Genesis 12-13 – The Challenge Our Insecurities Bring

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I want to invite you to Genesis chapter 12, and chapter 13 is where we’re going to be together today, Genesis 12 and Genesis chapter 13. We’re going to look at the last half of chapter 12 and dive into chapter 13 today. But as we go into the book of Genesis, I want you to know I love the book of Genesis. And because it helps me prioritize, really what matters in life and what we find that in order to really appreciate Genesis, you find a lot of failure on the front end and the failure is with people. It doesn’t matter which generation rises up, it seems like every generation falls flat on their face. But what’s great about Genesis is even though people continue again and again to fall flat on their face, it’s a book that gives us hope, and the reason it gives us hope is because God doesn’t quit on us. He is consistent in his nature that while we continue to fall away from the Lord and reject him, God is faithful in who he is and it brings us grace and hope in him. And we see that really in who the book of Genesis is written to. If you’re a member, as we’ve talked about this together, the book of Genesis is written to a group of people that have been human trafficked. It’s written to a group of slaves. They’ve been treated as slaves for generations in Egypt. And God is setting them free.

And in setting them free, he’s declaring to them who who they are in light of who they they find themselves in the Lord. The reason God has designed us, meaning we’re not the sum of our parts. Our value is not based on what we do. Our value is based on who we are. It’s intrinsically given to us by God. That God is not a God who made accidents, that God created you purposefully, meaningfully. And God has a great plan for your life, and he’s sharing that with with these individuals that have been rescued, the Hebrews that have been rescued from slavery, finding their identity in the Lord and being able to walk with him. But here’s what often happens that those that are that are oppressed when they find their identity in the Lord, they they end up becoming the oppressors. Anytime someone gets power and becomes on top, the danger is that we use that strength for our own glory and it destroys people rather than blesses people. Because anytime we live for our glory rather than God’s glory, we take what God has given us and we use it for ourselves, and we harm other people around us. But when we live for God’s glory, it’s a blessing to others. And so not only is it important for us in our brokenness to find our identity, but to faithfully live it out. And the Book of Genesis is a book that encourages down that path, that we are on a journey to know the Lord.

And in knowing the Lord, it’s also important to remind us the world offers temptation, and in that temptation we can stray from who God has called us to be in him and choose to worship idols, trying to discover the meaning and value of who we are apart from him. But the reality is, you weren’t made for the things of this world. You were made for God. And in connecting to God, you can honor God and bless others through him. And so today we’re going to look at the challenges that life brings to us, particularly in insecurities, the challenge our insecurity brings to us and how it becomes a temptation or an opportunity. We all have insecurities as people. We face them both internally and externally. We’re going to look at the insecurity Abraham is facing today. Externally, and we don’t often do what we know God desires because we struggle with our insecurities. You might know who God has called you to be in this world. You might have discovered Christ and you. You begin to find your identity shaped in him. But then when you step out into the world to live out that purpose, sometimes you might hide from that identity simply because you’re more concerned with what people think about you than what the Lord says about you. And in so doing, you, you sort of walk in fear. No one might know it externally, but you know it internally because you’re not being faithful to what God has called you to.

And so we we struggle in our insecurities because we want to know that we matter. We want to know that we’re value to people. And so sometimes we’ll give in to the temptation of of discovering our identity in, in others, rather than living out our identity in what Christ has called us to. We can face that internally, like I just described, but we can also face it externally. There might be certain pressures or certain adversity that you’ve gone through in your life, and and you might all of a sudden believe that the promises of God were true. But in the circumstance you find yourself externally, well, you need to just take care of this and you can get back to the following God part. And so in all of that, we’re going to look at the the challenge that that our insecurity brings us. And what you do in insecurity matters because it brings you to a place of one of two choices. You can walk in compromise to your faith. Or you can walk in the identity in which God has has given you. And we learn about our tendency in our insecurities today through Abraham. But we also learn about the patience of God. Abraham was not a perfect person, which which should be a very encouraging thing for us because we as people, we have the tendency that when we fail, we look at other people and we know sometimes they mess up too, but not like we mess up.

