Tag Archive | Abraham

What He (or She) Must Be … Abraham vs Lot

In Genesis 19 we are first introduced to Lot’s daughters.  We see that Lot has misplaced priorities and lacks faith in the Lord to protect him and his family in Genesis 19:8 when he offers his daughters to the men of the city.  There is no need to try and validate Lot’s actions and make them seem less heinous than they are.  Lot’s family is obviously lacking in many points that make for a healthy family.

Next we are introduced to his sons-in-laws.

Genesis 19:14 (ESV) So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

That is the sum of what we know about them beyond the fact that they are destroyed with the city.  Question is why were Lot’s daughters even betrothed to these men?  They obviously lacked faith in the Lord.  They weren’t respectful and honoring to their father-in-law.

If you’ve read Voddie Baucham’s book “What He Must Be…”  you would realize the importance Father’s should place on whom their daughters marry.  Baucham’s book covers areas of faith, character, and responsibility, I wrote about it previously.  This quote is from the book.

“… I cannot give my consent to a man who is not a follower of Christ.”

But that is exactly what Lot did not do.  His sons-in-law made fun of Lot and his God who was going to bring destruction.  But Lot had no choice right?  What else could he do?

Look at what Abraham did.

Genesis 24:1-4 (ESV)

1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh,
3 that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell,
4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

Abraham was not going to allow a pagan Canaanite to be the wife of his promised son.  So Abraham sent his servant back to his relatives to seek a wife for Isaac.  There is no doubt that Abraham’s heart was seeking to serve the Lord and do the best he could for Isaac.  The Lord had previously expressed that Abraham would “command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord”. (Genesis 18:19)

There can be no doubt that the Lord did answer the prayers of Abraham and his servant in providing Rebekah for Isaac.

What might have been the difference in Lot’s life and his family if he had done the same as Abraham and sought non-Canaanite husbands for his daughters?

As you see later in the life of Lot, he lost the heart of his daughters.  They did not trust their father to do the best he could for them.  They could not even count on Lot to find them another husband, believer or not, when they were living in the cave.

Like so many righteous men in the Scripture, Lot failed at his parenting and protecting of his children.  That failure has eternal consequences.



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Leave or Stay with God’s People?

I’ve read lots of sermons about Lot and his sins.   Many, many sermons focus on Lot and his choosing the best portion. But funny thing is Lot is not condemned in the Bible for that.  There is a description given for the land Lot chose but none given for the portion for Abraham. It isn’t like Abraham’s portion was described as rocky, scrub brush, barren dessert.  We just tend to assume that because the portion Lot chose was Eden-like that it was the best portion. (Genesis 13:10-11)  But nowhere is Lot condemned in Scripture for choosing the “best” portion.  Remember Canaan, Abraham’s portion, is described as full of fruit and flowing in milk and honey in Numbers 13:23 & 27.

I did notice an interesting series of events though when reading about Lot and Abraham. See Abraham was a father figure to Lot. Lot was orphaned; his father Haran had died early. (Genesis 11:27-28) Lot had left all his other remaining family to travel with Abraham.  Lot could have stayed with Nahor, Milcah, Bethuel, Rebekah and Laban. (Genesis 24) But Lot chose to travel with Abraham. (Genesis 12:4)  That was a wise choice considering Laban’s behavior later in Scripture.

In Genesis 12:10-20 we see Abraham failing to trust the Lord. Abraham, Sarah and Lot, along with all their other people, travel to Egypt.  Abraham fails to trust the Lord to take care of him so he asks Sarah to lie about their relationship. What I never really realized before is that Lot was with them.  Lot saw his uncle fail to trust the Lord, fail to protect his wife, lie and have Sarah lie also.  I would imagine Lot had to go along with the lying.

Can you imagine the loss of respect Lot would have had for his uncle? It appears the herdsmen had lost respect also because soon they are bickering.  (Genesis 13:7) When Abraham hears about the strife he suggests that Lot chose a portion. (Genesis 13:8-9) Lot doesn’t even bat an eye at the suggestion.  Why not?

