The divine order (dispensation) of human government had ended, and God now begins to select and separate unto Himself an earthly people ushering in the divine order (dispensation) of promise.
In every family there are those who follow the God of their fathers. Shem no doubt did follow his father’s God and diligently taught God’s ways to his children. So we find that Abram now sets out to follow his father’s God.
“The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy -five years old when he set out from Haran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.”
So Abram departed from Haran taking with him Sarai and all his accumulated possessions and servants, including Lot and his family. There has been much said in condemnation of Abram for not being fully obedient to God’s command to leave “his people and his father’s household”, in that he took his nephew Lot with him; so let us first view the situation from Abram’s perspective.
No indication is given in the scriptures of Lot’s age, but we do know that he was born to Haran apparently while Haran still lived in Ur. Sometime after Lot’s birth Haran died and no mention is made of his mother; so we can suggest that Lot was orphaned. Terah, on leaving Ur, apparently had no other choice but to take Lot with him. The families lived in Haran for some time, allow forty to fifty years until Terah died. Now Abram becomes the leader of the clan, and in obedience to God’s command leaves Haran in continuation of the journey to Canaan. What is he to do with Lot? Does he stay alone in Haran, or is he allowed to journey with the rest of the clan? These are the questions facing Abram. It is understood that the people among whom Terah’s clan lived were extremely idolatrous, and their forms of worship were no doubt very disturbing to Terah and his family. We can be sure of the fact that Lot was a worshipper of the true God with the rest of his family. So when Abram had to make his decision, he no doubt took this fact into consideration; Lot also had to go to Canaan because Abram could not leave him all alone in such a society of idolaters. This is identical to decisions that some of us face today with our own family members. So Abram took Lot with him to Canaan.
Here is a lesson that God introduces right at the very start: there are two kinds of people who answer God’s call. One that is very dedicated and determined to adhere to God’s word regardless of what the difficulties may be; such will yield much spiritual fruit. The other type is not dedicated or determined; such hold to God with one hand while the other hand is stretched out to what the world around has to offer; such are drawn away by temptation and continually live a life of failure; although they have been saved from their original sins they do not seek to live a life that is completely glorifying to God. Abram can be classified with the first type and Lot unfortunately belongs to the second type. This is evident in the life of Lot as the narrative unfolds in Genesis 12-19; here we see Lot going further and further away from God until he fades out of the scene.
The lesson for us to see in this sad situation is that as believers we are called by God to fellowship with both kinds of disciples. Unfortunately, those of us who are dedicated to our God are constantly being delayed in our efforts to serve God fully by those of our number who are more concerned with worldly pleasures and things that are not glorifying to God. This is quite evident in the account of Abram’s first few years in the land of Canaan as he on more than one occasion had to go to Lot’s rescue, or settle a quarrel between his servants and those of Lot. As we see later on in the narrative, Abram could not see God’s fullest blessings until Lot went his own way. So it is with us today, sometimes believers have to separate themselves from other believers who hinder us in our service for the Master!
So let us not be too ready to condemn Abram for his action, because the scriptures do tell us what kind of person Lot was: “and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)–“ “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly– mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?”
SEPARATION: Yes, the life of faith requires our complete separation from those who will hinder us, and this unfortunately does take time. We must spend much time in consultation with God to see who and what God wants us to leave behind. And as we see in the case of Lot, we sometimes need to separate ourselves from other believers. God calls each of us as His disciples to separate ourselves unto Him.
There must be separation From this world’s system ; it is a condition for discipleship: ; and there is a promised reward
Thus the blessing of God on Abram had to be delayed, because of another believer who was hindering him. The question to us today: “is there something or someone in my life that I need to be separated from, so that God can effectively work through me?”
EXECUTION MUST BE COMPLETE: “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” He knew where Canaan was, and he knew which route to take, but what he did not know was the details. What awaited him there? Where and how would he live? Would he be accepted by the citizens? Was he taking all that he would need? Abram was called to leave his country, his family and friends, the security that he had; and go to a country he knew very little of and what awaited him there. We today are no different; when God calls us to leave the security of what we are accustomed to we can be certain that the God of Abram will go with us.
THE PROMISE: “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” A great nation: A great name: A blessing to all people: how was God going to accomplish this? Abram was no doubt confused considering the fact that he was nothing more than a nomad with no children. It is not for you and I to understand God’s ways, but we can be assured that what He says He will do. And so we find that God was true to His promises <see ; to Israel – an earthly (temporal) blessing initially, until the eternal blessings are obtained; to the Church – a heavenly (spiritual) blessing.
LIVING BY FAITH: “The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name the LORD.” .
“To your offspring I will give this land.” The promise had been given but the fulfillment was yet to come; thus Abram was forced to continue living in faith: God still leading him on a daily basis. Such experiences are common to all who seek to follow God’s call, and although the promise is often long delayed, as believers we must continue to follow daily trusting in God and knowing that His timing is always right. For the time being there are daily opportunities for worship and service. This is the “testing time” where God wishes to teach us patience, and this time is often long and slow in passing .