BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 12, Day 5: Genesis 13:14-18

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, ONE AND ALL!!!

Summary of passage:  The Lord told Abram He was giving him and his offspring all the land Abram could see forever.  God will make Abram’s offspring as numerous as the dust on the earth.  God told Abram to walk his land.  So Abram moved his tents and settled near Hebron where he built an altar to the Lord.

Questions:

11a)  Read this question carefully.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, appropriate by definition means “to take exclusive possession of, annex; to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use; to take or make use of without authority or right.”

In this passage, God requires Abram to go and walk through the length and breadth of the land in order to appreciate God’s gift and to realize the immensity of God’s gift and promises.  God wants Abram to embrace His gifts and promises, to take possession of them like you would a home you just bought, and to make use of them.  God is granting Abram the right to make use of the land and His promises even though Abram has no right to it.  Make sense?

For us, figuratively, God wants us to explore his land, which is His word today, and embrace His promises–by FAITH.

b)  God promises us the world as long as we follow Him and we do not turn away from his law.  God gives Joshua the Promised land and tells him no one will be able to stand against him and He will never forsake him.  Success depends on obeying the law.  God will be with you wherever you go.

12)  Romans 14:10-12:  Because our actions could affect others coming to Christ.  Paul says to stop passing judgment on others for we will all give an account to God for our actions.  Verse 13 is the crux:  “not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.”

2 Corinthians 5:9-10:  We must make it our goal to please God for we will all be judged and we will receive what is due us for the things done in the body while her on earth.

1 John 2:28:  We must continue in him (obey his commands) so that we may be confident and unashamed for our actions when Christ comes again.

Conclusions:  The verses in questions 12 I think emphasize the “me”.  I emphasized how it affects others.  True, we must please God and do what is right because we will be judged and our rewards in heaven is determined by our deeds here on earth.  But more importantly is how once you are a Christian people look at you differently.  You represent Christ here on earth and we must be especially careful because others are watching and what we say and do could determine whether or not they come to him or not.

My soul is saved.  Saving others souls’ should be the priority.  And that I believe will earn you greater rewards than just being good.  For their is no nobler a cause.  And naturally, through the goal of saving others, flows forth righteousness, love, and compassion–eternal rewards–God will give.

End Note:  Be careful of the verb appropriate here.  It’s got a tricky definition and I don’t think it means God doesn’t have the right to give the land.  For on earth it can mean taking someone’s property without permission.  Since it is all God’s He can do whatever He wants.  Still, the verb is not sitting well with me in this instance for it does have a negative connotation.  And nothing God does is.

Man seems to think it’s all “mine”.  Look at the Middle East right now.  Fighting again over the land–a gift from God.  Man has forgotten it is all God’s.

I think one of the biggest criticisms unbelievers say about God is this:  that He just forced the people already living in the Promised Land out and took it from them.  Unbelievers just don’t grasp the truth it was and is God’s to begin with and He can do whatever He wants.

Therefore, appropriate is a word man uses when someone takes land.  But here, I believe, it’s land for God’s purposes to be achieved.  Only man can twist the meaning.

Day 6, Question 13:  I normally don’t answer or post these but I couldn’t resist this one.  I was just on a BLOG where there were insanely beautiful pictures of bighorn sheep.  These creatures were magnificent, God’s creations, the epitome of beauty.

I think God’s order to walk the land is an order to appreciate the beauty and the miraculousness of life on earth–the only planet in our galaxy where life exists.  To truly understand God’s gift, Abram needed to see the entire land He had promised him.

We can “walk the land” in the same way.  Literally would be nice but in this day and age we don’t have to.  You can see the images others take and stand in awe of Him–like I was with these photos.

I would encourage you to appreciate God’s beauty around us.  For in all His Creations, is Him.  And we will get to know God the more we get to know His creations–the animals, plants, seas, mountains, and man–the more we embrace His Creations, the more we “take possession of” His Creations.  This is my prayer.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 12, Day 4: Genesis 13:14-18

Summary of passage:  The Lord told Abram He was giving him and his offspring all the land Abram could see forever.  God will make Abram’s offspring as numerous as the dust on the earth.  God told Abram to walk his land.  So Abram moved his tents and settled near Hebron where he built an altar to the Lord.