I’m the royal mess up, right? They just kind of mess up, but I can’t seem to get out of my own way. I’m always tripping over things and you sort of label yourself in that identity. There’s the other people that have it together. Then there’s me, right? I’m kind of the exception, the black sheep to to God’s family. And and you might wear that label and you sort of feel bad and you begin to get ostracized or, or you might look at other people and you think, well, their faith is spectacular. But but my faith, I’m, I’m nothing compared to them. Sometimes we have the tendency to look at Bible characters and put them on this pedestal like they’re great. And I’m just the the B team or maybe the C team, or maybe you don’t even get an alphabet. Maybe you’re down to the numbers because you’ve gone through all the letters. I don’t know, but but you look at yourself different than other people because you see them as giants, and it’s not ever attainable for you. And you wonder how in the world could I ever be what they are because I’m not as great as they are. But but then you read stories like the life of Abraham and, you know, Abraham and Sarah, they’re certainly famous. But what you discover in this passage is they are by far they are far from perfect.

They are far from from perfect people. They may mess up and they they fail to follow God at certain times. And then we get to see how this plays out. God is going to use Abraham as an example. Get this to help you this morning to feel normal. God knows we all have insecurities and God knows we struggle and God doesn’t give up on us in those struggles. You aren’t an accident, you aren’t a mess up. You are a work in progress and God loves you. And because God’s grace is for his children wanting to to see them nurture and grow in him, God is always faithful to who he is, right? His his reaction isn’t contingent upon what you do. And so in terms of the challenge of our insecurities, number one in your notes, Abraham falls in his insecurities. Or you can say he compromises in his insecurities. And you start to see this as it’s laid out, really in Genesis 12 verse one and two. I’m not going to throw those verses on the screen. We read them last week, but in Genesis 12 one and two, if you remember, God tells Abraham to go, go to a place that I have promised you, a land that I have promised you, and I’m going to to multiply you upon the earth. Right? I’m going to you’re going to have kids.

You’re going to multiply. It’s going to be great. So listen to what I say and go. And then Abraham goes. And in verse seven, God repeats that right now that he’s in the land, God repeats it. This is your land. I’m going to multiply it. But then in the midst of that, right after God says this, Abraham does something foolish. In verse ten, it tells us, look at this now there was a famine in the land. So Abraham went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai or Sarah, his wife, I know that you are a woman, beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, this is his wife. Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say, you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, so that my life may be spared for your sake. Verse 14. When Abraham entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house, and for her sake he dealt well with Abraham. And he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. So. So here’s how the story progresses. Abraham is given this promise of God, and he gets to the land, and he realizes the land has got a famine.

And rather than continue in the faith that God has called him to, rather than continue on the journey, the step of faith that Abraham is has taken. Now he gets to this position where he feels insecure, and in that insecurity now he decides to compromise. And you know, this, this, this is really a place for all of us to consider what it means to take a step of faith in the Lord. This happens, I think, to all of us, that that you might hear the call of God in your life and you decide, oh, I see who Jesus is. I want to pursue this in my life. You find your identity in that, and then you take a step. You boldly take this step of following the Lord. And as soon as you take that step, you might decide, okay, you know, I did it. I made that step of faith and hang your hat and step back just on that identity. But what you find is when you when you’re called out like that, when you when you put your faith in Christ and you might declare it to the world, all of a sudden it becomes this, this target on your back. For example, if you ever if you’ve been baptized in Christ, that public profession, one of the encouragements like to give to people that have been baptized is be mindful of your walk in these first few days, because this is often the place where Satan will tempt you.

This is often the place where you’re going to find big challenges in your life. Because you’ve taken a tremendous step. And this is exactly what’s happened to Abraham. He believed so much in the promise of God that he was willing to pack up everything in a land where his family and friends lived and move hundreds of miles, which people in his day did not do. You were you were born, lived, and died within a 50 mile radius during Abraham’s day. And he journeys hundreds of miles in faith. But when he gets there, it’s like all of a sudden he forgets the promises of God is now because of the adversity he’s experiencing in this land. Now, God’s promises don’t apply and the same is true for us. God’s given you an identity in him. If you trust in Christ and God promises is going to be with you no matter what you go through. And but all of a sudden we can get into this place where we believe. Well, I had faith once, right? But I need to take care of this before I can continue to trust in the Lord. And Abraham takes in this story. He takes matters into his own hands. God doesn’t tell him to leave this land because of a famine. God told him to go to this land, but Abraham is the one that decides to leave the land and when Abraham leaves, leaves the land, we see the consequence of his actions.

