Arise, Walk


Genesis 13:17 states “Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.” Close scrutiny of this verse reveals certain hidden treasures in it. First God asks Abram to rise from whatever position/state he was. Second God asks Abram to walk and finally God says that I will give the land that Abram sets his feet on to Abram. In contrast to how Abram’s nephew, Lot, got the well watered plain of Jordan, wherein were the grievously wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abram did not choose for himself like Lot did … instead, we see here that God gave to Abram – Abram did not take.

We must be careful to not jump to a cause-and-effect understanding of this Scripture, for God does not say, if your arise and walk, then I will give you the land. The Lord simply says, “Arise, Walk, … for I will give you the land” accentuating the truth that God is Sovereign and he gives as he pleases (1 Corinthians 12:11). We are however commanded to arise and walk, just as Abram was commanded to.

Points to ponder:
God wants to give us what he has in store for us according to his perfect will for each one us, but he does command us to ‘Arise’ – rise from the miry pit of sin (Psalm 40:2) and ‘Walk’ in newness of life (Romans 6:4), by his Holy Spirit, so that we do not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17) and lust after things that on the surface may seem well watered but at the core are wicked. God is telling you and me – Arise, Walk. What is our response?

Genesis 13:17 (KJV)
17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

Promise to make the improbable/impossible possible


God promises to the Abraham was that God would make his seed as innumerable as the dust of the earth. Man was made from the dust of the earth in the image of God (Genesis 1) and here we see the same expression “dust of the earth”. So the seed mentioned here could refer to the earthly descendants of Abraham in contrast to the Seed, promised through Abraham, conceived by the Spirit of God, through whom all peoples (nations) of the earth shall be blessed, referring to Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:16), the Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15). We shall delve into the identity of the Seed of Abraham in relation to God’s covenant with him in more detail another time, but what is important to note here, is that God is the business of making what would seem improbable or even impossible, to be possible. Notice, Abram was over seventy five years old (Genesis 12:4) and was childless at this age. All he had to do was believe, which isn’t very easy.

Points to ponder:
God’s promise(s) to us may at times seem improbable and sometimes even impossible. But what God wants us to do is trust him and believe in him, despite our current circumstances and chances. Do you believe that God would come through at his word? You should (if you don’t) for he always comes through. Do you believe?

Genesis 13:16
16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

More than leftovers


Abram tells Lot to look at the whole land before them, when he offered Lot his nephew the first pick of the land to settle the dispute that had arisen between his herdmen and Lot’s. Lot lifted up his eyes and picked (chose) for himself the land in the East, which was the well watered plain of Jordan and pitched his tent toward Sodom, whose people were wicked and exceedingly sinful. So Lot got to pick one part of the expanse of the land – just the East.

Then after Lot separated from Abram, God tells Abram to lift up his eyes and promises to give to Abram and his seed, all the land that he saw – the north, the south, the east, and the west. In other words, when Abram offered to take what was left over, God makes thing right for him forever by giving him all that he saw, not just one side of the land.

Points to ponder:
When we pick with the eyes of sight, we tend to get just a portion of what God has planned and promised to give us. But when we let God pick, seeing through eyes of faith, that God, like a Father, is a giver of good gifts (Matthew 7:11), we get not just one portion of what God has in store for us, but all of it. Do you still want to pick the things in and for your life, or are you willing to let God pick for you?

Genesis 13:14-15 (KJV)
14 And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

Separated from family but not the Lord


The Bible in Genesis 13:14 states that Lot separated from Abram, his uncle, to settle the strife that had arisen between his herdmen and his uncle’s, upon Abram’s plea to not be in conflict within the family. Come to think of it, this was Abram’s second time being separated from his own (family) for the Lord had once before told Abram to leave his father’s house, his relatives and go to the land that God was going to show him (Genesis 12:1) and after Abram’s father’s death, Abram left his family in Haran where he had dwelt with his father and separated from his living relatives (Genesis 12:4), journeying to where God was leading him.

