Genesis 13:1-18 Abram and Lot Separate CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this chapter, Abram and Lot returned to Canaan, after sojourning during the famine down in Egypt. They ended up back at the place where they first settled (1-4). But they were much wealthier than when they had departed to escape the drought. The apparent love for the increased wealth revealed some problems in Lot’s character that ended up eventually destroying his entire family in Sodom (Gen. 19). In this lesson we see the perils of:
- Accumulating too much wealth;
- Striving with brethren;
- Walking by sight;
- Traveling eastward;
- Settling in wicked cities;
After Lot separated from Abram, God reaffirmed His promise to Abram that his seed would inherit the land in which he dwelt. Yet, this time God added that Abram’s seed would become as plentiful as the dust of the earth. In Gen. 22:17, God expanded on this similarity and said that he would multiply Abraham’s seed as the stars of heaven and the sand of the sea shore.
Perils of Accumulating Too Much Wealth
Wealth in and of itself is not bad. However, it is possible to get so much that you forget God gave it to you and you end up in Hell, or at the least worldly. Remember that Lot and Abram gathered these possessions down in Egypt, a type of the world. Just look at a few of the many negative references to money and possessions in the Bible:
- Trust in riches sent the rich young ruler to Hell (Lk. 18:18-25);
- Covetousness sent the foolish farmer to Hell (Lk. 12:15-21);
- Worldliness put Demas out of the ministry (2 Tim. 4:10);
- Extreme wealth caused Israel to forget God and go into idolatry (Deut. 8:10-20);
- Covetousness caused Achan and his family to die (Jos. 7:10-26);
- Increased goods made the Laodicean church become lukewarm (Rev. 3:16-17).
Paul warned that rich Christians were subject to err from the faith and pierce themselves through with many sorrows (1 Tim. 6:10). He charged them to “not be highminded nor trust in uncertain riches” (1 Tim. 6:17). Abram doesn’t appear to have gotten into trouble with his wealth. But Lot chased prosperity all the way to Sodom and wound up losing most of his family and all of his earthly possessions.
Perils of Striving with Brethren
In verses 7 and 8, Abram seemed to be concerned about his testimony before the Canaanites and the Perizzites. He didn’t want them to see relatives bickering over land.
The Bible warns against strife and discord among brethren (Rom 13:13, 1 Cor. 3:3, Phil. 2:3, Jas. 3:14-16). In this case, God used the strife to get Lot away from Abram, which is what he originally commanded (Gen. 12:1).
Because Abram was more generous than Lot, he let Lot choose where he would graze his flocks and cattle and then Abram took the other place. As it turns out, God’s promise to Abram’s seed resulted in a possession that exceeded Lot’s descendants by about four times (compare the possession of Israel to that of Ammon and Moab, Lot’s offspring).
Perils of Walking by Sight
It was what Lot “saw” that attracted him to the plain of Jordan (v.10). There was nothing of faith in his choice, at all. Notice that it reminded him of the “land of Egypt,” which is a type of the lure that the world has on Christians who don’t walk by faith (2 Cor. 5:7). Eve sinned after she “saw” the tree; Achan sinned after he “saw” the cursed things; Christians sin when they follow the “lust of the eyes,” (1 Jn. 2:16).
Perils of Traveling Eastward
Throughout the Bible, the wrong way to travel is west-to-east. The sun, which is a type of the Lord (Ps. 19), travels east-to-west. So, God blesses travel in this direction. Here are some examples:
- Abram went east-to-west from Ur to Canaan;
- Lot went west-to-east from Canaan to Sodom and Gomorrah;
- Jesus will enter east-to-west into Jerusalem at the 2nd Advent (Zech. 14:4);
- Jesus entered Jerusalem on the colt from east-to-west (Matt. 21:1-8);
- Paul was forbidden to go west-to-east in Acts 16:6-7;
- The Jews entered Canaan east-to-west (Jos. 3-4).
Perils of Settling in Wicked Cities
Cities full of wicked sinners have a pull on the flesh and, in this case, they pulled Lot all the way into the city council. Notice the progression, he:
- Beheld (v.10);
- Chose (v.11);
- Journeyed east (v.11);
- Pitched his tent toward Sodom(v.12);
- Dwelt in Sodom (14:12);
- Sat in the gate of Sodom (19:1).
Lot chose the city life of a man-made city, while Abram “looked for a city … whose builder and maker is God,” (Heb. 11:10). Lot “vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds,” (2 Pet. 2:8), while Abraham became the “heir of the world,” (Rom. 4:13).