Read Genesis 13 -- 15
In Today's Reading:
Abram and Lot separate; Abram moves to Hebron, builds an altar; Lot rescued; Melchizedek blesses Abram; God's covenant with Abram.
The testing of Abram's faith began after he and Lot left Ur of the Chaldees on their journey of about 1000 miles to the promised land. Upon arrival, he discovered there was a famine and they traveled south near Sodom where the pastureland was best. Abram and Lot both had large flocks. Soon there was quarreling between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock (Genesis 13:7). Abram could have taken the best for himself since he was older than his nephew, as well as being the spiritual leader. Instead, he graciously said to Lot: Please, let's not have quarreling between you and me . . . since we are relatives. Isn't the whole land before you? Separate from me: if to the left, I will go to the right (13:8-9). Lot selfishly took advantage of Abram and chose all the well-watered plain near Sodom.
It was after this experience that Abram received a promise from the Lord that He would make Abram's offspring (descendants)as numerous as the dust of the earth (13:16). Abram went north to live beside the oaks of Mamre at Hebron (a mountain region), where he built an altar for the LORD (13:18).
Lot decided to ignore his spiritual need to be in fellowship with Abram. Instead, he made friends with the people of Sodom, who were sinning greatly against the LORD (13:10-13).
Lot was typical of many Christians today who deplore our wicked society but who make decisions based on their material advantages. Only a few listen seriously to their Savior, who said: No servant can be the slave of two masters (Luke 16:13). Satan wants us to doubt that when we obey the Lord we have chosen the best in life.
Paul wrote: We are pressured in every way . . . perplexed but not in despair . . . persecuted . . . struck down but not destroyed. . . . we do not give up. . . . our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory (II Corinthians 4:8-17).
By the high priest, Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20; Heb. 4:15-16; 5:5-10; 7:1-4). Christ is our High Priest today who is interceding in prayer for us and who is deserving of our gifts and service to Him.
Government Officials: Rep. Thomas Davis (VA), Sen. Mike DeWine (OH), Rep. Chris John (LA), Rep. Nancy Johnson (CT), and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY) · Country: Kyrgyzstan (5 million) in eastern central Asia · Major languages: Kirghiz and Russian · Religious freedom · 60% Muslim; 11% Russian Orthodox; .8% Protestant/Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to be merciful and to forgive your sins (Psalms 25:6-7).
Optional Reading: Matthew 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:3