Separation from family members usually result in a sense of loneliness and in some cases despair, but here we see that after the separation, the voice of the Lord was heard by Abram, with blessing, and where the Lord is, there is no loneliness.

Points to ponder:
Are you feeling lonely and left all alone? Death or divorce could have caused that separation and when our very own leave us, we feel lonely with a sense of despair, but we can take solace in the fact, the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. After any separation, let us incline your ear, for we may hear the voice of the Lord with a blessing for our life. There is no loneliness when the Lord is with you.

Genesis 13:14 (KJV)
14 And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:

WYSI NOT WYG


People in the technology industry are likely to be familiar with the acronym WYSIWYG (pronounced wiz-ee-wig) which stands for What You See Is What You Get. This is used in computing to describe, that the content displayed (what you see) pre-production is the final output (is what you get) as well. However, in the Bible we see an account of this, not necessarily being true. It is given  in the book of Genesis chapter 13.

Abram offers Lot his nephew the first pick of the land to settle the dispute that had arisen between his herdmen and Lot’s. And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the well watered plains of Jordan, which included the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and chose it for himself. But then the Scripture continues to record (in this account) that the men of Sodom where exceedingly wicked and sinful. While Lot saw the external well watered plain, he did not see the wicked people of the land in it, and in that sense, what he saw was not what he got.

Points to ponder:
Many a times, we like Lot, go after what we see, externally, without taking time to look at the core of what we seek and see. By choosing for ourselves the things that please our eyes, we deprive God of his right of choosing for us. Are you taking time to ensure that with the well-watered things we seek and see, we don’t also end up in a place that is wicked and sinful in the sight of God, for What you See is NOT always What you Get. Let God choose for you!

Genesis 13:10-13 (KJV)
10 
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.

12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.

See, Separate and Select – to address Strife


When Abram was reasoning with Lot to settle the strife between his herdmen and Lot’s, Abram not only takes the initiative to reconcile but interestingly, he also lets Lot have the first pick.

One of the primary reasons as to why we quarrel is because we feel deprived of something that we feel we are entitled to. Secondly, we want to get what we feel is the best for ourselves and end up wanting to take more than wanting to give. And then sometimes, when others have something, we would like to have for ourselves, we continue to pursue our interests, often coveting what we should not. All these leads invariably to conflict. From the way Abram dealt with strife, we can see some valuable lessons in conflict (strife) resolution.
1. Abram saw the provisions of God in the whole land that was before him and Lot for he said “Is not the whole land before thee?”
2. Abram asks Lot to separate himself from the but in essence if you notice, it is he, who is willing to be separated for he says, if you take what is in your left, I will go to the right and if you take what is in your right, I will go to the left.
3. Abram lets Lot take the first pick.

Points to ponder:
Many a times we quarrel and fight over ephemeral things of this world, not seeing the provisions of God in all the whole earth before us. We continue in our quarrel unwilling to separate ourselves from the things of the world. Finally, we greedily select for ourselves what we feel is best, failing to let God pick the best for us. Are you/I willing to see the hand of God, providing and protecting us? Are you/I willing to separate ourselves from the world for the Lord God? Are you/I willing to let others take the first pick and allow God to pick the best for us?

Genesis 13:9 (KJV)
Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

Taking the initiative


The early verses of Genesis 13 gives the account of a strife that ensues between the herdmen of Abram cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle, but what is important to note, is that Abram takes the initiative to settle the dispute. He tells Lot, that there be no strife between them or his herdemen and Lot’s. Not only does Abram take the initiative to address the disagreement but if you notice carefully, interestingly Abram addresses Lot, the son of his brother, Haran, not as his nephew, but as his brother. In other words, he treats Lot as his own brother.

Points to ponder:
Jesus Christ took the initiative to love us (1 John 4:19) and reconcile us with God, the Father. Just as Abram addresses Lot as his brother, Jesus Christ, after his resurrection addressed his disciples as his brethren (Matthew 28:10). As followers of Jesus Christ, we are expected to do the same, to take the initiative to reconcile and restore relationships. Are you/I taking the initiative?

Genesis 13:6-8 (KJV)
And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.