Part 2: Patriarchs: Called Out, Abraham Week 2 (Genesis 13 Overview)

Welcome back to our study on the book of Genesis! We are continuing our study of the Patriarch Abraham.

Last week’s study ended with Abraham being sent away from Egypt because he had deceived the Pharaoh concerning his wife Sarai. In verse 1 of chapter 13, Abraham, Sarai, and all that he had with him, including Lot, went up from Egypt back to the southern part of Canaan. Abraham gained greater wealth while being in Egypt due to the Pharaoh giving him additional livestock (Gen. 12: 16). Abraham was not only rich in livestock, but rich in gold and silver (v. 2). Abraham continued through southern Canaan returning to where he had pitched his tent when he first entered Canaan. He was back in the same exact spot, under the same exact tree between Bethel and Ai (v. 3), and by the same altar he had built previously (v. 4).

Lot had his own flocks and herds, along with tents to house his family and servants (v. 5). We don’t know how many people and animals were in this location between Bethel and Ai, but it was more than what the land could support creating a problem for feeding the grazing animals (vv. 6 & 7). Essentially, they were crowded, plus the Canaanites and Perizzites dwelt in the same area, and could see weakness in Abram and his family and attack. Too many people, too many animals, too many squabbles between the herdsman of Abram and Lot. Somebody had to leave and set up stakes elsewhere if they were to live in the land of Canaan peacefully.

Abram, seeing their dilemma, spoke up and suggested a solution (v. 8 & 9). Very graciously, he allowed his nephew to choose the land he wished to settle.  Canaan had been given to Abraham and his descendants, and he was willing to allow Lot first choice to receive what appeared to be the best fertile land for the sake of family harmony, when first choice should have gone to Abram. If we are truthful, most of us would not have given first choice to Lot. We would have taken the choicest land for ourselves and given the leftovers to Lot. Abraham wasn’t at all concerned about who got the best (v. 9), he wanted peace and to maintain the family relationship between himself and his nephew. He was willing to go to either the land on the left or the land on the right (v. 9), after all, all the land before him and Lot belonged to him by God’s decree of promise. There was plenty of land to share. F. B. Meyer puts it this way: “But, above all, it was BASED ON FAITH. His {Abram’s} faith was beginning to realize its true position; and, like a fledgling, to spread its wings for further and further flights. Had not God pledged Himself to take care of him, and to give him an inheritance? There was no fear, therefore, that Lot could every rob him of that which was guaranteed to him by the faithfulness of God. And he preferred a thousand times over, that choose for him, than that he should choose for himself.”1

Lot looked at the land before them, and the plain of Jordan caught his eye. This is the area that surrounded the Jordan River as it flowed through the area. Scripture tells us it was well-watered and undoubtedly, very luscious and green since the writer chose to compare it to the Garden of Eden, and to the rich fertile land of Egypt which surrounded the Nile River. Like the Nile River in Egypt which overflowed its banks in the rainy season and emptied silt over the land along the banks of the river fertilizing and watering the land, the Jordan did the same thing. Zoar was a location in the area of the Jordan River and was a boundary position of the extent of the reach of fertile land. Lot chose the plain surrounding the Jordan and moved his herds, servants, and family to the area (v. 11).

Since Lot chose to live to the east in the plain of the Jordan, the remaining land to the west of the Jordan is where Abram would dwell (v. 12). Lot poorly chose to live near Sodom before knowing fully what type of people dwelt there. Scripture tells us the men in the area were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD (v. 13), and in Genesis 19 we’ll study more closely the consequences of Lot’s poor choice. What appealed to the eyes (flesh) was actually bad for the spirit. Lot failed to consult the LORD which is a picture of what we as Christians do. We allow what appeals to our eyes to determine which way we are to go much more often than taking the time to consult with God on the path we should tread.

