Day 9

Abram and Lot

from the Genesis reading plan


Genesis 12:10-20, Genesis 13:1-18, Genesis 14:1-24, Hebrews 7:11-22

BY Bailey Gillespie

Today’s reading is packed with action: famine strikes, Pharaoh gets deceived, Abram is kicked out of Egypt. It’s the making of a great summer blockbuster. After Lot and Abram’s respective herdsmen begin quarrelling about their small quarters, Abram sets a boundary. In an attempt to maintain harmony, he gives Lot the hard truth and asks him to separate from the group and make his home elsewhere. “Isn’t the whole land before you?” Abram asks, perhaps with a sweeping gesture of his arm (Genesis 13:9). The surrounding plain of the Jordan River was lush and ready for the taking (v.10).

After Lot gets himself in all sorts of trouble, Abram comes through and rescues him. I imagine he was a little agitated by his nephew’s actions, but it wasn’t in his nature to abandon him to his own folly. With the sweat and dirt of conquest still fresh on his clothes, he’s given bread and wine as the priest Melchizedek proclaims: “Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:19).

Was Abram blessed by God because he was a victorious warrior? A protective uncle? Although, in this case, it may look like blessing is synonymous with circumstantial favor, we have to dig a little deeper. Abram isn’t necessarily blessed because He was delivered from his physical enemies. We know from other passages in Scripture that this predictable, cause-and-effect sort of way isn’t how God works. So, why does Melchizedek give him this blessing?

The second part of the message the priest brings is “blessed be God Most High who has handed over your enemies to you” (v.20). It appears that Abram isn’t the only one who is blessed—God is, too! Ultimately, God gets the glory for delivering Abram over to his enemies, and it’s His own power and blessing that covers Abram.

Just as Abram was blessed by the God Most High, so are we. Our blessing isn’t dependent on releasing nephews from captivity (although I’d like to think we’d rise to the occasion), but just as Melchizedek came bearing bread and wine, Christ extends His own body and blood to us. When we accept His gift, we enter into abundant life. We are blessed not because of our own merit but simply because He blesses us. Today, let’s carry this story with us as a reminder that God is at work in our lives. Whether in physical circumstances or matters of the heart, He has called us blessed because we are first, and foremost, His.

Post Comments (52)

52 thoughts on "Abram and Lot"

  1. Elizabrth Carlock says:

    I like how He Reads Truth said “I am blessed because God has chosen to bless me”. Perhaps the active verb chosen stands out for me but it is eye opening to read that He has chosen me, not for my merits but simply because of Him. A good thought to start the day with, even if I’m behind.

  2. Jo L says:

    These verses are so amazing because it shows the heart of Papa. That He blesses us not because we did something good. But He blesses us because He is good and He wants to and He loves us. Another thing that was interesting is that before Abram met Melchizedek, he met then King of Sodom after his great victory. Sometimes after we won a victory, it might seem that soon after we became down and susceptible to the enemy’s Attack again. I think God wants to let us know that even Abram faced this, and He provided the solution for us – break bread and look to Jesus when we are faced with the enemy – and continually to give thanks to the Lord.

  3. Tracie Nall says:

    I am a bit behind in my reading/devotions this week, I am finding it a challenge to fit it all in as this new year began…
    However, God is Faithful and I am persevering.
    I am struck by Abrams instant action when informed about Lots capture, he springs to action, he assembles his trained men 318 and sets out! He doesn’t ponder the cost or consider the consequences, he doesn’t consult a military consultant or conjure a plan of attack, he just goes! I love that it isn’t explicitly written but the assumption is “he trusted God”. And I believe this is why his blessing comes from Melchizedek, because Abram honored God by intervening on Lots behalf, much like Jesus does for us when He went to the cross to rescue us from our captivity to the enemy!

  4. Kim U. says:

    Emily, Olgera and Traci- I replied to your comment but it’s only posting as a new comment. I meant it for you ladies and I hope it will encourage you!

  5. Kim U. says:

    All have fallen short. Even dear father Abraham… But God is a God of grace. Romans 4:2-3 tells us Abraham’s story was as never about good works in the first place. We know that Abram does trust God on one level. But on another, he looks at Pharaoh in all his might and doubts. Out of fear and desperation, Abram devises his own plan to save himself instead of trusting God to save him. It’s a clear failure for Abram. But, like a good Father, God gives Abram the space to make mistakes. And God respects his freedom of choice to let the effects of his decision play out. But as soon as the choice plays out to as far as God allowed (that Abram and Sarai wouldn’t suffer endlessly because of it) in mercy God steps in and rescues. It’s definitely a passage that makes me uncomfortable to look at up close. But when I take a step back, I’m reminded of the larger context: that even before Abram’s poor decision, God already had good plans in store for Abraham and Sarah. And I can see how all along, the plans God would lead them into were not dictated by their own behavior, strength or ability. But rather, plans dependent on God alone. Then I see how God did get their lives back on track for His future for them. And I’m encourage by the magnitude, capability and weightiness of God’s grace! Remember, the bible is a not a book of heroes for us to follow after. Rather, it is a book of broken, flawed, messy people saved by God, the one and only person is all history who is, was, and will be forever good!

  6. Emily Guerra says:

    Something that shocked me when reading this passage was the fact that Abram denied his wife just to save himself. I found this hard to digest because it made me angry that a husband would do such a thing to his loved one.

    1. Olgera Haywood says:

      I felt the same way when I first read this-

    2. Traci Gendron says:

      Maybe he didn’t want her to be without him and everything that comes from a husband. Protection, provision, etc…

      1. Emily Guerra says:

        Thanks for the reply, Traci! I hadn’t thought about it in that way. I guess, when I interpreted this passage, I saw it coming from a selfish attitude rather than a protecting one. But, no one knew his heart besides himself and God.

    3. Jo L says:

      So isn’t it even more amazing that God still blesses him abundantly and bountifully even when he lies? Our DaddyGod is such a good God who loves us so much and blesses us even when we are not deserving. Because He doesn’t see what we do, but only what Jesus did on the cross. And it’s His goodness who will then lead us to repentance.

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