Questions:

8a)  Lot chose the best, greenest, most fertile land for himself.

b)  Abram stayed in Canaan which had been overgrazed.

c)  Not everything is as it seems.  Matthew 6 says you need to be concentrating on storing up treasures in heaven and not treasures on earth (or having the best) for where you treasure is lies your heart.  Matthew 10 says its about following Jesus and sacrificing all for him.  Matthew 19 reminds us its about giving and not receiving to earn treasures in heaven.  Luke reminds us the earth is not our home.

9)  Abram got all the land he could see forever plus his offspring would inherit it and his offspring would be numerous as dust.  Lot’s was probably temporary and subject to takeovers.

10a)  Matthew 19:29:  “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”

The Beatitudes in Matthew 5.  My favorite is Matthew 5:10:  “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Luke 6:22-23:  “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.”

b)  Our greatest blessing is having our sins forgiven and promised an eternal life with God.  What we give up seems paltry next to Jesus’s sacrifice especially in the 21st century.  When I read the Bible, God’s commandments in essence are simple. He asks nothing impossible of us.  Yet we fail repeatedly.  Overcoming our sinful nature is where the battle is but with training and practice we can all become better.

God does not ask us to give up much it seems.  To just be a good person.  Do what Jesus would do.  Hard?  Yes.  Impossible?  No.

Conclusions:  For Question 8 I had to go back to Genesis 13:10.  I believe our sacrifices for Jesus are small compared to his.  We must remember this world is not our home and if we keep that in the forefront of our minds when we are tempted by our eyes then we should be alright.

Myself, though, I’m jaded anyways.  I don’t believe half of what I see anyways.  If it’s too good to be true, it probably is, as the saying goes.

Yet so many get caught in the materialistic trap.  Just look at Black Friday.  I don’t leave the house on that day.  It’s not about the latest gadget.  It’s about the fact you are able to purchase the latest gadget through God’s provision.  So many lose sight of that.

Everything is God’s.  It is just on loan to us.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 12, Day 3: Genesis 13:5-13

Summary of passage:  Lot, Abram’s nephew, was traveling with Abram until he had to separate because their herds of animals were growing too big to support both flocks. This caused quarrels between the two groups.  The Canaanites and Perizzites were living there as well so it was crowded.

Abram approached Lot and suggested they separate, giving Lot the choice of which lands he wanted.  Lot chose the plain of the Jordan which was well watered and they parted, leaving Abram in Canaan and Lot near Sodom.  Sodom was wicked and sinning greatly against the Lord.

Questions:

5a)  Verses 10 & 11:  “Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar…so Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan…”

b)  People live places because it looks good, it appeals to the eyes and not to the heart.  People live places for the climate and the beauty and for what the place can provide them.

c)  Verse 12 & 13:  “Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom”, which was “wicked and sinful against the Lord.”

d)  Lot got caught up in a neighboring war and him and his possessions were seized, causing Abram to rescue him (Genesis 14). Lot became entrenched in the society of Sodom for he was “sitting in the gateway of the city” (Genesis 19:1), a place reserved for city leaders.  He calls the people of Sodom “friends” when he tells them they cannot have the angels (Genesis 19:7).  Then Lot and his family did not want to leave Sodom when the angels warned him it was about to be destroyed (Genesis 19:16) and it seems they had to be forcefully pulled.

When told not to look back, Lot’s wife did and was turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).  Then his daughters got him drunk and lay with him, committing incest, and became pregnant, spawning the Moabites and Ammonites who throughout the Bible fought and tempted Israel into sin (Genesis 19:34-38).

Shows how even living near sin can infect your family who may fall into the world.  Lot’s wife died, his daughters committed incest, and Lot’s heart was not on God.  Reminds me of Paul’s warning (1 Corinthians 5:9; 15:33 & 2 Corinthians 6:14-17) to not associate with sinners and to be careful of the company you keep.  This is especially true when you have little kids who are very impressionable.

6)  John 14:27:  You will not have the peace Jesus gives.  You will have troubled hearts and be afraid.  Jesus brings peace.

Ephesians 4:17-20: You will have  hardened heart, live in darkness, and have no understanding.  You will have no sensitivity and indulge in every kind of impurity and lust.  You will develop a moral insensitivity, which will silence your conscience and harden your heart.

