GENESIS 13:5-18


**  LOT'S CHOICE (5-13)

1. a)  Why did a problem arise between Abram and Lot?   

The land could not support the flocks, herds and tents of Abram and Lot for their possessions were so great.  See 13:1-2.  God had blessed Abram with many material things even though had had messed up in Egypt.

b)  What does this problem show about God's blessings?  

God's blessings are overflowing.  The problem was also a side effect of God's abundant material blessings.  There was not enough grazing land and water to support both sides.

c)  How did the Canaanites and Perizzites complicate the problem?

They were also living in the land at that time.  This made the land even more crowded.

2. a)  How did Abram propose to solve the problem?

He said, "Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers."

He did not want to quarrel or have divisions.  He did not want to further complicate the situation.  He wanted peace and make unity.  He did not use his authority as Lot's uncle to tell him to sumbit to him.  

b)  How was his attitude toward material things and people changed since he went to Egypt?  

He wasn't just thinking about his own welfare.  He saw that God would provide for his own needs.  He was broad-minded and said to Lot in verse 9, "Is not the whole land before you?..."  He began to put people before himself and he began to trust in God.  

In Egypt Abram had been selfish and had used his wife.  He didn't think how much she had suffered.  He learned a bitter lesson.  Now he began to keep spiritual order -- God first, man second, and materials.  He began to trsut in God.  This was a sign of his spiritual growth.  He gave Lot the first choice.  Look at verse 9.

Problems always come up in life.  And when a problem arose between Abram and Lot, their value system about material, man and God's promise was revealed very clearly.  We need to check out their value system to see ours, so that we may be able to handle God's blessing properly.


1)  He valued relationship with Lot more than material things.  He wanted man more than materials.

2)  He wanted peace even at his own loss, instead of seeking for material welfare.

3)  He stayed in the land of Canaan in verse 12.  He hold onto the promise of God.  Between visible material things and invisible God's promise, he chose God's promise, whereas Lot chose material blessing itself than God.  

When practical problem arose, Abram chose to put trust in God's promise and live as a man of God.

3. a)  What did Lot choose?  

According to verse 11, Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east.

<His value system>

1)  He valued God's blessing more than God himself.

Look at verses 10 and 11.  Lot chose for himself the land which had enough water for his flock and was good for his desire.  In choosing the land, he focused on how to maintain material things properly and how to satisfy his own desire.  He did not think of God's promise.  He did not think of God himself who had given him such material blessings, but hold to the blessing itself.  In the decision making time, he removed God from his choice.  He was material centerd.

2)  His heart was gone from God to materials and pleasure seeking desire.

3)  He did not consider of how other people would be.  His uncle Abram gave him the first choice to choose a land.  But Lot was like a son to Abram who had never had a son.  So at least Lot could try to comfort Abram like as son.  But he did not think of Abram.  Because of this, later Abram was hurt and suffered from a sense of loss.

b)  Why?  

Because it was a beautiful and lush land; well watered.

c)  What is significant about "the garden of the Lord" and "the land of Egypt"?

The garden of the Lord shows that Lot did want to live a spiritual life and he did want God's blessing.

The land of Egypt shows that Lot wanted to enjoy materialistic and pleasure seeking lifestyle which he had tasted in Egypt.

At such important decision making time, he put his one feet in God and the other in the world.  He wanted to enjoy both world, God and the world.  It was a beginning of tragedy.

4. a)  How did Lot's lifestyle change?

Lot had a chance to follow along with Abram and to learn from hhim so he too could live a life of faith and be blessed by God.  

But Lot 'chose for himself' and 'looked up and saw.'  In other words, he did not seek God for this important decision making time.  He gave into his physical desires and lusts and passions.  

He was also selfish.  He didn't think about stepping back and letting his old uncle have first choice.  He didn't think about reducing his herds either in order to stay with Abram.

Man falls into sin because he gives into the desires of his heart.  He gives into physical desires that he can see or hear or touch and smell.  Eve also gave into the Devil's temptation when she saw that the fruit of the tree was "good for food" and "pleasing to the eye" knowledge of good and evil.  

Lot's choice reveals the kind of person he was.  He was not a spiritual man but a worldly man who had tasted the material world and had been infected with "cultural sickness" while he had been down to Egypt.

b)  What does his move toward Sodom show about him?  

He was only concerened with the here and now.  He wanted immediate benefit.  He had no foresight to see that he was moving toward disaster.  See verse 10 and 13 and what they say about Sodom and Gomorrah.  

When he didn't pray and ask God to help him in this decision making hour, then God could not lead him to make the best choice.  

Lot's value system was not in God and in the intangible things of God.  His value system was in material things and in pleasure.  

He tried to get the best of both worlds, spiritual world and physical world.  He was trying to live a compromised life.  He was a luke-warm Christian at best.  

At first glance, it sounds good to enjoy both spiritual world and physical world.  Being spiritual man having convition of going to the kingdom of God and enjoying pleasure seeking lifestyle while on earth sounds good.  But we can't deliberately choose to live a compromised life and be blessed.  A Christian who tries to do so will suffer even more than one who actually belongs to the world.  Look at chapter 19 to see the final consequences of his decision of this chapter.  He lost all materials, his wife became a salt pillar, and he left evil fruits between his daughters.  The evil descendants of Lot, Moabites and Ammonites later became the enemies of Israel continually.

c)  Did he intend to give up his faith?

No.  But he pitched his tents near Sodom according to verse 12.  Later he is found to be living in Sodom which was under God's wrath an judgment.  Lot was blind spiritually to see where he was going.  

Abram on the other hand, lived in the land of Canaan (12).  This is the promised land.  This means that Abram tried to follow God's calling and live by faith.  He did not give into his physical desires and live a compromised life.

**  GOD'S PROMISE (14-18)

5. a)  After Lot left, why might Abram have been sorry and discouraged?

He had lost the best part of the land out of his generosity to Lot.  

And also Lot did not consider him a father, though he loved him as son.  He must have realized that he definately needed his own son.

6.  a)  What physical activity did God give him to do?  

According to verse 17, God told him to walk through the length and breadth of the land.

b)  Why was this good?

He could see the land that God was promising to give him.  He could visualize the vastness of it and this would help him to have more faith God would indeed give him the land.  He could also take his mind off of Lot and see that God would give him greater things than what he lost.

7. a)  What promise did God give Abram?  See verses 14-16.

b)  How is it similar to the promise in 12:2,3.

The offspring, dust of the earth, great nation.

c)  How is it different?

It is more concrete.

d) What does this teach us about God?

God helps us with his promises which are unfailing.  This promise, which was more specific than the promise given in 12:2,3 and 12:7, was like Abram's Bible.  God reminded him of his promise at least three times -- times of crisis in his life.  Each time, God helped him with his words of promise.  God did not help him by giving him any tangible thing.  See Acts 7:5.

8. a)  How did Abram respond to God's promise?

He moved his tents and built an altar to the Lord.

b)  What does this show about his faith?

He accepted God's word and was thankful.  He no longer felt like he lost something.  He had the whole land promised to him by the owner and possessor of all things.  Abram had his value system in God.  We must find our real security in God and in his promises.  Our choices are important.  We must learn to make our choices based on faith in God's promise, not on human calculation.



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