot not only had covetousness in his heart, but also the desire to be independent and to go on in his own way. In other words Lot was not prepared to overcome and vanquish his flesh. Thus it consummated in the separation.

We, as children of God should always beware of covetousness, desire to be independent, self-exaltation and self-righteousness prowling within us. Satan will be able to find an easy way to harden our hearts, bring about divisions and spiritual ruin. As brethren we may do our best to avoid any strife among us. But the enemy may start working through our children, relatives or friends (herdsmen). Through the onlookers and bystanders (The Canaanite and the Perizzite) the enemy indirectly may add fuel to the strife and bring about divisions.

So the divisions or separations show that we are not willing to deal with our flesh. If we do not destroy the works of the flesh we will not be fit to stand before our Lord Jesus Christ at the time of His glorious return and enter in to His coming Kingdom. Our position will be on the darker side of that that coming Kingdom of great glory and power.

[To Part 2] Lessons on Abraham [To Part 4]