It doesn’t just cause him to compromise in the Lord once he compromises in the Lord, and both ways that he’s given a promise that Abraham not only are going to have land, but you’ve got a wife. And through this wife I’m going to give you a child, and through this child it’s going to bless the world, because through him will come the seed, which is Jesus. And so Abraham gives up on everything. He leaves the land behind. And his wife, I mean, if I give Abraham a little credit in this passage, it does say he’s going to Egypt to sojourn, which means he knows he’s not going to make a permanent place here, but he immediately abandons the promise of God. And in so doing, he leaves his wife. Abraham leaves his wife. And it’s to say to us, look, when you abandon the promises of God in your own life, it isn’t just a consequence that you face. It has a ripple effect in the relationships around you, starting in your own home. And this is what happens in the life of Abraham that he just hands Sarah. I mean, Abraham is certainly not getting an award for husband of the year this year, right? I mean, he just like camels and donkeys. I’ll take it. Just take her. Right. Like he values his his his life before his own wife.

And he just he just waves. Bye. See you. I’ll see you later. And she’s just going into the harem. And look, Abraham is not not completely on his own here. It doesn’t tell you what Sarah does in this passage, but it kind of leads us to conclude that Sarah just went along with it. She was passive, and God made husband and wife to be a helpmate to one another. Because sometimes we have blinders. Sometimes we don’t realize the full foolishness of which we might be walking in. And so even in God’s family, God created a family to encourage one another along. And Sarah takes this passive role that provides consequence. Now, we don’t know why Sarah did this. She could be totally ticked at Abraham for moving her hundreds of miles by camel. I mean, who wants to do that, right? Or maybe she looked at living in tents with Abraham and the castle she was about to go into. Who knows the reason she picks, but but whatever it is, they’re not obedient to what God has called them to. And so here comes the question, then, is why? Why would Abraham do this? Right after he gets a promise from God, he turns around and denies it, like his circumstance becomes this exception all of a sudden. Why would Abraham do this? And the answer is the same reason we all do this. We don’t like feeling insecure. And in that insecurity, what you do in those moments matters because it becomes this place of compromise or this place of exercising faith.

I mean, from the beginning of Genesis, you see this story. Remember when Adam and Eve sinned? You know, they immediately did in that sin. They they felt insecure. And so they start running through a garden, ripping off fig leaves to cover themselves. And you just think about that for a minute. Out of all the things that you can cover yourselves with. How stupid is that? Right? You think of all the plants you could be if you just Google what’s a what’s the size of a fig leaf, right? I mean, there’s some there is. There is a few plants that could speculate that might have some big leaves, but the traditional leaf of a fig leaf that’s not that’s not covering much. Right. And I think that’s the point of the story is to say to you in our insecurities, rather than trust in the consistency of who God is, which is the only thing that endures, we look to anything else in this world, and it’s all broken. And Adam and Eve become a picture of that. How we we lean into our insecurities, hoping something makes me feel important, contrary to God. Now. Abraham does it here. The insecurity he feels. I think Adam and Eve was internal. They felt exposed. Abraham. It’s external. And so he’s not trusting in the Lord. He compromises on what God’s called him to.

But we do the same thing and we do it all the time. What makes you matter. What gives you worth? Can I tell you if that answer isn’t rooted in your identity in Jesus? Whatever you pick is a facade. It is a facade that is only temporal to this world, and it may not even endure. Your lifetime. Most likely will not. And as people you think about the inadequacies that we have, the insecurities that we carry, that brings us to this place of compromise. I want to feel like I’m important, so I need more money. Right. But I don’t know if we’ve noticed. If you’ve watched the news the last few weeks, you’re on the cusp of World War three, and all of that can be ripped away from you in a heartbeat. And then the question is, what are you going to trust in? Or what about. What about? I need to feel important, so I need a title. The titles fade or I need more power. Power fades. Or I just need someone to tell me I’m beautiful. That will make me matter. Beauty fades it all. It all fades. The only thing that endures. That’s who you are in Christ. Now, it doesn’t mean that those things don’t matter in life. Like certainly if if the Lord gives you an opportunity to pursue greater financial gain for your family or titles, there’s some wisdom that needs to be involved in that decision.

