- Locate the passage
This passage tracks Abram’s journey back to the land of Canaan from which he should not have previously left.
The passage is narrative. It records conversations between Abram and Lot and the Lord and Abram.
- Determine the structure of the passage
13:1-15 – Abram and Lot journey to Canaan
13:6-13 – Abram proposes a solution to avert conflict between
13:14-18 – The promise of God to Abraham repeated
- Exegete the passage
13:1 – “He and his wife”
- The narrator intentionally here, as in 12:19, 20, refers to Sarai as Abram’s “wife” instead by name perhaps contrasting who she actually was as opposed to how Abram was treating her. She was not his sister or his property, she was his wife.
13:1 – “Abram went up … to the south”
- The phrase “went up” contrasts the phrase “went down” in 12:10
- “alah” is the normal term used for trips to Canaan from Egypt (Gen. 26:23; 45:25; 50:7; Ex. 13:18; 2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chron. 35:20)
13:1 – “And Lot with him”
- Sometimes lost in the repulsive sin and deception of Abram is that fact that Lot was with him the whole time.
- What a poor witness he was for his nephew!
- It’s not surprising that the next time we see Lot in the text, he thinks more of himself than others. He learned that from his uncle.
13:2 – Abram was rich in livestock, silver, and gold
- The silver and gold ostensibly from the proceeds taken from his ruse of Pharaoh.
- It foreshadows the Hebrews plundering the Egyptians in the Exodus.
13:3 – Bethel
- “house of God”
- The location of Abram’s altar in Bethel is later the location where Jacob met the Lord in a dream (Gen. 28:10-22), and later built an altar to the Lord (Gen. 35:1).
13:4 – Abram called on the name of the Lord
- Abram’s worship of the Lord is restored
- Note – this is where Abram had previously worshiped the Lord (Cf. 12:8)
- Being back at Bethel reminded Abram of his need for worship
13:10 – Lot lifted up his eyes and saw plain of Jordan
- Lot looked to the south and it was “well-watered everywhere … like the garden of the Lord.”
- Ironically, this area of Canaan, which is now largely desert, at this point was lush.
13:14 – “Lift up your eyes and see”
- The Hb. word “ra’ah” is the word used of the Lord’s appraisal of creation in Gen. 1; the Lord’s inspection of Babel (Gen. 11:5), and Abram’s inspection of the land God promised to him (Gen. 12:1)
13:16 – “Like the dust of the earth”
- This is the first occurrence of this aspect of God’s promise to Abram
13:17 – “Arise … walk”
- These same two words are used in the instructions to the Children of Israel by Joshua in Josh 18:4 to complete the occupation of Canaan.
13:18 – Abram built an altar
- This is the 2nd occasion of worship by Abram in this pericope
- The two scenes of worship bookend the pericope
- Let the structure of the text drive the sermon
- Leaving where I should not be
- Abram went up from Egypt (where he should not have been)
- When we find Abram in this pericope he is leaving where he should not have been escorted by his wife whom he had disgraced and his nephew before whom he had set a poor example.
- The tragic irony of this passage is that while Abram left where he should not have been Lot proceeds to go where he should not be
- Changing who I should not be
- Wealth doesn’t lead to happiness
- Selfishness doesn’t lead to satisfaction
- Lot wanted what looked best to him
- Walking by sight and not by faith can be deceptive
- What Abram needed (and I need) is right Worship
- Exp. He called on the name of the Lord again
- Back to that place of worship
- Exp. He made better decisions when his worship was right with the Lord
- Restores our relationship with the Lord
- Leads us to make better decisions
- App. The Lord’s restatement of the Promise indicates that despite Abram’s sin, God’s grace continues through His Covenant