Your son is our life is hard because we're not living obedience. We're living outside of obedience in life is hard. And we've all experienced that God usually is trying to get our attention by telling us to live inside of medians, but then there are other times that we are being obedient. And we're living inside obedience and we're doing exactly what God wants us to do and it's still hard. And that can be a frustration at times and at that moment sometimes instead of saying OK card. How are you going to be the God promised in the midst of me trying to be obedient? We just get frustrated frustrated you like come on God. I have been working so hard to be a I am more than most people I know.
I looked on Facebook and it seems to be going okay for them and it's not going okay for me or I got together with somebody and it seems to be
Do I have some kind of weird Magneton attracting this stuff?
Sometimes it's really really frustrating, isn't it? That's where we find the story today. We're learning from the life of Abram in the Book of Genesis. And we're in Chapter 13 today. And we did the first couple of verses of chapter 13 of Genesis last week, but I'll let's go back to where we ended cuz that's where we're going to start today. Abraham had fled the land of promise to Egypt and created some very interesting problem. You might want to read that or maybe even pull up the sermon podcast from last week, but at the end of it he decided it was time to reset and so we went back to where he started. That's interesting that it talks about when he went there that he was now a person of wealth. Okay, he had a lot of stuff. Abraham was very rich in livestock and silver and in gold and he journeyed on from negative as far as Bethel. To the place where his tent had been at the beginning between Bethel and AI That's where he had started his journey. Remember? Well, let's remember why he went there he went there and to that place he made an altar at first and they're Abram called upon the name of the Lord. So he went back to where he started and we said that there are times that we need to go back to the altar. We need to go back to where we started. But why did he go there to start with? Well, if we read back in chapter 12, it says this God said to Abram go from your country and your Kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And then he made several promises to him. This is things God was going to do I will make you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and he who dishonors you I will curse and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. So God made for promises promises are I'm going to give you a place. I'm going to make you a people. I'm going to be I'm going to make you a blessing and I am going to protect you.
And April got in trouble because you tried to take care of those things on his cell, right? That's what we saw in the middle of chapter 12.
And so we went back he reset this what we have to do that sometimes don't we all this when we realize we're on track and God in his loving way. Does this to the GPS of our heart goes recalculating?
Any calls us back to the Bethel which interesting Lee means house of the Lord. Is that interesting? That's a Bethel means he calls us back.
But I said sometimes even when we're back where we're supposed to be.
We have drama drama cuz we're not there and then sometimes were there and we still drama so we read on. Bruce private citizen lot who went with Abram also had flocks and herds intense. Now, I want to remind you who lot was lot is Abraham's nephew and when his father, okay. When when Abraham's father left, he took Abraham and his wife Sarah and lot with them and we know that he died in this place called Heron, right? And then we find out that Abraham when he left he had now his father's responsibilities. And so he took his nephew with him and when they went back to the land of Canaan with all the well that they both had they had an issue. The reason people live in North Dakota today is because there was problems in Minnesota. And the reason that people live in Minnesota is there was problems in Ohio and Indiana there were too many farmers and so they kept on moving and then they ended up in North Dakota which is like amazingly.
amazingly big and they were there because they could be in Minnesota and they couldn't be in Indiana that you can be, Ohio.
Because there was overgrazing issues and you know, I know it's really interesting because God almost before we came here. We interviewed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in that area and I was talking to Scott about this yesterday and I looked at Nancy when we were there and I said, I don't think I can live here. Because although it's a rule. It's just too congested. It's too close together. The Farms are too close together everything. I feel like I got to walk around like this year, but I don't think I can do it because she I'm from the land of vast spaces.
And Abram had a problem. Why I had a problem. They were trying to fit too much on their little postage stamp. And because of that.
It says they had an issue and there was Strife between the herdsman of Abraham's livestock and the herdsmen of lots livestock.
And since the inner says at the time the Canaanites in the picture right word dwelling in the lance thing about strife. Usually it's not even the main people that have the problem but it's people that are connected to the people. Okay, so it was the herdsman that we're getting along, okay. And it seems that whenever we have striped there's an audience isn't there and the pills are rights and the Canaanites were the audience they also live there.
And there was drama and I don't know what Abraham did if I were a berm I went to Lauren. I said, look, I'm where I'm supposed to be. I'm doing what I'm supposed to be isn't supposed to get easy now. You said you would bless me and then you would take care of me. Wait, you said that you would curse my enemies does that mean I get to take out lot and his family.
