Our text for this sermon comes from Genesis 13.
The first thing that we see is that what looks like a blessing may not actually be a blessing. This is true in Abram’s case. The extra gold, men and women servants, and the extra livestock became more of a burden. Why?
Abram was a rich man. He was well off. After the gifts that Pharaoh gave him, you might say that he was more than well off. Lot was not hurting either but he did not have as much as Abram.
However, both men had their share of livestock and those animals need to eat. The problem that arose between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen dealt with this very problem.
The issue is that both sides thought the other side’s livestock was eating too much of the grass and there was not enough grass for all of the animals.
The land that Abram and Lot were sharing was not able to sustain both men’s possessions. There was already tension between both men’s herdsmen. Something needed to be done before things escalated and got out of control.
Abram, as the patriarch, needs to make a decision.
He tells Lot that they need to part ways. He tells Lot to choose.
Lot chooses what looks like the better path. Plenty of land for his family, servants and animals, there would always be enough grass for his herds to graze. Lot could not stop with just settling in the Jordan Valley. He saw the city of Sodom. Sodom was a wicked city. Sin was rampant there. If you were not involved in some sort of perversion in Sodom, you were the outcast. Lot moved his family to Sodom.
This is not a bad separation. It had to be done.
Sometimes, we also have to separate from people. A friend, family member, church member wants to pursue sin instead of Jesus. You have talked to them about what the Bible says. They are insistent on continuing in their stupidity.
You have to let them go.
This separation looks like an ending of the relationship.
The saddest part of all of this is that they have heard the gospel. They know about Jesus and the work that He did on the cross and that He rose from the dead. They know that they took their place. He bore the fulness of God’s wrath so that they did not have too. Jesus took their sin and gave them His righteousness. Jesus gave them what they could never earn. Jesus gave them what they could never buy. Jesus gave them what they could never be on their own.
You have to let them go chase their sin. You cannot force them to repent. You can’t cause them to not want to desire their sin. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.
If the person is a Christian, God will draw them back to Himself. He will not let one of His own stray too long. They are never out of reach of the Father’s hand. The separation will be used by God to draw them back to Himself. They need to see that Jesus is far better than anything this world offers that they are chasing after.
If they are not a Christian, the separation may be the end of the relationship. A lost person cannot desire Jesus. They have heard the gospel and they are unchanged. Their hearts are hardened toward Jesus.
If there is no repentance and there is no evidence of true heart wrenching change, you need to pray for them. If you are truly their friend, drop to your knees and pray for them by name. Pray that God would save them soon. You do not know how long your friend has to live. You do not know if they have 30 minutes or 30 years. Pray.
You call yourself a Christian – then pray.
You say that you are a disciple – pray.
You say you are a person of faith – pray.
You pray and leave the salvation of that person up to God.
Where we are in this chapter, this is less about Lot and more about Abram. I believe that Abram realizes he royally screwed up as a leader (that was evidenced in chapter 12)
He wants to make better leadership decisions. He is the patriarch. He is the leader. He could have strong-armed Lot and forced Lot to go a certain way. He could have become all supreme dictator like and said, “My word is law.”
But he doesn’t.
Abram becomes more of a leader by letting Lot think about it. He is empowering Lot. Instead of telling Lot what to do, Abram allows Lot to think about it and come up with his own decision.
Side note: God had already chosen the land for Abram. God is all sovereign and His plan is always perfect. Because of that, Lot would have never chosen Canaan anyway. God’s plans cannot be changed by a human. Job 42:2
Abram stepping more fully into his leadership role, becomes more of a leader and is a foreshadowing of Jesus by relinquishing his abilities in this decision.
Being that Jesus was fully God, He did not operate on earth or live on earth as God. He had to grow and learn and study like any man would. He lived His life and His whole ministry was empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Because of what Jesus accomplished by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, we are part of something greater.
Paul wants us to understand that Jesus comes from the line of Abraham. If you are a disiciple, you have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, you are in the spiritual offspring of Abraham. Every person that is redeemed by the blood of Jesus is part of the church. Jesus’ church is greater than the stars in the sky or the sand on the beach.
1 Peter 1:3-5
Because God is rich in His mercy, he has caused us to be born again. Your salvation is not dependent on you. Nothing you did, nothing you will do, no choice or decision that you would have ever made. Your salvation is all because of Jesus. There is no choice for you to make. You would never have chosen God anyway.
If you are a Christian, God chose you because He wants you and He loves you. If you are not a Christian, God wants you and loves you.
You can be redeemed by Jesus and then you are held secure by Jesus. No one or no thing can ever change the fact that you belong to Jesus.
You belong to Jesus.
You were or will be redeemed for works greater than you could ever design for yourself. God has already perfectly designed the works that you will accomplish as you walk in obedience to Jesus Christ.
As you become more and more obedient to Jesus and pursue Him, He reveals to you the purpose of why you were created.
The Westminster Catechism says, “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.”