Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Life Lessons From Biblical Wives and Parents: Abram and Sarai

There are times when I feel as though I need to change the title of this series to Life Lessons From Biblical Marriages and Parents.  I am learning so much in the way of marriage , but the lessons aren't always from Biblical wives.  Sometimes these lessons that I am learning as a wife are from Biblical husbands!  Would you mind very much if I changed the title?  Who knows, in a few weeks I might need to change the title again as I learn from people who aren't wives, husbands, or parents!  Moving on....

Today's passage is Genesis 13 (I know, right!  It took us forever to get through Genesis 12 and now in one day, we are getting through Genesis 13!), but we need to look back at Genesis12:1 before jumping in.  "Now the Lord said to Abram, 'Go forth from your country, and from your relatives, and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you.'"  In Genesis 12:1, we see God's command to Abram to leave his country, relatives, and father's house in order to follow God's leading by faith (for more on this lesson, check here).  In verse 4 we see that "Lot went with him."  Whether Lot was invited by Abram or decided on his own to join his uncle and aunt on their adventure is unclear, but whatever the case, Abram did not fully  comply with God's command by allowing Lot to go along with him. 

By looking at the total situation, we see that Lot's father and grandfather had died leaving Abram and Nahor (both uncles to Lot) as his only living connection to his father's house.  However, before we think of Lot as being a helpless young boy with no family, let us investigate just a little more.  In today's passage, we see that Lot had flocks and herds and tents meaning that he had a sizable fortune and household.  He even had his own herdsmen to watch over his flocks.  In a few chapters we find that he was married and had at least two daughters (some think it is four because of the account of Sodom and Gomorrah).  So as we can see, there were two households that were traveling together.

So what can we learn from this?  As in the lesson from Genesis 12:1, we need to make sure that we leave and cleave to our husband and establish our home as a separate household.  Yes, there are times when we need to help our family, but the situation should never become permanent (unless we are caring for an elderly parent and choose not to use a nursing home facility).  Note that God did not direct Abram to leave his father's household until his elderly father had passed away.   However, even in cases such as that, the household structure and leadership of the household cannot waver or change.  Wives, our husbands are our authority, and our children are expected by God to obey their parents.  Husbands, your wives are to be the woman of influence in your life and the woman of your home

Lot did not see himself as the subordinate to his uncle because we see that his servants argued with the servants of Abram (those who are under us will treat others the way they see and hear us treat them).   The resources available were enough for one household, but not for two.  When Abram heard of the trouble that was happening, he needed to do something.  He broke the ties by telling Lot "Please separate from me" and gave Lot the choice of where he wanted to live.  Of course, Lot chose the best of what he saw and left Abram with the left overs. 

Here is the awesome part.  Once Lot left, God increased the blessing that he was going to give to Abram.  And the Lord said to Abram after Lot had separated from him, "Now lift up your eyes and look from the placewhere you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give to you and your descendants forever.  And I wil make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your desendants can also be numbered. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you." 

Many times we feel that by holding on to our family, by not letting go of the former ties, by not cutting the apron strings we will be able to get through, get by, or be financially secure.  However, it was once Abram parted ways with Lot that God increased the blessing on Abram's life.  He promised him land and descendants which could not be counted.  Then God told Abram to get up and take a walk to look over what God was giving him. 

I know it can be scary to let go of the family you knew growing up, but now you are embarking on a great adventure like Abram did.  You are setting out in faith with the man you promised to love and cherish in sickness and in health until death do you part to a land which God will show you.  And if God will show you where to go, there is nothing to fear, because He promises never to leave you or forsake you. What great promises to be able to depend on!


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