1. Compare the promise of God from Chapter 12, verse 7 to God’s promise in Chapter 13, verses 14 to 17.
What are two aspects of the promise that are included in chapter 13 that weren't revealed in chapter 12?
In chapter 13, verse fifteen, we see the promise of God is the same but there are at least three details that are added that weren’t included previously in chapter 12:
2. In Chapter 13 we learn that Lot journeyed east toward the Jordan Valley. How is this journey not like his prior journeys we see in chapters 11, 12 and 13?
There are five journeys that Lot makes according the Genesis:
1. from Ur to Haran (chapter 11, verse 31)
2. from Haran to the land of Canaan (chapter 12, verse 4)
3. from the land of Canaan to Egypt (chapter 12, verses 10-20 and chapter 13, verse 1)*
4. from Egypt to the Negev (chapter 13, verse 1)
5. from the Negev to Bethel (chapter 13, verse 3)
* Although the Bible doesn’t specifically say that Lot accompanied Abram, he must have done so as we see in chapter 13, verse 1 that Lot departed Egypt with Abram.
In each of these journeys, Lot is not the initiator of the journey. When he leaves Ur with his grandfather (Terah), the Bible says he and his uncle Abram are “taken”.
Although the Bible says that Lot went with Abram when he left Haran and Egypt, and was traveling with Abram when he left the Negev, it's clear that Abram is the initiator of the journey.
While Lot may have advised Abram (and perhaps even been consulted by him), it’s more likely that Lot, as the junior member of the family, is never in a position of leadership to initiate a journey.
But now we see this change in chapter 13, when Abram offers Lot the opportunity to initiate a journey. This is different for Lot. Now it’s his decision on the destination. As we work though the following chapters we’ll see that Lot doesn’t choose well.
3. Abram traveled from Egypt to the Negev (verse 1) and from the Negev to Bethel (verse 3). Why did he travel to that location and what did he do when he arrived there?
Abram traveled back to Bethel, in a sense, to return to God.
When Abram traveled from Haran to Shechem and he built an altar when he arrived there (chapter 12, verses 6-7). He did the same thing when he traveled from Shechem to the land between Bethel and Ai (chapter 12, verse 8). In both cases it was a form of worship to the God who promised him the land.
Notice that when Abram traveled from the land between Bethel and Ai to the Negev he didn't build an altar. Then when famine struck, he didn't call on the name of the Lord, he went to Egypt.
After his rebuke by Pharaoh, Abram returned (perhaps in an embarrassed retreat) to the place where he had last called on the name of the Lord and does so again. Although the Bible doesn’t tell us this specifically, Abram likely realizes his mistake, repents, and calls out to God to forgive him.
4. Why do you live where you are? Is God a factor in your decision?
Your Answer Here
5. Review the first five verses. What’s the difference between the possessions of Abram and Lot? Why might this be the case?
Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold; while Lot simply had flocks, herds, and tents but no silver and gold.
It may be that Abram was a better steward of what God had provided or that he had simply accumulated more wealth than Lot over his longer lifetime.
It was certainly true that Pharaoh treated Abram well because of Sarai (chapter 12, verse 16) and this by itself may have been the reason for his greater wealth.
Of course, God's the provider of all blessings and His providence is ultimately what factors into the equation.
6. How can wealth or worldly possessions cause strife in a family? How can it be resolved and what can be learned from the experience?
Your Answer Here
7. How does chapter 13 demonstrate Abram’s faith in God?
Abram demonstrates his faith in God in several ways:
8. Like Lot, we're sometimes attracted to the things we see in the world that turn out to be evil. Sometimes we can easily see the evil of the attraction but often not until it’s too late.
What can we do to ensure we guard our hearts to prevent us from being tempted by the evil things in our world?
One Man’s Answer:
We can memorize Scripture and use it against temptation as Jesus did to defeat the temptations of Satan (Luke 4:1-13).
9. Both Abram and Lot looked out to see the land they would occupy. Compare their perspectives or decisions about where they would live.
Abram believed in and relied on the promise of God. Perhaps the famine that drove him out to Egypt was over when he returned but it was likely a looming potential to recur. It’s been observed that the mountainous region where Abram resided always relied on the rains to sustain vegetation for livestock.
In any case, the land could only support so much of Abram’s vast herds so he was reliant on God for both his and their provision. Walter Brueggermann observes in his commentary that
“the text invites reflection on the way in which trust in the promise of God permits a different perception, even of economic reality.”
Unlike his time in Egypt where he relied upon his own schemes and methods, Abram placed his trust in his God. He believed he would provide for him in the mountainous regions of Canaan.
On the other hand, Lot simply believed what he saw. He believed he would be able to sustain his herds in the seemingly fertile plains of the Jordan Valley. He walked by sight, whereas his uncle Abram walked by faith.
10. What are some of the differences in the Abram of chapter 12 in Egypt and the Abram we see in chapter 13?
In chapter 12, Abram treats Sarai badly and considers himself before her, demonstrating a lack of faith in God.
In chapter 13, Abram treats Lot well and considers Lot before himself which demonstrates his faith in God.
11. Was Lot to be included as Abram’s heir?
No, because the promise was to “Abram’s seed” (chapter 13, verse 15). This doesn’t include Lot because he was his nephew, not his son.