We’ll look at in a minute, but that becomes an opportunity to leverage the goodness of who God is, that rather than pursue those things for your glory, you can take those things as an opportunity for his glory. Because you find yourself secure in Christ. And so for for Abraham. He he responds in a way where he leans into the insecurity of his vulnerability by by compromising rather than walk in faith, even though God had just promised him. And the question is for you where do you find your identity? But you know the beauty of this. Is that God being consistent in who he is. He lets us. He will allow us to follow a path that is contrary to him. But the wonderful grace of God is that he intervenes. He intersects into the the adversity we bring to our relationship with him by denying him, and provides places of grace to waken our soul to what we’re doing. And in verse 17, he does this for Abraham. But look at this. But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his household with great plagues because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Some say this is where God invented Covid, right? Like, hey, whatever happens here, Pharaoh is inflicted for, for, for taking Abraham’s wife. Even though Pharaoh didn’t know to this point, Pharaoh is doing what his customs were like. He pays a dowry, he gets a new bride. He’s only doing what his people do. And but God afflicts him anyway because he’s intersecting his grace.

In the life of Abraham. Abraham is walking contrary. So Pharaoh called Abraham and said, why is that you’ve done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say she is my sisters? That I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go. And Pharaoh gave me orders concerning him. And they. They sent him away with his wife and all that he had. You know, this this passage and reading a narrative in the Bible. Not all narrative is prescriptive. This is telling a story to you, right? The majority 75% of the Bible is the Old Testament. 75% of the Old Testament is written in narrative form. Narrative form is not always prescriptive. And what I mean by like, if you go read the book of Jonah, Jonah got swallowed by a whale. That is not a prescriptive story for everyone to jump on a boat, get swallowed by a whale. You get that right. Not all not all narratives are prescriptive, but there are characteristics of a narrative that that reveal the character of God that always remains consistent. And in this context, we see the nature of who God is. And God intervenes in the life of Abraham. While we act foolish. God. God still cares. And he comes to this place in Abraham’s life to minister to his soul. So he just he recognizes the the brokenness of Abraham would just by faith, trust again.

And the same is true for you. The same is true for you can go on this journey and you might just take a step of compromise. And before you know it, you’ve taken another step of compromise. And now everything is falling apart, right? You’re not in the place God’s called you to be. You’ve lost your family completely because the brokenness that’s now been experienced through, through the poor decisions that you’ve made. And here comes God intervening in the midst of this moment, just pouring his grace back in Abraham’s life, that Abraham would awaken to what’s happening. He’s forsaken the promises of God that he would return to the Lord. Point number two then. Abraham returns because of the grace of God. I love the Abraham returns because the grace of God. Sometimes God has to save us from ourselves. In fact, I would say the most important enemy God has to save us from is ourselves. Because pride will destroy our walk with the Lord. Trusting in anything other than him. And so Abraham returns because of the grace of God and Abraham. In chapter 13, it goes on and says, maybe verse one. So Abraham went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and lot with him into the negeb. Now Abraham was very rich in livestock and silver and and gold, and he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and AI, to the place where he had had made an altar at the first.

And then Abraham called upon the name of the Lord. Where does Abraham go? Back to the beginning of where his identity was secure in the Lord. Has. The same is true for us, I think in your walk with Jesus, how important this is to have a place where, you know, you have decided my life will be about this. I will make my life about pursuing Christ for his glory in this world, because the world’s going to throw temptation at you. And when you consider the opportunity, you have to compromise rather than compromise to come back to this place. And even if you have compromise to come back to this place and say, no, this is who I am because of what God has done. My value is not found in these things though. Though you may have a title, though you may have power, though you may have wealth, or though you have may have beauty or whatever it is that you possess that doesn’t make you who you are, it’s God who does it. And in understanding who you are in light of his glory, then you can leverage those things for his glory in this world. And so Abraham comes back to that place. Think in your walk with Jesus how paramount that is that that you have at some point where you’ve made the clear distinction that that you would follow Jesus.

