Year 2 Day 218
Read - Genesis 13
Message - Scott Woodburn
A favourite cry of many in our land is “no surrender”, it promises not to give an inch, never to retreat, never to give up. However as we read Genesis 13 we notice that the words “no surrender” never leave Abram’s lips.
By this stage of Abram’s story he had become very rich in livestock, silver and gold (v2). His nephew Lot had done well for himself too (v5) so much so that the land couldn’t support both men living in the same country together. It had become so tense that the herdsmen of both Abram and Lot had begun to fight and argue. Who would win out?
Perhaps in your own life at this stage you’d cry “no surrender”. Your needs come above those of anyone else and so you must have the best, you must have the victory. I suspect we’ve all acted in such a fashion more times than we would like to admit. We know that Abram was no perfect man but in this instance he chose the path of wisdom.
He tells Lot that the last thing he wants is for their family to be at war (v8). The whole land lies in front of Lot and so Abram gives him the first choice. If Lot goes right then Abram will go left. Abram acts with wisdom and grace and doesn’t put his needs first. As Lot lifted his eyes he saw the plush Jordan valley and decided that he would have that for his possession (v11). In the eyes of many it was a good choice but ominously we are told that Lot moved as far as Sodom where “the men…were wicked, great sinners against the Lord” (v13).
Yet Abram wasn’t hard done by. He had taken the path of grace and whilst in the eyes of the world it might have seemed like he had missed out, in the eyes of the Lord he had acted wisely. God spoke covenantally again to Abram and said “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.” (v14-17)
The Lord had promised Abram an inheritance of land but also an inheritance of faith. Abram’s descendants would be as numerous as the dust of the earth. Lot may have claimed the Jordan valley by sight, but Abram’s claim would be won by faith. Let’s remember again that this story in Genesis 13 is our story for if we belong to Jesus then we are spiritual descendants of Abram (Galatians 3v29).
Brothers and sisters our cry doesn’t need to be “no surrender”. We don’t need to fight every battle. We don’t need to win every victory. We don’t have to rub our neighbours face in the dirt at every opportunity. Instead as we come to saving faith in Jesus we “know surrender”. The old has gone and the new has come. In this life we walk by faith and not by sight and so our enemies may always seem to claim the Jordan valley from under our nose but we rest easy regardless. Our inheritance is in heaven, kept for us by Jesus and it is one that will never perish, spoil or fade. It is as Samuel Rutherford once said “they lose nothing who gain Christ.”
Q96 What is the Lord’s Supper? The Lord’s Supper is a Sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, his death is showed forth; and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.