Abram and Lot
Open Your Bible
Genesis 12:10-20, Genesis 13:1-18, Genesis 14:1-24, Hebrews 7:11-22
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.