Today’s Bible Reading is Genesis 13 – 16 –
Today’s reading deals with the departure of Lot from Abram to the Sodom in chapter thirteen; the capture of Lot, his family and possessions, and the capture of the people of Sodom; their deliverance; the meeting of the mysterious Melchizedek king of Salem in chapter fourteen; the renewed covenant with God and his dark night in chapter fifteen, with one of the strongest statements of Abram’s faith in verse six, “And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness; then in chapter sixteen we find the affects of jumping ahead of God.
Abram had originally been commanded by God to leave his home and family and go to the land of promise. For some reason he took Lot with him and Sarai, and this became a source of contention while they begin to prosper. Too many cattle and sheep in the land. Not only was there the cattle of Abram and Lot but the cattle of the Perizzites [one of the Canaanite tribes] were witnessing these problems between them.
The witness of the power of God must have been at stake here. As it is when people who claim to be God’s people are always fighting in any age or history of man. There are some things we must fight for and often defend, but lands and properties are not as valuable as souls or the worth of the others.
When Lot looked toward Sodom he set his tent in that direction. The lush green valley, the cities of man, the possibility of becoming a leader of one of these cities [could have been in Lot’s thinking] he went that direction. It wasn’t long and Lot finds he and his family captives in a war that probably was not their own. Abram finds out and takes an army of 300 trained men of his servants, and delivers all the people and goods from the hands of the captors. The man of faith trusting God, overcomes the fear of “too many”, and trust the LORD for delivering power.
God spoke to Abram in a vision of being Abram’s “Great Protector”. We must see and learn that even a commended faith is not often without questions. “How shall I know that I shall inherit it?” was the question Abram asked following God’s statement of his faith and righteousness (v. 6). In answer to the question God tells Abram what to do. Prepare a three year old heifer, a three year old female goat, a three year old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. He cut in two the heifer, goat, and the ram, but left the birds whole. Abram had to keep the vultures away. We must keep the devourers of that which is holy away from the holy – that which is God’s.
A deep sleep came upon Abram, and it was a time of horror and great darkness for him. Abram would not face this alone. God made covenant with him there and walked between the pieces. When He could make covenant with none greater He made a covenant with Himself. See Hebrews 6:13; Genesis 22:16-17.
Abram is told of his descendants being in captivity for four hundred years, and would happen several years yet in the future from his time.
It is more and more amazing to me how God has a plan for our lives, and their is nothing we can do to mess up that plan. We can get off the path of God, and go our own path, but sooner or later, when we are God’s through the power of the blood of Christ, He gets us back on path, and His will is always accomplished. That is not seen any more clearly than in the events of Abram, Sarai, and Hagar. Having departed from the land of promise during a drought, for Egypt and its prosperity it seems they have returned to Egypt with some “baggage” they did not have before going to Egypt. In using the word “baggage” I do not mean to demean Hagar, but use that word for added temptation in their lives, and that is seen in chapter sixteen.
Hagar is probably a young, attractive, virgin girl, and it enters Sarai’s mind to give her to Abram to bear the “promised son”. Sarai convinces Abram that maybe God intended it to be this way; and Abram surrenders to the Sarai and her idea. From the time of the conception Hagar becomes a pain and aggravation to Sarai, and surely a hurt to Abram too.
Hagar had been unruly to her boss [Sarai], and is then treated roughly herself and she flees, only to meet the LORD who tells her to return to Sarai and Abram, and submit to Sarai (16:9).
Surely we can see in these events that when we don’t follow the LORD’s direction as He commands it we bring more trouble and sorrow into our lives than is necessary. However, we can also see that God will always accomplish His will.
TOMMOROWS READING IS Genesis 17 – 19
Keep reading, studying and hearing the Word, and doing it.