And now it’s not just a one time decision like in the life of Abraham. He made this decision to follow, but he now needs to learn the lesson that it’s not just this one time decision that you make, but now every day you wake up and say, God, my life is yours. What is you desire for your glory? May I live out that purpose? Rather than walk in my insecurities that lead me to compromise. I find myself secure in you. Can I tell you one of the ways that it often happens in our lives? As we face adversity. And we get hurt by people around us. You know, being a pastor, I oftentimes find people that carry religious hurts or church hurts from whatever they might have been a part of before. And people were people. No matter where you go. We’re we’re not perfect. And at some point, we’re going to do something that might hurt one another. But but rather than withdraw from who God has called you to be, it’s important that we continue to lean to walk into that that mess. And I’m not saying every church is a good church. I mean, there’s certainly bad religious groups out there. Okay. But when you when you find a family that wants to follow after Jesus in a healthy way, you’ve got to understand there’s going to be disruption in relationship because there always is.

There always is. And to just move into that insecurity and compromise rather than keep walking in faith. It’s not only harmful to your own walk with God, it’s it’s harmful to the body of Christ, which God has called you to, to be a blessing to them. And so Abraham, in this passage, he moves forward in the grace of God, and he returns. And remember this. It’s not because Abraham was important. And we talked about this last week in Joshua 24 verse two, when God called Abraham, he’s not looking over the world and saying, give me the best person life has to offer. Abraham was a pagan man in a pagan land with a pagan family, and even his name was a pagan name to honor a false god. And the only reason Abraham is where he is is not because of who Abraham is, but because of who God is. It’s because of the grace of God made known in his life. And so the only reason Abraham is allowed to return is not because of him, but because of who God is. God is consistent in his nature. And so Abraham, knowing that the only reason I got to this promised land was because of the grace of God is the same reason I’m going to be able to return to this promised Land because of the grace of God and Joshua. 24 Joshua said to all the people, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, long ago your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates.

Terah, the father of Abraham, and of Nahor, and they served other gods. Abraham is not someone you put on a pedestal and think he’s just better than me. I’ll never. How could I, right? He’s a man that just did this. He learned to walk consistently in his faith with the Lord. And even then, that journey in the beginning especially, was a struggle. And Abraham starting at 75 years old. So he’s still messing up, right at 75 years old going on this journey. But the reason he’s able to do it is because of of the grace of the Lord made known in his life. Paul from prison wrote the letter to Philippians, and Paul said it like this. He said, for I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content. I know how to be brought low. I know how to abound in any and every circumstance. I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. What Paul is saying is the secret of life is not to trust compromise by trusting in the circumstance or put on the facade of stuff. But to depend on the Lord to carry me through. Because God already goes before me and God knows exactly what I need. There’s no circumstance you’re going to face in life, or God’s going to be like, oh no, I I’m completely blinded by this.

I never saw this coming. You’re on your own, right? Like this is what? Good luck. Good luck for you. Right? That’s not who God. God knows the beginning from the end. God knows all things. And God promises he’ll walk with you through it. And so Paul is saying, rather than just simply trust on the circumstances around me, the situation around me, I have learned that God always meets me there, and whether I have plenty or I have little. God sustains me through it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And he’s writing this from prison as if to say, look, Christians don’t compromise. Even when the situation looks bleak. God will sustain you through it because God has called you to it. And if God has called you to it, he’s going to journey with you in it. God is there. That’s what Paul is saying. Anecdotally, I have learned that God always faithfully meets me there. So the facade of the things, the world that you can trust in. Though for a moment they may look like they could satisfy. Though you may feel important. It’ll all fade away. It will all fade away. Your power, your title, your. It will all fade away. And then the question is, who are you? If you really depend upon those things to make you feel important, in the end, you won’t have any of it.

And so therefore, what ever made you important? But what you have in Christ endures forever. And this is what Abraham’s doing. He’s returning to play the long game. Abraham knows there might be struggle in front of him. He’s going into enemy territory in this promised land. But but his decision is not just a blessing to him. It’s a blessing to those around him and for generations to come. Abraham knows that in Christ what he has will last forever. And so Abraham returns by the by the grace of God. And then, number three, in your notes, Abraham blesses because he is blessed. Abraham blesses because he is blessed. And now it’s going to give you this, this lesson in chapter 13, how Abraham learns in the story. And it’s going to contrast how Abraham learns to the idea of lot. Remember when Abraham left? Lot journeyed with him, and it’s going to use lot as an example now of of what not to do. One who who didn’t learn from this lesson and Abraham who did. And it starts in verse five and it says, and lot went with Abraham also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abraham’s livestock and the herdsmen of lot’s livestock. At the time, the Canaanites and the parasites were dwelling in the land.

