16 September 2015

Genesis 13:1-18

“So Abram went ...” (v. 1)

Psalm: Psalm 89:19-37


Abram's travelling did not end when he arrived in the Negeb. Because of a famine he and the whole retinue were driven onward into Egypt (Genesis 12:10) where it appears they settled and gained many riches. They were eventually driven out by Pharoh and they began to wander again, still within the knowledge that God had plans for them in Canaan.

However during the time in Egypt Abram's company had grown considerably and there was not enough grazing nor even enough food to sustain both parts of the family. So Abraham decided that it was time to split off from his nephew, Lot, and share out the land between them. Given the choice Lot chose the plain of Jordan having seen its beauty and the fruitful nature of the ground, but the narrator also gives a hint of the future when he speaks of the wickedness of the inhabitants (verse 13). Abram, however, settled in the place where he was sure that God wanted him to be, but God hadn't finished with him yet. He was encouraged to move once more until he eventually settled at Hebron where he built an altar to show that he had arrived where God wanted him to be. We are not told in any of these accounts of the journeying of Abram what the people in Canaan or any of the other stopping places on the journey made of the invasion, but we can assume that they were nomadic people moving around to the fertile places to graze their animals, and Abram and family would have come amongst them in a similar way.

To Ponder

  • How do you regard this journeying we read of here - as obedience to God or as a crusade travelling through other people's territory without thought of what they might think of the invasion?
  • To what extent do you think Abraham was being generous and loving to Lot allowing him to make the choice of land, or did he foresee the trouble Lot would have fitting in with what is spoken of as a wicked people?
  • Where would the parallels be in the journeys we read of here in today's world?

Bible notes author

The Revd Pat Billsborrow

Pat Billsborrow is a supernumerary minister in the Northwich and Winsford Circuit, and is at present part of a district ministry team working within that circuit with pastoral care of four churches. She is ecumenical officer in the Cheshire part of the Chester and Stoke on Trent Methodist District.