PATHS In Bible Chapters

Genesis 13
Theme: Lessons In Humility
Key Text: Verse 4


            Abraham’s excursion to Egypt taught him many valuable lessons. He became especially aware that faith only thrives in the Canaan-land atmosphere. He came to realize that the blessings of God are particularly enjoyed through practical obedience. He found out that truth, not deception, brings liberty in life, or, as Jesus said, makes men “free” (John 8:32). He discovered that he was not for Egypt, and Egypt was not for him! All in all, he learned that “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (Jam. 4:6).


1. The Paths Of Humility
            Reflecting upon “the goodness of God,” and remembering his past experiences of faith, Abraham was led “to repentance” (Rom. 2:4). He humbly acknowledged his wrong, his selfishness, his sin! Then, with nothing in his thoughts but pleasing God, he abandoned the world and “went up out of Egypt” (13:1). Retracing his steps to the promised land, his journey brought him back to the “old paths” (Jer. 6:16), to “the place where his tent had been at the beginning . . . the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first” (13:3, 4).


2. The Preferences Of Humility
            Soon, the genuineness of Abraham’s restoration was tested. We are told that “there was a strife” between his herdmen and Lot’s herdmen. But, showing that he had become an overcomer, the patriarch preferred brotherly kindness to resentment and bitterness and pleaded, “Let there be no strife . . . for we be brethren” (13:8). Although he was “very rich” (13:2), he preferred spiritual wealth over material possessions and offered Lot the property of his choice (13:9-11). Through the entire affair, Abraham simply preferred or esteemed his brother above himself (see Phil. 2:3; Rom. 12:10).


3. The Promotions Of Humility
            We have here a most vivid illustration of our Lord’s teaching that “whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Matt. 23:12). Lot greedily sought to better himself, but rather, he began his downhill plunge “toward Sodom’ (13:12). Abraham, on the other hand, not seeking the high road, experienced a measure of exaltation! He ended up with all the land in the end! The Lord promised, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever” (13:15).


            Not long ago, I turned down a street which I thought would be a short cut between two roads. To my dismay, I ended up in a residential district on a dead-end street. In spite of all my driving experience and expertise (ha!), I had to humbly admit I’d made a mistake, turn around, return to the junction, and go on from there. This is how we must deal with wrong decisions in the Christian journey, as well. May God help us to acknowledge our sin, turn from it, and continue to “walk humbly” with our God (Mic. 6:8).