Genesis Chapter 13


Verse 1-4, And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. 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; Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

I.    Into the south - the south part of the land of Canaan.  In the Bible, the center of the world is spoken of as Israel.


II.    Abram's travelling from Egypt to Canaan compared to a person leaving sins and going back toward fellowship with Christ and His people.  Anytime we go someplace or do something we ought not do, the only way we can make it right at all is to go back to the place where we first began to go wrong.

A.     Abram had a good reason for going to Egypt, but in order to faithfully serve God, he had to leave Egypt and go back to Canaan.  Sometimes we may have a good reason for doing some of the things we do (the vast majority of the time, we simply have an excuse) but in order to serve the Lord, we must go back to the starting place.

B.     Sometimes we do things we know we ought not do.  If we will ever serve the Lord faithfully, we must go back to the firs error, get forgiveness and continue from that point.

C.     There are many saved Baptists (as well as saved people) who are full of sorrow and know their lives are not pleasing to God.

1.       They continue living out of fellowship with God, wasting their lives.

2.       This is because of some event that happened a long time ago that they can't forget or ask forgiveness for.

3.       Therefore, their lives are stagnant - their bear no fruit - fish won't be in a stagnant pool.  Water, the Spirit of God, must be flowing freely through their lives.

D.     Verse 3, 4 - It took Abram a long time to get back to Bethel.  He made many journeys (plural).  Verse 3.

1.       It takes a rebellious person a long time to get back into fellowship.

2.       It takes a long time for rebellion to be found out and to be stopped.

3.       Luke 15:11-32 - the prodigal son.

4.       When we stop serving God and start rebelling, we develop a lot of bad habits which must be changed.

5.       If it's an offense, that must be cleared up before we ever serve God.


Verse 2 & 5, And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.

I.    Abram

A.     Abram had gold and silver, probably an odd thing for a vagabond.

B.     Watch how Abram hangs onto his possessions (See comments on verse 8 & 9)


II.    Lot - Also had possessions, but not as much as Abram.

A.     God seems to bless those that are around God's people.

1.       Gen. 30:27 - Laban blessed because Jacob was around him.

2.       II Sam. 6:11 - House of Obededom blessed because the ark of God is in their house.

B.     Note how Lot hangs onto his possession (See comments on verse 8 & 9)


Verse 6 & 7, 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. 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.

I.    The land couldn't feed all of them if they lived together.

A.     Some might call this the "curse of being wealthy".

B.     Evidently Abram and Lot were getting along at this point, but notice that Abram knew the strife by their herdsmen would eventually involve them.

1.       There is no indication of who started this argument.

2.       But they were arguing with one another.  Just because somebody else complains is no sign we ought to complain back at them.


II.    The Canaanite and Perizzite were dwelling in the land.

A.     The Canaanite and Perizzite were permanent residents.  They were established before God gave the land to Abram.

B.     It's not yet time for Abram to take over the land. (Actually this part of the promise is to Abram's seed, not to Abram.)

C.     The Canaanite and the Perizzite would naturally chose the best pasture land for themselves and the worse land would be left for strangers in the land.

D.     The land that the herdsmen of Lot and Abram are striving over is the worse of the land.

E.      The loser of this strife will get the worse of the worse land.

F.      Note: according to verse 10, some of the land left after the Canaanite and Perizzite was still very good land.

G.     But people always tend to desire the very best, not settling for the adequate.


Verse 8 & 9, 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. 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.

I.    God's people shouldn't argue in front of the people in the world.

A.     It's not a very good influence.  If God's people can't get along with one another, they sure can't get along if unbelievers would be saved and join them.

B.     By looking at Abram and Lot, the world would never know they were especially chosen of God.  They looked like everybody else.  If they acted like everybody else, nobody would know they were special to God.

C.     The main reason they shouldn't argue is because they are Brethren.

1.       Not brothers in the flesh - Lot is Abram's nephew (Gen. 11:27).

2.       They are both saved.

3.       Many times Abram called Lot his brother - probably because they were both saved and also Abram felt as close to Lot as a brother (in the flesh).