And then Abraham said to lot, verse eight, let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are we are kinsmen is not the whole land. Before you separate your separate yourselves from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, Abraham said. Or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left. And lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt in the direction of Zohar. This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot in this, this passage, this idea of looking up. We’re going to look we’re going to look at again in just a minute. But a lot looks up and it shows us the way that lot perceives the world around him. Lot just simply looks at the idea of advancing his career and advancing his wealth. And he looks at the land before him, and he takes that step. He’ll think I’ll be greater because I’ll have greater possession, possession, and I’ll have more things. And so that’s taking possession. Possession. Both of those things will make him more important. He takes that step. But here’s what we learn about the life. And taking that step, he completely sacrifices his family. All he’s thinking about is the temporal gain.

I’ll have more stuff. I’ll have more power. I’ll be a better person because of that. And he takes that step. And in so doing, he completely sacrifices his family because it tells us where does he go? Into the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. And we’re going to read about what happens in Sodom, Gomorrah in a few chapters. But he goes into a difficult land. Now, let me just tell you, it is possible for God’s people to go to difficult places and live for his glory. But it is only possible when your family moves for the purpose of mission. Can I tell you? Really? It doesn’t matter where you go in this world if you don’t live for the purpose of mission in Christ, you will give into the temptation of what the world has to offer. And this is exactly what lot’s family did. While Abraham is pursuing the Lord, lot didn’t prepare his own family to pursue the Lord, and it cost him. And can I tell you if you ask, well, how do I do that? Can I tell you? It’s it’s not about putting on the superhero cape and just stepping in like you’re the savior in this one time fix for you. For me, it’s about having a consistent walk with Jesus and modeling it before my family. And demonstrating what it looks like to live on mission. I will naturally journey my family along. I’ll teach my family to love the things that I love and to care about the things that I care about.

But. But for a lot you can see the focus of his eyes was simply on what he would gain from this world, and in so doing meets the demise. Of his family. I know you can’t force your family to believe things, and I don’t think anybody wants you to to do that, nor should you do that. But but there is there is something important about the position that you have. And demonstrating the goodness of Jesus to the people around you and the way that it influences them. And in these moments he he forsakes what God has, has called the people to, and he pursues with his own eyes what it is he’s desiring, and it’s simply a facade. In a compromise, but then it goes on and it shows us the idea of Abraham. Verse 11, it says, so lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley and lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Abraham settled in the land of Canaan, while lot settled among the cities of the valley, and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked great sinners against the Lord. So. So here’s the question Abraham takes a place and lot takes a place. But the question is why did Abraham allow lot to pick first? After all, the promise was given to Abraham, not lot. And if there’s good land in that place, then Abraham should have been able to have the first choice over that land.

Why in the world would would Abraham allow lot to pick first? I mean, practical wisdom tells you that that good fences make for great neighbors, right? That certainly they’ve gotten to the size where they can’t all be in in one spot together. And so there’s there’s wisdom in separating. But but more than that, Abraham’s being wise practically for another reason. But he’s also being wise spiritually. The reason Abraham allows lot to pick the land rather than himself. I think there’s at least a couple of reasons, if not more. And one, Abraham, certainly in getting the promise and being the older person between the two had the the right to pick first. He could have said, Since I’m older and God gave me the promise, I’m taking this land and you go pick whatever’s left. But Abraham knew there was already strife in the relationship, and Abraham knew in order to survive in this hostile area where the Canaanites and parasites were there, they would have to work together. If they if Abraham created this contention between his family and lot’s family, and lot’s family ended up getting so upset with Abraham if Abraham got attacked, lot’s family may not come over and help him. But if Abraham allowed lot to pick land first, it would help in the tension of their relationship and give him better opportunity to thrive in the land.