You're sometimes we get this postcard in our mind about how it's supposed to look if you ever seen the postcards of Lake Placid, you know, they're beautiful postcards. Is that how it always looks here? No. I used to live in Florida. There's all kinds of beautiful postcards in Florida. I have to beach first of all the beach smells like death. I don't have ever thought about it. But and there's death everywhere. There's a there's a dead fish over here and there's a dead clam over there and everybody and everybody is like they're going in search of death. I don't know if you realize that but that's basically if you're collecting seashells, you are collecting the carcasses of dead things, you know, and everybody talks about how great it is and you have this little postcard and there's a starfish on it and you know the conch shell
But then you go there you go to the beach. It's hot mess and gets places. You don't want it to get and it's not like the postcard. So when he was headed back to Bethel yellow postcard what it was going to be like and there's going to be and it wasn't like the postcard.
Not only that but he was having problems in the family and the neighbors were hearing about it.
His rights the Canaanites they were seeing what was going on.
Sometimes instead of going to God for the solution. We just complain if you know that I don't like it this way. What were you thinking what's going on? Abraham was not only living in a place of promise, but he was supposed to be a person of promise. And he had learned some hard lessons when he was in Egypt. And so I think all of a sudden he started realizing he had to ask question. I know there's Strife, but how am I supposed to be a blessing? How am I supposed to do that? What is that supposed to look like? What if you promise me? What am I supposed to be doing?
Abraham's pursues blessing Dan Abrams said to line let there be no swiping tween you and me between your herdsmen and my husband for we are Kinsmen. You're sometimes we just got to say hey, wait a minute here. You're here. You're talking about drama here, but we are gods family. And there is supposed to be peace here.
So Abram took the lead and we took the lead. This is what he said. It's not the whole land before you separate yourself from me. If you take the left in that will go to the right and if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left. Sometimes you have to figure out what the solution is. An Abraham figured out that the best solution was that we overcome overcrowding. That's why people live in North Dakota 630,000 people overcame overcrowding The state of North Dakota has 135 highway patrolman for the whole state. That's what happens when you overcome overcrowding.
There are only probably 15 Walmarts in all of North Dakota. That's what happens when you over come over crapping.
And that's what he said there in an interesting situation here because you know Abraham is the head of his family and lot is the nephew. And I think what Abram is offered just wonderful. Now I would think that they're supposed to be some decorum or something. And so if lot is going to be the kind of man that probably he should be you should probably look at his uncle and say what
you go first, you know. They were probably some manners in this and if you read about Middle Eastern culture, you're going to realize that there definitely is a sense that you honor the elderly and you and you you acquiesce to their desires. There's also a strong culture of taking care of even the the the alien in your area that they really take care of one another.
So, how does light respond? What here's what he says. Oh, I play first. I didn't think this is also interesting because let's go back to that blessing in chapter to listen to what God asked him to do. The Lord said to Abram go from your country and your Kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. You see I think that part of the reason they were having the problem now is because Abraham didn't completely listen to the instructions at the beginning. Because if lot wasn't there lot probably wouldn't be a problem.
Is that interesting? Occasionally we have to think and we have to ask the Lord. God was I completely obedient here are just kind of OBD in here. Did I completely hear what you said or did you say I kind of hear what you said? Just don't you occasionally you say this is what I want you to do when you get home and it's kind of done, right? Or occasionally, you'll ask somebody to do something for you and they say I did it for you and you look at it again exactly. What I asked you to do.
Thank you for kind of doing that for me. Right? So it's interesting that that is a part of the promise, you know a part of the instruction, but let's see how lot response. A lot lifted up his eyes and he saw the Jordan Valley was well-watered. We're like it was like the garden of the Lord like the land of Egypt in the direction of Zoar. Okay, so here when it when I went to Israel probably one of the most important resources that I brought back is I have this little map hanging in my office next to a picture of Jerusalem the Nancy got me and it's a topographical map of Israel. And I'm so he's in Bethel. Okay, that's about 15 miles from Jerusalem. So he's up in the mountains. Okay, so they let's just say that when this takes place and he has this conversation there at a high peak near Lake Champlain, okay. So what's say that we're on a high peak so we can see all of the Lake Champlain and you know and all the lushness of Champlain and that's kind of the situation that that were in here except for where there are there on top of this mountain in this mountainous range in over here. You see the valley of Jordan now, it's interesting that this area now is a little bit more deserti then wash but I must have been less because the way it's described as it was like the Garden of Eden or it would have been like the Delta of the Nile where they went when they were hungry. That's where they or is is is just like that place at the other end of the Dead Sea right where you come into the Lash business. That is Israel Egypt.
as lot looks that direction as he stands in the mountain and he sees all of it and he thinks about his herds and everything and he makes an impulsive decision. He doesn't say oh Abrams your ear really the head of the household. You just drag me along on this trip. So I whatever you want is okay with me know.
