14 And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him
Notice that before God speaks to Abraham, Lot had to be removed from the picture. Lot is a picture of one who walks in the flesh. He wanted to move to the best places to graze and he chose that way. He walked by sight. Sometimes we go through days, weeks, or months where we don’t hear from God and like Lot we forget and walk by sight instead of the leading of the Spirit. We might use everything at our disposal, feelings, felt needs, wants, desires. From the previous verses we can tell that Lot was using his feelings to lead him to pick the better place for his livestock to graze. This made me think about a few things.
- Lot was just doing the obvious thing. He was choosing the better place for his livestock. This is how he fed his family and how he was judged by outsiders. Wouldn’t that be the obvious choice for someone who had that much to take care off?
- Lot was doing the obnoxious thing. He had stepped out of place. Abraham had given him the first choice but he should have submitted to his Uncle and given him the first choice instead.
His actions show a selfish decision on his part that ends destructively and will destroy his family. This all happens because he felt the need to take care of himself instead of doing the right thing. Yet in his mind, he might have talked himself into believing that it was alright, after all Abraham did give him first choice and he had to take care of his family.
This forces me to look at myself and weigh my actions and choices in light of this passage.
Sometimes the obvious is not the best choice.
Sometimes that is what we want, feel, need, desire but it is not what God wants.
It is also difficult to think of others when you are in a place where decisions will cost someone.
Either you make a decision and you win out or you loose, and usually there is always someone else who either benefits or suffers from it.
This causes us to take more time for prayer and self examination. More times than not, I have been guilty of choosing what can be obvious over what God wants in my life. I also have a knack for twisting it into whatever form of religiosity that I need too.
I have also been guilty of choosing the obnoxious, by deciding to please man rather than God. By looking for a place or position rather than the will of God through prayer. This is where I have found myself from time to time. The desire to teach or preach has caused me to trade placement over prayer, position over mission, and religion over relationships. We get sidetracked with service, or our own goals. We seek to draw attention to ourselves rather than the Lord and then we don’t even notice that we stop hearing from God. We are too busy doing our religious activities to listen, or actively seek God, because we think we already have His will in our hands.
I hope you never find yourself in this situation because you can make bad, bad choices thinking you are in God’s will when all the while, our own hearts and desires have been leading us along.
Get back to where you left God. Draw nigh to Him, separate from the flesh in prayer and then you can hear His voice again
14 And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him
“Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 16 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. 17 Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.”
18 Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD.
Here in the end of chapter 13 we begin to deal with the specifics of the covenant and promise from God towards Abraham
There are eight total covenants in Scripture:
1. The Edenic covenant – Genesis 2
15And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
2. The Adamic covenant – Genesis 3
14And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
3. The Noahic covenant – Genesis 9
1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.[a] 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.
6 “ Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed;
For in the image of God
He made man.
7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Bring forth abundantly in the earth
And multiply in it.”
8 Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: 9 “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants[b] after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. 11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
4. The Abrahamic covenant – Genesis 12
1Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
5. The Mosaic covenant – Exodus 20
1And God spake all these words, saying,
2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13Thou shalt not kill.
14Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15Thou shalt not steal.
16Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
6. Palestinian covenant – Deuteronomy 30
1And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
2And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
3That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
4If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
5And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
6And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
7And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
8And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.
9And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:
10If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
11For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
12It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
13Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
14But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
15See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
16In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
17But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
7. Davidic covenant – 2 Samuel 7
1And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;
2That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.
3And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.
4And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying,
5Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?
6Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.
7In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?
8Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:
9And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.
10Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,
11And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.
12And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
15But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
16And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
8. The New covenant – Hebrews 8
1Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
2A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
3For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
4For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
5Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
6But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.