After Lot left his uncle’s side, the LORD talked to Abram. He tells Abram to look at the land before him in all directions. The land was Abram’s, and it would be given to his descendants forever (vv. 14-15). Abram continued to listen as the LORD continued to share His promise with Abram. I wonder what went through Abram’s mind as the LORD, Yahweh, told him his descendants would be as the dust of the earth which is impossible to number, and if it was possible to number his descendants then they would be as plentiful as the dust of the earth (v.15). This was an incredible promise because Abram and Sarai were still childless. But Abram didn’t correct God or protest against the LORD’s proclamation. He continued to listen as the LORD commanded him to get up and walk about the land which God had given him. Abram was to walk its length and width to see what the LORD had richly blessed him with both in the present and generationally. Abram must had found a more pleasant place to settle because in verse 18 Scripture tells us Abram moved his tent to be under the alon (some versions say terebinth) trees of Mamre which is in the Hebron region of the promised land. Abram showed his gratitude for the LORD’s provision because he built another altar to the LORD in this place (v.18).

What a contrast Abram made in comparison to Lot who chose to follow his own desires. Abram waited upon the LORD. He listened to the LORD’s counsel, and Abram depended upon God’s promise. We would be wise to do the same. God has given us His counsel in His Word to follow. It is His promise to those who know His Son, Jesus. Wait upon the LORD.

 

Homework assignment for next week:

Scripture Reading: Genesis 14

Suggested Scripture Memorization:

And he blessed him and said:

“Blessed be Abram of the God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”

And he gave him a title of all.    Genesis 14:19-20, NKJV

Questions:

1.List the kings in verse 1 and their locations.

2.List the kings in verse 2 and their locations.

3.What happened between the 2 sets of kings listed in verses 1 and 2?

4.Where did they gather for war?

5.What happens in verses 5 and 6?

6.What happens in verse 7? Who were the Amalekites? Amorites? Who were they possibly the descendants of? (See if you can research this—Yes, I’m making you do research this time.)

7.What kings joined together in the battle in the Valley of Siddim?

8.Who were they against? Verse 9 gives us the ratio of kings against the other set of kings. Based off this information who seems more likely to win the battle?

9.What was/is in the Valley of Siddim? Which kings fled? What happened to them?

10.Who is the “they” in verse 11? What did they do?

11.Who did they take?

12.Who told Abram? What do you know about this person from verse 13?

13.What did Abram do? How many from his household did he gather together to rescue Lot?

14.Where did they divide their group? What time of day was it? How far were they pursued by Abram? What town was near this place?

15.Verse 16 tells us that Abram’s group was successful. Who and what did they bring back?

16.Who met Abram at the Valley of Shaveh?

17.Who was the king of Salem? What did he bring out to Abram?

18.What does verse 18 tell us about the position of the king of Salem?

19.Write down Melchizedek/s blessing over Abram.

20.What did he give Abram?

21.The king of Sodom is mentioned again in verse 21. What does he tell Abram?

22.What does Abram tell the king of Sodom in verse 22? Abram tells the king he will take _________________. Why did Abram tell him this? What did Abram want to be all that he took from the king of Sodom?

23.What did Abram want given to Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre?

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Notes Cited:

1Meyer, F.B., Abraham. Christian Literature Crusade: Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 1983, p.44.

For Further Information:

The Extent of the Promised Land:
https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/genesis-13-14.html

Modern-day Jordan River:
https://www.britannica.com/place/Jordan-River

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About LatanyaWagner

I'm a homeschooling mom of 3. Originally from Georgia, where I grew up learning about the value of hard work while living on a farm, I now live near Charlotte, NC, working hard to raise a family who loves and honors God. I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Architectural Engineering and a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Ministry. I'm also an aspiring writer and speaker. My first novel, 'Mending Hearts,' is available on Amazon. 'Unfailing Hearts,' my second novel, is also now available on Amazon. Sometime in the near future, I hope to have my third novel uploaded on Amazon for your reading pleasure.
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