James 4:4:  You will be an enemy of God and will have hatred towards Him.

1 John 2:15-17:  If you love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything of the world comes from the world, not the Father.  The world and its desires fade away but the will of God lives forever.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This is a very tough question since it’s always hard to make self-assessments.  I would say no.  I try to pray before I make decisions.  I try to follow His guidance, where I think He is leading me.  I try to surrender.  And as I study His word and learn more about Him, I become less and less attached to this world.  It’s like a mother weaning her baby.  I feel I am being weaned from this world the closer I get to God.

Conclusions:  This lesson shows us that if you make choices based on your desires and wants, you will put yourself in risk of Falling.  From the moment Lot chose his piece of land, he declined–dramatically–and he became more and more attached to this world.  I think he was only spared because he was Abram’s nephew to be honest (Genesis 19:29).

I thought James 4:4 was powerful.  “Whoever chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God and shows him hatred.”  Those are strong words.  Think about it.  Who’s the arch-enemy of God?  The devil.  And here we are being equated with the devil.

And shows Him hatred.  I don’t hate anyone in my life and definitely not God.  But the world does.  And choosing the world means you hate God as well.

Powerful words to ponder as we examine our selves and our decisions and what’s important in this world.

God first.  Everything else a distant second.  This is my prayer for us all.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 12, Day 2: Genesis 13:5-13

Summary of passage:  Lot, Abram’s nephew, was traveling with Abram until he had to separate because their herds of animals were growing too big to support both flocks. This caused quarrels between the two groups.  The Canaanites and Perizzites were living there as well so it was crowded.

Abram approached Lot and suggested they separate, giving Lot the choice of which lands he wanted.  Lot chose the plain of the Jordan which was well watered and they parted, leaving Abram in Canaan and Lot near Sodom.  Sodom was wicked and sinning greatly against the Lord.

Questions:

3)  Genesis 13:5-13:  Abram saw tensions rising and he took quick action.  He came up with a solution and gave the choice to Lot instead of Abram choosing which way to go. He approached Lot out of love and deferred to him.

1 Corinthians 6:1-8:  This passage says to settle disagreements between believers without bringing in unbelievers.  Appoint an arbitrator from the church.  Paul says it is better to be wronged than to wrong your brother.  Abram followed this advice Paul later wrote.  He approached Lot with their disagreement and came up with a fair solution and Abram humbly let Lot chose.

Ephesians 4:1-3:  Paul advised to live humbly and be patient and deal with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity, to get along.  Abram did just that.  He loved Lot as a brother so he wanted to settle the problem quickly.

Ephesians 4:31-5:2:  Paul says to not be angry or slanderous but to be kind and compassionate and forgiving to one another.  Be imitators of God and live a life of love. Abram did just that.

Seems Abram and Paul had a lot in common!

4a)  He was the eldest and God gave Abram the land (Genesis 12:1), not Lot.  Lot just tagged along.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I have no concrete example but no, I would say my attitude is usually pretty poor when it comes to submitting rights.  But I will say as time passes and I grow in God I do become more generous, compassionate, and yielding.  This is hard when we are born selfish.  It definitely takes time to develop.

In this day and age when it’s all about personal rights and people thinking others owe them, this is a shining example of how to show God’s love to others.  The Canaanites and Perizzites were watching.  They saw the quarrels and probably didn’t think much of Abram’s God.  But when Abram did something not many others would in the ancient world, the Canaanites and Perizzites probably wondered, Who is this God of theirs?  

And just like that, the seed is planted…

We must remember everyone is watching (this isn’t too hard in the age of YouTube and hidden cameras).  We must reflect God to the un-Godly.

Conclusions:  I liked this lesson.  It’s a great reminder that we don’t always have to be right or even exercise our rights.  By submitting our will and rights, we are submitting to God’s will and showing trust in God that all will work out as He planned (not as we planned) and God will take care of us.

End Note:  It’s interesting the turn around in Abram.  We’re not told how much time has passed between Egypt and Abram and Lot separating but here was a man in Chapter 12 who did not trust God to save him so he took matters into his own hands by prostituting his wife.

Now we see Abram completely surrendering his rights to his nephew, trusting God will take care of him and his animals.

People do grow in faith.  This gives me hope that I can as well.