Genesis 13:1-13   Return to Bethel and Separation from Lot

1 “Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South. 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

 

5 Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. 6 Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. 7 And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land. 8 So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left." 10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. 12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.    NKJV

 

Facts revealed:

Y      Because of the Lord’s blessing, Abram has now become very rich in livestock, silver and gold.

Y      He returned to Bethel where he had first built an altar.  Bethel is located about 11 miles north of Jerusalem, while Sodom is about 47 miles farther south, near the south end of the Dead Sea.  The Jordan River runs from the north to the south about 16 miles east of Bethel.

Y      Abram called on the name of Yahowah. However the name he used was “El Shaddai” according to God Himself in [Exodus 6:2-3].    

Y      The land was arid and unable to support great flocks of livestock.

Y      To avoid strife between the herdsmen of Lots livestock and his own, Abram suggested that he and Lot separate.  This separation will complete Abram’s obedience to God’s first command to depart from his family and his father’s house. [Genesis 12:1-3] 

Y      The Canaanites and Perizzites were in the land.  These are two of the peoples Israel is commanded to destroy when they came to inherit the land. [Exodus 23:23-24] 

Y      The land along the Jordan Valley and beside the Dead Sea was well watered and lush; whereas today the land along the Dead Sea is nothing but deep ash from south of Masada  going north to almost half way between Masada and EnGedi.

Y      Abram gave Lot the right to choose his part of the Promised Land and agreed to go the other way to settle.

Y      Lot chose the well-watered plain of the Jordan and went as far as Sodom.

Y      It is needful to be reminded that the reason they separated was because of the very great number of livestock they each possessed, and they each had a large number of herdsmen working for them.  When Lot went to Sodom, he was rich in livestock and people; but he went to dwell in the cities of the plain to Sodom.

Y      At the very first when Lot went to Sodom, God viewed the men of Sodom as exceedingly wicked and sinful -- Abram knew it and so Lot must have known it also.

Y      It is interesting to consider the revelation of human nature in the interchange: Abram, the man of God, loved his nephew and gave him the right to choose and from a hilltop vantage point where they could see the green valley and the dry hills of the high land. Abram knew that God would bless him anywhere because God had said He would.

Y      Lot, in his self-centered humanistic view, was willing to compromise his values and tolerate the influence of the wicked men of Sodom in order to live in the ease and comfort of a city surrounded with lush green landscape. 

Y      Too often today we make similar choices for the exact same reasons, desiring to please self or striving to please God.  We too will be called to account for the choices we make.

Y      Lot was rich when he went to Sodom, but when he came out of it he was destitute.