Tuesday, January 7. Genesis 13

Chapters thirteen through fifteen begin with the note that Abraham came out of Egypt with ‘great possessions,’ and they end with the promise that Israel, Abraham’s descendants would do so as well. The first readers of this book are those descendants and they know God’s to be true. Like Abraham, their ancestors had gone to Egypt fearful for their lives. Like Abraham, they had come out of Egypt with “great possessions.” Just as Abraham owed his wealth to the care of God, so did Israel.

These chapters also begin with the note that when Abraham went to live in the land of Canaan, the land was owned and inhabited by Canaanites and Perizzites (just as it was when Israel went there). The section ends with the promise that God would take the land and give it to Israel.

The point here is that all real success depends on the Lord. Stick with God, and he can make you prosper no matter where you live. In fact, the implication is that Lot prospered precisely because he was in the company of Abraham. But now, the story turns. Success and affluence drives a wedge between these two kinsmen. Abraham, realizing that real success doesn’t depend on “location, location, location,” but on God, magnanimously offers Lot his choice of location. And Lot, seemingly oblivious to that fact, makes his choice in a worldly way. He pitches his tent near Sodom, city of success, and city of sin.

This is the first step Lot makes toward obscurity. Without regard for God, and following the wisdom of a excellent MBA graduate, he makes a choice that will end in ignominy. Whether it is where we live, where we go to school, what we will study, our choice of vocation, who we work for, or who we marry, God often gets ignored by the blindness of worldly vision. To bad Israel never really got the message. Too bad we often miss it too.