II.    The herdsmen will affect Abram and Lot.

A.     The quarrel would be between the herdsmen.  This shows they're trying to do a good job for their superiors.

B.     Each herdsman would tell their own particular owner their side of the story.  The owner would not hear the other side and before long, Abram and Lot would get to the place they were disliking each other without ever hearing both sides.

C.     People are the same today.  They'll make up their minds without hearing both sides.

D.     Some people "can't" hear both sides.  They can only hear the side that favors them.


III.    The separating.

A.     It's much better to separate and remain friends than remain together and be enemies.

B.     Note how loosely Abram holds those material things God has given him and his children.

1.       Abram gives Lot the choice of the land.

2.       Lot is not supposed to be with Abram.

3.       Lot has not been promised anything in Canaan.

4.       Abram could have repeated God's blessings (promise) to Lot and ordered him to leave.  Some "Christians" would do this and say they were justified in doing so.

5.       Abram is trusting God to keep him (this trust comes after the episode in Egypt) and his possessions.

6.       Abram believes God can take the worse of the land and make it prosperous.

7.       Do we believe God can take care of us if the best material possessions go to others?

8.       May God help us to hold on to our possessions as loosely as Abram  held on to his.

C.     The choice will be Lot's.

1.       This is indeed a reflection of Abram's love for Lot and trust in God.

2.       Lot can never accuse Abram of giving him a raw deal.  When he got down in wicked Sodom and Gomorrah, he can't blame Abram for his being there.  He has nobody to blame but himself.

3.       The men remain friends because in chapter 14, it is Abram who rescues Lot from his captors.  Also in chapter 18, it is Abram who pleads with God over Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of Lot.

4.       So we know how Abram felt about Lot -- He felt close to him.  We don't know how Lot felt toward Abram, but we really should be more concerned with understanding what the righteous person feels instead of what the unrighteous person feels.

D.     What if Lot had chosen Canaan instead of the Plain of Jordan?

1.       This kind of question is asked by the person who is not trusting God to deliver the promises.

2.       This kind of person would be very nervous, trying to work in the flesh to make God's promises come true.

3.       Let us learn to trust God that He would fulfill His promises.  We don't have to help Him, we'll just get in His way.

E.      The reason Abram could fully trust the Lord.f

1.       He had been "back to Bethel".  (verse 3, meaning the "house of God".)

2.       Evidently they were at  Bethel when this passage took place.

3.       Note: though some people go to Bethel (House of God), they don't get the blessings others do.  It's a matter of what goes on in the heart. (Compare Abram and Lot.)


Verse 10-12, 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. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

I.    Lot lifted up his eyes.

A.     Lot did not bow his head in humble prayer seeking the will of God in this decision.

B.     Lot was following the thinking of his mind in how to best preserve the riches he had and how he could best increase those riches.

C.     Lot made the "natural" decision.

1.       He chose the best of the remaining land.

2.       Well watered everywhere.  This would be especially important since they had just experienced a famine in the land of Canaan.

D.     Perhaps Abram knew what Lot was thinking, or had an idea of which land Lot would chose, and knowing that God had given him Canaan, chose this time to bring up separating to get rid of Lot and go in service to God.  This thought does not do away with Abram holding onto his possessions very loosely and trusting God to retain them for him.  But it does give us the added thought that many times God uses our common sense in conjunction with faith.  (Actually faith showing us the way to use common sense.)


II.    Lot chose the plain of Jordan and moved over there.

A.     Lot started astray by leaving the tents of Abram (when in reality he should have been in Haran with his grand dad.)

1.       He continued going astray by dwelling in the cities of the plain.

a.      He became a "gentleman farmer".

b.      This gives indication that he no longer travelled with the herds as he used to, but lived in the city and gave instructions to the herdsmen as to their jobs, visiting the herds occasionally to make sure everything was okay.

2.       The final going astray was when Lot moved into the city of Sodom and Gomorrah.

B.     Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan.

1.       This does not mean that Abram "owned" the land.  He only dwelled there, moving from place to place without any certain dwelling place.

