Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 8

This entry is part 8 of 39 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap of part 7: Abram, Sarai, and Lot have made themselves comfortable in the land God called Abram out to. They have gone through many obstacles along the way and are faced with new ones in their current locations. Did Abram seek God? Or did God seek Abram? Those were the questions presented last week and we heard from Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher on this topic. However, God has given the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. Let us not settle for the controversy of man but lean on God’s word to guide our understanding.

Part 8

As Abram settled in the new land, he had to provide for his family. He had a great amount of possessions, we read, when Lot and Abram divide themselves because of the strife amongst the servants. “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. 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” (KJV Genesis 13:7-9). “Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other” (v.11).

After their time apart, we read that Lot is in trouble and has been seized in a battle of kings; taking place in Sodom. Four kings began a battle against five other kings and during the struggle Lot, his family, and all his possession were taken. One of Lot’s servants was able to escape this barbarism and found Abram. “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people” (KJV Genesis 14:14-16).

This man Abram saved his nephew from slavery and death. Abram faced many challenges and he chose combat when deciding what to do with the men who took Lot. Prior to this event, we can read nothing about Abram’s fighting skill, or his bravery, but through these simple sentences we can see that he was a warrior, that he overcame much, and that he succeeded with the challenges he faced. This is quite a different feeling to have of Abram than the one we have when he was in Egypt. If you recall while he was in Egypt, he feared the pharaoh and was afraid to call his wife his spouse, but instead called her his sister. “Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee” (KJV Genesis 12:12-13). He plays the role of a coward in these verses. So which Abram is he? Coward? Or warrior?

What options did Abram have in both scenarios? He had a choice when choosing to call his spouse, his sister. But, did he have a choice when it came to his nephew’s life? He obviously could have ignored the news of his nephew’s demise, but could he live with that decision? He obviously dealt with a heavy burden. How many of us would have acted in a similar fashion when we hear of a brother or sister in Christ who have faced adversity? We are commanded to love one another: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (KJV John 13:34-35). Abram acted with love when saving Lot. He acted as the New Testament Church ought to act when facing these challenges. We do not get to choose our family, but instead we must do as commanded. We must be obedient to Christ in all the ways he asks, not just with the easy things, but with the difficult and challenging things also. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (KJV Matthew 5:10). As Abram chose, choose to be a warrior for Christ, not a coward.

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