Gen. 13: Coming Out with Egypt’s Spoil. In this chapter, Abraham is ejected from Egypt under the reproach of Pharoah but at the same time is greatly blessed in wealth and substance. What do you expect for yourselves when you make a mistake or commit an outright sin? God doesn’t look on these things as we do – but even at Abram’s lowest point, He pours out benevolence and blessing without the faintest hint of rebuke.
[Gen 13:1-18 KJV] 1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. 2 And Abram [was] very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; 4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD. 5 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. 6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. 7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. 8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we [be] brethren. 9 [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. 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it [was] well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, [even] as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched [his] tent toward Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom [were] wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. 14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, [then] shall thy seed also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 18 Then Abram removed [his] tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which [is] in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.
In v. 1, the curtain falls on Genesis chapter 12 with God having inaugurated His covenant with Abram and Abram dishonoring himself by immediately disobeying the covenant and perpetrating a lie and a betrayal of his wife Sarai. Judging by the accepted standards of Christian conduct, we should expect this to be a cautionary tale showing the negative outcome for Abram – but that ISN’T WHAT HAPPENS!
When Abram comes out of Egypt having lied, having prostituted his wife, and compromised the covenant, we read that he came out UNSCATHED. He came out with ALL that he went in with and MORE having been enriched by Pharaoh and the people of Egypt. How can this be? Is this a Christian document we are reading here? On what basis does Abram seemingly get away with this un-Christian behavior? The following verse gives us an inkling:
[Rom 4:9 KJV] 9 [Cometh] this blessedness then upon the circumcision [only], or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
Paul makes the statement above from a discourse answering a question about righteousness by the law or by faith. The point being made is that God ENTITLED Abram because of his faith and NOT his performance. What about you? Are you performance-oriented in your relationship with God, or are you faith-reliant? Paul emphasized this point so much that he was accused of being a libertine (one who says it doesn’t matter how we live our lives in terms of moral turpitude.)
[Rom 3:8 KJV] And not [rather], (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
Paul is not advocating casting aside godly character – he is simply pointing out by the gospel delivered to him by Jesus himself emphasizes that RIGHTEOUSNESS is not based on the quality of your character or the piety of your lifestyle but upon your faith in the covenant of God inaugurated in Abram and ratified in Christ Jesus in your behalf.
God knows what you are made of. He knew what Abram was made of. He didn’t ignore Abram’s shortcomings. He just didn’t reckon Abram’s character or lack thereof to be a basis of qualification or disqualification of favor where the covenant was concerned. Abram’s FAITH was reckoned as RIGHTEOUSNESS or ENTITLEMENT to the conditions and privileges available in the covenant, and that includes us:
[Gal 3:29 KJV] 29 And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
In v. 2, we find a very controversial statement. Abram came out of disobedience and scandal VERY rich in wealth and substance. There are those who look at these verses and say, “yes God accepts and loves us, but the benefits are spiritual in nature NOT temporal.” This is ignorance gone to seed. First of all – notice that there is NO rebuke from God to Abram. Rather, the next statement is concerning the extreme favor and blessing that was upon him in the midst of his vulnerability, failure, and rank humanity:
[Gen 13:2 KJV] 2 And Abram [was] very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
STOP disqualifying yourself because of your shortcomings. This is an illegitimate authority in your life that is NOT based upon the word but upon false and misdirected religious tradition. Does this mean sin doesn’t matter? No – but when you state it correctly, you will be accused of thinking that way. If you are not under this accusation, then you are probably living under the deception of religious legalism rather than Pauline revelation of righteousness by faith.
In v. 3-4, Abram returns from Egypt to the altar where God first spoke and then after building an altar appeared to Abram. The trip to Egypt was Abram running from a famine. He lost his way, disgraced himself, and then returned to the place that God first spoke to him. When you lose your way, you need to go back to where and what you know God last spoke to you. Even if it doesn’t look productive or logical, this is the ground from where your next breakthrough will emerge. Your head will not like this because the mind never accepts the illogic of moving by the Spirit and walking in the Spirit. You must put your mind in check and follow the leading from your spirit where God dwells.
In v. 5-7, we are reminded that all of these things taking place in Abram’s journey are carried out with Lot in tow. Remember, in chapter 12, that God told Abram to LEAVE kindred and his father’s house? He didn’t obey this instruction. What instructions have you disregarded that God has spoken to you? 2 Chron. 20:20 says believe the prophets so shall you prosper. Abram knew that something had to be adjusted, so he returns to the place where God first spoke. Upon doing, so strife breaks out with Lot.
The difficulty with Lot was the fact that not only was Abram blessed – Lot was blessed as well. People that don’t belong in your life will be blessed because of their proximity to you. They will be blessed with your blessing, and there will be pressure. Lot gave no acknowledgment that he owed his prosperity to Abram – instead, he saw Abram as the problem in his life when, in fact, the exact opposite was true. Do you have people like this in your life? Perhaps it is time to seek an exit strategy that alleviates the situation.
In v. 8-12, we see how Abram handled the situation with Lot? He could have lowered the boom on him, but he did not. Abram from the beginning displayed a gentle and peace-loving spirit. You see Abram was justified by faith, but if he hadn’t had the love of God in his heart it would not have worked because faith works by love. Those negative people in your life know how to fight and argue and be in strife. David experienced this with Saul. It was said of David that he was the only man in Israel who didn’t know what to do when a javelin was hurled at him by his master – because he was a man after God’s own heart.
What did Abram do? He BLESSED LOT away from him. He had to realize at this point that he himself had created this problem and he gave Lot the first right of refusal to the richest territory in the area. When you have difficult people in your life that you know HAVE TO GO – don’t curse them away from you – BLESS THEM AWAY from you!
In v. 14-18, we witness Lot choosing the more fruitful land, but he didn’t give a second thought to the wickedness of Sodom. Abram remained in the desert, in the wilderness where the altar was, where the portal of God’s presence rained down the glory on his life. Lot paid a dear price because of this decision. He should have returned to Haran his ancestral home, but he didn’t. His destiny became an abortion because of this.
In v. 14, you find that AFTER LOT departed, God had some things to say to him. There is fulfillment of God’s purposes in your life that WILL NOT TRANSPIRE until you get the LOT out of your life. What does Lot’s name mean? Lot’s name means COVERING. Did you hear this? What covering have you allowed to contaminate your calling, your destiny, and your blessing? There are relationships, even tender communion that HAS to be jettisoned from your life if you are to loose yourself to the full benefit and scope of what God has promised you. The illegitimate authority of man, false relationships, and false communion must be broken, forsaken, and rejected.
God reaffirms His covenant with Abram and enlarges it and moves to the plain of Mamre (strength and fullness). When you lose the baggage of ungodly connections, the strength of God will manifest and the promise of God that has been hindered will come to fruition and full clarity if you will obey.
He doesn’t know it yet, but this is where he meets Melchizedek. God will move you places were it doesn’t make sense, and you won’t know why you are there. You have to wait and trust in God’s timing.