Genesis 13 & 14 – The Separation

Today we are looking at chapters 13 & 14 and in particular the relationship between Abram and Lot. We know very little about Lot up to this point. We know he accompanied Abram to Egypt and came back but apart from that the author of genesis has not revealed anything about Lot. Lot did not have a father and Abram did not have a son so it’s safe to say that Lot saw Abram as a father figure given that he also left his hometown to follow Abram. And Abram would have seen lot as his son and his presumed heir.

In the first section we see Abram and Lot both return to the Negev and as we saw in the last chapter they did not return empty handed. Pharaoh had made Abram rich for Sarai’s sake. We also see Abram resume his connection with God as he starts building altars again. God also starts speaking to Abram but as we discuss that was perhaps only after Lot left for Sodom.

The main source of the problem in this chapter is their wealth. They had amassed so much wealth that it became the cause of their separation. Which reaffirms the fact that this wealth was not a blessing form God.

Although it was Abram who suggested that they should separate still it was uncharacteristic at that time for the patriarch to offer first picks to his nephew.

Chapter 14 starts off with a war brewing between 9 kings. Four kings on one side (one of them being the king of Shinar, the place were most believe the Tower of Babel was being built) and on the other side five kings including king of Sodom, the place where Lot had set up shop

The timing of the war gives us further evidence that the events in Genesis are not recorded in chronological order as Abraham probably had Ishmael by this time. Abram was 75 when he left his father’s household and even if these events started on that day, Abram would have been 89 when Sodom was captured. That is three years after Ishmael was born which the author records in Genesis 16.

Abram’s possible route to Damascus

On hearing about the war against Sodom and his nephew being captured by the four kings, Abram gathered 318 trained men born in his house and went and defeated the great army of the four kings who had terrorized the region. How is that even possible?

And that’s when we are introduced to perhaps the most mysterious character in the entire Bible Melchizedek, who claims that God had delivered their enemies into Abrams hands.

Abram refuses to accept anything from the king of Sodom, probably still being haunted by incident that happened in Egypt, but decided to give a tenth of the Loot to the great high priest Melchizedek.

Some of the questions we discuss –

  • What makes Lot choose Sodom? After leaving an Immoral country to go back into another one doesn’t make sense?
  • Why does God start talking to Abram after Lot’s departure? Last time God spoke to Abram was in Chapter 12v7, but Why was he silent throughout his time in Egypt and even after coming back?
  • Lot of commentators site the reason for Abram’s wealth, talked about in this chapter, as a blessing from God. Are our possessions really a blessing when they cause fractures among us or even worse, cause a separation from God?
  • Who is Melchizedek?
  • Why did God save Sodom if he had planned to destroy it a few years later?
  • Even after God saves us from our problems, we still choose to go down that same path again. (Like Lot Over Here) Why do we keep betraying his trust?

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