2.       Abram is a stranger in a strange land (Gen. 15:13) as Isaac, Jacob will be.


III.    The only problem Lot has to deal with is in verse 13 - the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.

A.     It's always better if we'll stay out of the way of wicked people.  We may think that what they do around us won't affect us, but it will.  Slowly, ever so slowly, we'll gradually begin to think like they do, then begin to do like they do.  All the time we'll never realize how far away from god we've gotten or how great the sins are that we do every day without thinking.  This is what happened to Lot and it can happen to us.

B.     Wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.

1.       It makes no matter what men may say or think.

2.       What matters is what God thinks about us.


Verse 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:

Lot leaving.

I.    The more separated we are from people who really shouldn't be around us in the first place, the closer we are to God.

A.     We ought to have Godly friends around us, but Lot wasn't supposed to be there.

B.     Chapter 14:13 - Abram was in confederation with 2 other men, probably in a business relationship, but he wasn't tied to them in an unequal yoke. (II Cor. 6:14-18)


II.    Abram had used the available grace of God in 13:1-13, therefore, God gives him additional grace.  Note the phrase "after that Lot was separated from him."


III.    "Lift up now thine eyes" - compared to Lot in verse 10.

A.     Lot looked with the eyes of lust.

B.     Abram looked at God's command based on His promises.


IV.    "The place where thou art"

A.     He is at Bethel.

B.     The promise includes not only all the land Abram can see as he looks around him, but also the land he will travel on.


Verse 15, For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

I.    The land you see is yours and your seed.

A.     Abram will dwell in the land as a stranger (More complete discussion in 15:13).

B.     The seed of Abram (after Jacob goes into Egypt) that conquers the land will live in it and it will actually belong to them.


II.    Forever

A.     Means as long as the earth shall stand.

B.     II Peter 3:10 - The earth shall be destroyed.

C.     Rev. 21:1,2 - There will be a new heaven and a new earth.


Verse 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.

I.    This is the third time the Bible records that God had spoken to Abram.

A.     Gen. 13:1

B.     Gen. 12:7

C.     Gen. 13:14-18

D.     Note:  There may have been a time before Gen. 12:1 that God spoke to Abram.  Gen. 11:31 compared to 12:1 indicates that God may have talked to Abram before.


II.    Note the progression of blessings given to Abram.

A.     God will work with us in progressive blessings if we by grace will accept the blessings we have already.

B.     God won't give us great blessings if we don't appreciate the blessings He already given us.

C.     Daniel is an example.

1.       Dan. 1 - Faithful in what he eats.

2.       Dan. 4 - Faithful in interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dream properly.

3.       Dan. 7 - Faithful in receiving blessings and in receiving prophecy dreams.

4.       Dan. 8 - Faithful in the dream of the ram and he goat.

5.       Dan. 5 - Faithful in correctly interpreting the handwriting on the wall.

6.       Dan. 6 - Faithful when cast into the lion's den.

7.       Dan. 7 - Faithful in telling about the seventy weeks.

8.       Dan. 11,12 - Faithful when telling about future kings all the way to the Anti-Christ and Christ's kingdom overcoming it.

9.       Dan. 10 - Faithful about a future vision.


III.    "Dust of the earth" - cannot number the dust, cannot number the Hebrews.


Verse 17, Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

I.    God encourages Abram to go throughout the land that will belong to his seed and look it over.


II.    Abram will not own the land himself, but he will be able to enjoy knowing that his seed shall live in this land.


III.    This might not make a young man happy, but it will make an older man happy, especially since this is a material sign that God's promise will come to pass.


Verse 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.

I.    Abram doing as God commanded.


II.    Moving to the plain of Mamre (Gebron, which means fellowship {particularly with God}).


III.    Built an altar to God.

A.     If this is to be a, more or less, permanent dwelling place, Abram must have a place to worship.

B.     In building the altar, Abram is still giving glory to God, and is still not proud or lifted up because of the material blessings or the spiritual blessings.

C.     When God gives us many and great blessings, we should never be proud, but always remember we are but dust and continue to give God all the glory and honor for all the blessings we have received.