He picks the place that in his mind at that much. No, he didn't do even what maybe he should have his saying? Okay. Can I have a couple weeks? I want to take a little bit of a journey and want to check out the real estate want to figure out where I want to go. No, it's his and he lifted his eyes and he saw Lake Champlain the valley there and he says that's what I want. He made the house of decision when we make choices, there's consequences, but look at the choices that they meant for him. This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah now, why is he saying that because down in this Valley? We don't know. We're not sure. Where is we're Sodom and Gomorrah is okay. We're going to find out a little bit about tithing Works know some guys are going to preach at this point say now he knew what he was getting into and he just ran towards sin. We don't know that we can say that But we can say that he made an impulsive decision.
And he went to the valley. in the valley Was the home inside in the morning now, we know the name silent no more will will read about it more in a couple weeks, but choices have consequences. So why I chose for himself all the Jordan Valley and lot journey to East that's they were separated from each other.
Abraham settled in the land of Canaan So Abraham sees in Canaan and lied exits Canaan, which I think is interesting. You know, it's kind of like lot went to Vermont instead of saying in New York. I'm not going to say New York as a promise why I'm not sure that's fair. But I am saying that lot went to Vermont, okay.
Is Dennis is wild wild settled among the cities of the valley. He moved his tent as far as Sodom and so it says that he started in the valley somewhere. Some people thinks I thought it was kind of in the middle. We don't know for sure. So we're Sodom is because it was kind of destroyed. We'll talk about that in a couple weeks. Some people think it's is at the end of the Dead seat. But all we know is that he started out heading that direction and I'm thinking the longer you live there. He knew what he was getting into but he kept on possibly moving toward what looked more. attractive
Where's 13 tells us now? The men of Sodom were Wicked great Sinners against the Lord. What an interesting picture?
Have you noticed? The one people make poor choices, they make more poor choices. Have you noticed that when people start making compromise they make more compromise. Have you noticed that? starts with stop that big a deal not that big a deal. Going to workout. It looks okay. I'll be okay and little by little. We keep on heading in a Direction. That's so compromised works. It's about little things. So the same time that lot is doing this in verse 14. It says this the Lord said to Abram after lot had separated from him and you know, so Abram has made this decision and I think this is interesting because we don't have this whole idea of that he fasted for 40 days and we don't have that idea. We we sense that he is in the place that God wants him. And so then the decisions he makes in the place of God wants them usually can be good decisions. You know.
Some people say what is the will of God to me off and then I'll say this it's for you to be obedient. Well, is there always one thing God wants me to do I said no. I don't think it works that way. I think that sometimes when we are living a life of obedience God may actually give us a menu. Until you get to choose shrimp or steak, you know. Maurice's or you can have shrimp and steak.
I think that there is a reality that we need to understand that God's will is for us to trust him and live in obedience. And when you were doing that, there's always going to be choices do people say is there just one person that I'm going to marry? No, but I think if you're making good choices at the people that come into the periphery of your life that are running after Jesus like you are going to end up being the right people was there just one person out there for me. I don't know they will end up being one person for you. That's kind of how it supposed to work. But I don't think you have to go looking for the one I think you have to pursue the one. And in the process of that you'll find the one. I think that's how it works. I think in most of our life what we're going to find is if we're running after Jesus we're going to find there's other people running after him to make sure we get to run with them. That's gout it kind of works. So God speaks again to Abraham and God expands his promise a place. You should lift up your eyes and look from the place. Where yard northward Southward Eastward and Westward for all the land that you see I will give you and your Offspring. So instead of just having this little area and Summers which is kind of funny because he's probably standing pretty close to the place where lot picked Lake Champlain. And what did God say? Everywhere you look I'm going to give it to your family. So you get back Lots land. Cuz I'm Giving You Everything.
Got experience is promise from last chapter this chapter and he says the place that you give me is going to be expansive. In fact, he gives them the expanse. I promise that people says I will make your Offspring as the dust of the earth so that if one can count the dust of the earth your ostrich and also be counted. There's a pretty interesting promise for a Barren couple, isn't it?
For him he just said I will make you a people now. He says I want to make you a lot of people.
beyond your imagination I'm going to do this thing. You see Abraham was living in obedience and he was living out the details of his obedience and all the same God saying I'm going to bless you beyond what you can imagine. And the prayer time this morning one of the things that I prayed was Dear God. I thank you that you bless us beyond what we can imagine. That we aren't Limited in the blessing that you give us by what we think. That would be kind of scary isn't it? We be living in a really narrow black and white little world wouldn't we but God colors and he colors outside of the lines of our experience to give us something greater than when we can think of Penny says arise walk through the length and breadth of the land for I will give it to you. He says go explore go see what I'm going to give you go through the land go first. He told him to go away to the land now. He says I want you to go inside the Lynn. I want you to experience and see all that. I'm going to give you an all that is going to be yours. That must've been kind of fun you Siri you see that spring over there. That's ours to How do you see that mountain over there? Stars to that's our kids look at the inheritance of God giving us. The Sea of Galilee is ours. We didn't even know it wasn't there. Isn't this amazing?
It's so in the midst of all this.