Abram’s Victories

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy…”  What kind of men or women are we in the midst of challenge or controversy?  Are we dependent on the Lord or do we fold under pressure into worry and doubt?  Today, God will speak to us by the Holy Spirit through His holy Word in Genesis 13 and 14.  The life of Abram here will teach us courage and conviction in the world where He has placed us.

We see in Genesis 13:5-10 that there is contention between the families and flocks of Abram and the flocks and families of his nephew Lot.  Abram is a gracious gentleman here and offers whatever land Lot desires.  Abram is a peacemaker and lives by faith.  Lot chooses the best of the land for himself–the well watered valley of the Jordan (which just happened to be home to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah).  Lot was a troublemaker and lived by sight.  He really didn’t think too far ahead…as we shall soon see.  He moves into the wrong neighborhood with the wrong motive.  Now, it’s perfectly fine to move into a dangerous neighborhood IF you have the RIGHT motive–if you have the desire to be a missionary.  Lot did not have that desire.  Lot left God behind…and eventually destroyed his family.

In Genesis 13:14-18 God once again confirms His promise to Abram that the land of Canaan belongs to him and his descendants forever.  Now, Abram never did possess all the land that was promised (from the River Euphrates to the River of Egypt).  So, in order for this promise to be fulfilled, God will have to resurrect Abram and plant him in this land to be inhabited by a faithful remnant of Israel forever.

Genesis 14 tells us the story of trouble in “paradise”.  There is a rumble among several pagan kings and their armies, and this spills over into Abram and his family.  The innocent are always caught up in the murderous misbehavior of others.  Lot and all of his family are captured by these gangsters, and they are carted off into captivity.  What does Abram do?  Abram did not have a large army (only 318 servants), but he had been training them for such a day, and they were prepared.  Abram could have forgotten all about his wayward relative Lot, but instead he pursued his enslaved brother.  Notice, however, he only does this once.  I think we have an obligation to pursue our wayward brethren…but that doesn’t mean we must do this forever.

Abram faced a vast army of four kings with only 318 men.  But with God, that is all that was needed.  What do I learn from this?  God is able to give a trusting and obedient minority victory over ungodly forces that are overwhelmingly superior in numbers.  Zechariah 4:6– “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty.”  It’s a lesson that God taught Moses at the Red Sea.  Joshua at the entrance of the land of Canaan.  Gideon when he faced the Midianites with 300 men.  And David when he faced Goliath.  God is bigger than any problem you will face.

Posted by Jeff Sanders