So very practical for Abraham to look at lot and say, okay, there’s been some some tension. I’m just going to go ahead and let you pick first, right? Practically it was important, but also spiritually. And let me tell you why spiritually because no matter what land lot picked. Abraham was still in the promises of God. And Abraham knew that no matter what lot picked, he was still going to be in the place that God had called him and therefore was going to watch the provision of God. And how much more miraculous it would be if God provided for Abraham in a more difficult situation. So Abraham, by faith in this moment, rather than just simply saying, oh, this is mine, I got I’m the best and I need this, and this is for me. And getting selfish. He chooses, he chooses to bless because he knew his identity in the Lord was a place of blessing. Therefore he could give. And in trusting in the Lord, in that he saw how the Lord could provide. And it’s the same same with us. When you find your your identity secure in the Lord, you’re not just playing this power grab over everything in this world. You simply want to walk faithful with Jesus and take the steps God gives before you. And using whatever God is giving you in order to bless others because your identity is not found in those things. Your worth is not, not, not based on those places.

And so it goes on. In verse 14 it says, the Lord said to Abraham, after lot had separated from him, let lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are northward and southward, and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring will also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you. So Abraham moved his tent, and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron. And there he built an altar to worship the Lord. And you think about this. Hebrew saying, I know no matter what I what land I get and God’s promise God’s going to deliver and God does, and God reminds him that he’s going to. And Abraham in that place, he’s now no longer looking for this world to make me matter or make me feel important, but rather he comes to this place of peace and all he does he worships. Thank you God. Thank you God for what you are going to do. Now I just want to walk faithfully in that and the reason for that. The Bible told us in the book of Hebrews, Abraham was playing the long game.

And that’s what true wisdom is. If you walk wisely in this world, you’ll forsake the temporal satisfaction of what life has to offer in order for the greater gain from an eternal perspective. Abraham knew he was making a decision not just for himself, but for generations to be blessed. And so it is for you this morning. Like following after Jesus may not be an easy decision. You may find yourself in a in a land that’s like a desert, you know, and and you’ve got to figure out how God’s going to provide, both spiritually and physically speaking, when you when you may find yourself isolated because of this identity that makes you different than everyone else around you. But rather than compromise, it also becomes a place of great opportunity to show in the midst of a dry land, how God can still provide. And for Abraham, Abraham, and Hebrews, chapter 11. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance, and he went out not knowing where he was going. And by faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob’s heirs with him. For for the same promise. And look at this, for he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. What God wants to do is far, far more important than anything I’m going to do in and of themselves.

But here it is. To answer our insecurities. To find ourselves filled up. Two answers. Two ways, right. Compromise with the things of the world. Or walk in faith in our identity in the Lord. It’s not to say God’s against titles and powers and wealth and beauty. God, certainly he made those things. But it’s about understanding. The purpose of those things are to leverage for his glory, not our own. But the only way we’ll ever leverage them for his glory is to be confident in who we are and in him, and the promises he’s given to us. The deeper I root myself in my identity in Christ, the better the opportunity I have to live faithfully to him despite what might be happening happening around me. And in so doing, I become a blessing to those, those, those around me. Jonathan Edwards, when he was 18 years old, in the 18th century, 18 years old. He was a famous preacher in the 18th century. He at one point he was the the president of Princeton University. But at 18 years old he wrote a sermon. It was called Christian Happiness or Christian Contentment. And he said this. He said, any Christian who knows Christ and knows he knows Christ, can be happy and content. And he gave three reasons why. He said. Number one, your bad things will turn out for good. God promises that. Romans 828.

You’re not the exception to that. God promises you that all things will work together for good. It may not happen at the moment you want it, but God knows every pain that you go through and all things will work together for good. Number two, your good things will never be taken away from you. Every good thing you have in God is promised and sealed in him. Ephesians chapter one, verse three. On to verse 14 gives you that the beauty of the declaration of what you have in Christ. And then, number three, the best things are always yet to come. You cling to the things of this world. It’s just temporal. It’s just a facade. It’s going to pass. It will not last. And if you find your identity in it, your identity will be in shambles. But if you play the long game. Foundation and builder who is God. He looked for what Christ wants to do. What you have in Jesus lasts forever. And because of that, no matter what you go through in life, the best in Christ is always yet to come. Because that’s one of the most encouraging things for me as a as a pastor here at ABC and not even as a pastor, just a person. When God’s people follow faithfully after Jesus. Our best days are always in front of us. But it only happens that in our insecurities we do not compromise, but rather we take the step in faith and trust in the one who is always faithful.