What would have been different if Lot had remained?

Think ahead to the book of Ruth.  Remember Naomi and her two daughters-in laws? Naomi asked her daughters-in-laws to separate from her. Then remember what Ruth said?

Ruth 1:16-17 (ESV)

16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.
17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

Remember how blessed Ruth was because she stayed with Naomi?

Ruth 4:17 (ESV) And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Then think about Elijah and Elisha.  Elijah tells Elisha repeatedly to separate from him but what does Elisha do?  He insists on remaining with the man of God.  Three times and in three different cities this happens.  Elisha was blessed because he remained with the man of God.

2 Kings 2:1-14 (ESV)

1 Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
2 And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
3 And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho.
5 The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
6 Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on.
7 Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan.
8 Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.”
10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.”
11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
13 And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.
14 Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.

What might have been the outcome if Lot insisted on staying with Abraham because he was a man of God?

We’ll probably never know.

But the seemingly simple solution of separating due to strife just may not be the best option.  It may cause more hardship in the long run.  The strife over grazing and water was nothing compared to what Lot had to endure much later in life losing all he had and destroying his family.  How might Lot have been blessed if he had stayed with Abraham resolving with the conflict instead of taking the seemingly easy way out to avoid conflict?

Do you run from conflict? Instead of attempting to dealing with it?

Are you separated from other believers due to conflict?



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Sabbath Observance Pre-Moses?

As we continue to look at the Sabbath we find something interesting, a noticeable lack of a mention of the Sabbath, or even rest, in many books of Scripture. 

One of the oldest books is the Book of Job.  Many Scholars feel that Job predates Abraham. Job whom the Lord actually brags about to Satan never mentions the Sabbath. 

Job 1:8 (ESV) And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”

Job sacrifices offerings to the Lord, yet does not appear to celebrate a Sabbath.

Job 1:5 (ESV) And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

Actually even, the only rest that Job talks about is looking forward to the rest of death or better yet in his mind the rest of having never lived.

Job 3:11-17 (ESV)
11 “Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire?
12 Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?
13 For then I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,
14 with kings and counselors of the earth who rebuilt ruins for themselves,
15 or with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light?
17 There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest

But this causes a problem because see if the verses in Genesis 2:1-3 mean that from that time men observed a Sabbath we have Adam through Abraham up to Moses with no record of observing a Sabbath rest.  We also have Job who does not observe a Sabbath rest.  But even more challenging is the fact that the Lord Himself calls Job “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” (Job 1:1)

We have Noah who was righteous and blameless yet he never observes a Sabbath. (Genesis 6:9)

We also have Abraham who “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” (Galatians 3:6)

Scripture records these blameless men’s sacrifices and their sin, yet no mention of observing the Sabbath.  Those who say that man has always been supposed to observe the Sabbath are adding to Scripture something that is not there.  As we saw in looking at Genesis 2:1-3 the Lord observed the rest upon the seventh day after Creation, not man.

Genesis 2:1-3 (ESV)
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

We also run into another difficulty.  While we do not know the author of the book of Job, we do know that Moses wrote the first five books of “The Law”.  We do not have any record that even man knew that the Lord rested upon the seventh day.  That was not recorded in writing for us until the time of Moses.  The Lord did walk and talk with man more before Moses yet no record of any discussion about the Sabbath.

So what do we do when others claim that the Sabbath was an everlasting covenant?  Read the Scriptures closely.  See what everlasting means and whom each everlasting promise was made to.  Then look at the prophecy verses.  Ezekiel and Isaiah both have prophecies that mention a Sabbath but we cannot look at OT prophecies without first looking at the NT and seeing what it says.  Only then can we interpret the OT prophecies that may, or may not, deal with endtimes or that still remain in the future and whom these prophecies refer to.  We cannot understand the future without looking at what has already happened.  So what does Jesus say about the Sabbath?



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