*Below is Pastor Andrew’s teaching outline from Sunday’s sermon, not a word for word manuscript. This is meant as aid in seeing the thought and direction of the sermon.
Jeremiah 6:16 ESV
Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
And I know you’ll be scared when you take up that cross
And I know it’ll hurt, ’cause I know what it costs
And I love you so much and it’s so hard to watch
But you’re gonna grow up and you’re gonna get lost
Just go back, go back
Go back, go back to the ancient paths
Lash your heart to the ancient mast
And hold on, boy, whatever you do
To the hope that’s taken hold of you
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way
If love is what you’re looking for
The old roads lead to an open door
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way
Back home, back home, back home
Andrew Peterson: “You’ll find Your Way”
Where we Have been:
Chapter 12 promise & Flight to Egypt
Where we are now: Chapter 13: God has brought Abram out of Egypt and back to the Land of Promise:
After a great failure he returns to his roots:
-Just like every hallmark movie, He went to the last place he felt right, after getting so lost.
-He returns to the familiar after wondering (Maybe some here can identity with that: having made a mess of some things in life, you return to the place You last “felt God” to the place where you were growing before you took that left turn.
Maybe evening asking the Questions: Is God Still there? Is he still the with me?
For us that seems to be where we find our selves in the text today:
Abram has left Egypts and systematically traced his steps back to the land of where he set up the Alter to God betwen Bethel and Ai that we saw in Gen 12.
And in the pericope before us We will see that God has not abandoned Abram along the way, but rather he is growing Abram into the man who will trust in him through the hard times to come.
So our text before us features 4 C’s (Bringing the baptist side of me into things today:
I. Confession (1-4)
Genesis 13:1–4 ESV
So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb. Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord.
Abram returns to the last place where he experienced God in our text:
Genesis 12:8 ESV
From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.
Once again he calls on the name of the Lord, but here there is not mention of building an alter allowing us to assume the previous one remained.
Here is one of the first encouragements Abram receives, The Alter remains.
-Illustration: Israel will leave stones to remind them of God’s faithfulness
-Previous church I had a family who collected rocks whenever God did something in their lives, to remind them of Gods promises and faithfulness
From the alter we will assume he nice again calls on the name of the Lord.
• I use the term confession in the theological sense of declaring the truth about God, such as we do on the third week of each of each month. Sometimes this may include a confession of Sin, but sometimes it is just stating who God is , as a reminder to us ass all of the reality of the God we worship.
• so too Abram calls out to God following his sojourn and failure in Egypt. Maybe he is wondering if the promise reminds, maybe he is broken over his sin, maybe he just needs to be near God, the exact words he says are not in the text but the heart seems to be one of remembrance and renewal.
Romans 10:13 ESV
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
so the text sets the foundation of Abram now seeking the Lord not himself, which then leads us into our text’s dilemma:
II. Conflict (5-7)
Genesis 13:5–7 ESV
And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.
the hearts an are fighting the Land can no longer support them as it did before Egypt:
-God’s blessing on Abram has equally extended to Lot, making them both very rich from their time in Egypt. Lot is blessed by his connection to Abram
Yet here we see the blessing of God turning I to a burden.
They cannot remain together
Romans 12:18 ESV
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
So Abram sets out to work through the problem:
III. Compromise (8-13)
Genesis 13:8–13 ESV
Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.
Here Abram seeks peace in the family, but also knows that can only come with distance
(Here we see God brining the final aspect of His call to Abram to fruition by separating him from the last of his fathers household)
Abram generously offers Lot to choose where he would like to live first.
We can see in this a sign of Abram trusting God with the results.
so here we have the second challenge to the covenant: will Lot choose any portion of the promise land
Lot however will choose with his eyes:
• same phrase for Eve and the sons of God
• his desire for what looks good out without any judgment of whether it is good
• He is quick to see the usefulness of this plentiful land and will seek it as his own.
• he will move his family near to sodom (a place our text explicitly calls a home to great sinners)
• He will move East away from the promise (back to Egypt…)
• He will leave the land and leave any inheritance behind
• he will compromise his family ’all future what what out the outside seems desirable
Appl: temptation keeps into the picture here again in Gen and we see another person falling for the lust of the eyes. He believes the Eden like lands will bring him great wealth but it will be attempted outside of the promise and with it we will see it’s failure
Wen confronted with these types of situations do we seek wise council or base our actions on the lust of the eyes. Abram here seems to being trusting in God with the results as our text will seem to show us:
IV. Commitment (14-18)
Genesis 13:14–18 ESV
The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.
After lot leaves the Lord calls Abram again
“The Lord calls Abram to lift his eyes and see”
The lord reminds him of his commitment to the promise, but now he will show him more
Abram journeys the whole of the Land
God has not forsaken his promise, this land will be his
Hebron will be a key city in the future of Israel, here the patriarchs will be buried and it is from this city David will first be named King.
After Egypt Abram meeting gut have thought he had lost Gods promises, but the text agin reminds s the favor of God is given and secured by God alone not ourselves.
-Those who are far from God: follow those ancient paths Back to God
go back, go back to those ancient paths
-Those Facing Conflict: trust in the Lord and seek him looking to live at peace
Don’t trust the desires of the eyes, in spite of the truth you know
An Encouragement for Believers:
The promises of God are not dependent on Use but on the grace and wonder of God who gives more lavishly than we could imagine, giving us an eternal city with him .