“And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journeys from the sought even to Bethel and Hai; Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the Lord” (KJV, Gen. 13:1-4).
Father, I thank you for the example of Abraham. When I look at the life of Abraham, I see a man who was not perfect, but the overall course of his life was devoted to You. Thank You for the imperfect examples that You give me in Your Word.
The Word of Promise Audio Bible – New King James Version, NKJV: Complete Bible
I see that Abraham was commended for his faith. You brought him out of a land where he engaged in idol worship. You called Abraham, the sinner, to Yourself and told Him that You would show him a good land. You took him by the hand, led him for many years, and promised that the nations would be blessed through him.
He believed Your promises, and You credited it to him as righteousness. I see that Abraham was righteous by faith and not by works. I also know that You have told me that I must have faith like Abraham’s and that he is the father of those who have faith. Would You please help me to learn much from his example?
“went up out of Egypt”
While I know that Your Word is not necessarily conveying that Abraham went up out of a place of bondage when it says that he “went up out of Egypt,” I am reminded of what Egypt so often symbolizes in the Scriptures. I remember that the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, and You delivered them from their slavery by Your mighty hand and outstretched arm. Unfortunately, Your Word has also said they often desired to return to Egypt.
Joseph’s Studio by Roman, Renaissance Collection, 13.75 Inch Crucifix, Jesus on the Cross, Religiou
Father, I thank You for delivering me from bondage. Thank You for the redemption that has taken place in my life through the work of Christ. He ransomed me with His precious blood. Now I am free from my slavery. However, would You work in my heart so that I would forget what was behind? May I press on toward what lies ahead like Paul?
“he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him”
As I move forward in Your Word with thoughts of deliverance, I am again struck with the belief that redemption is entire. When Christ called the disciples, they left everything to follow Jesus. They left their boats, nets, occupations, tax booth, etc. They let it all go to lay hold of Jesus. May I never think I can cling to the past and lay hold of You at the same time? It is impossible to serve two masters.
“into the south”
Still, Your Word makes me think of illustrations. I know that Your Word is not seeking to convey what I am praying, but the illustrations abound before me. When You brought Abraham out of Egypt, he went into the south. In the same way, when You delivered me out of bondage, You called me to live humbly and lowly before You.
May You always remind me of my Teacher. A disciple is not greater than his teacher. As Christ has humbled Himself before You and man, so must I do the same. I am told to have the mind of Christ. I am told to embrace servant-heartedness. Teach me what it means to be like Jesus. Please show me what it means to go south.
“And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold”
You blessed Abraham tremendously. I am also made aware of the fact that You have blessed me. However, let me never equate blessing with riches. While it may be a blessing to be rich, it may also be a curse.
The Israelites have defined blessing for me in the book of Numbers. When Aaron blessed the people, he said, “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace” (Num. 6:24-26). Here I see the heart of blessing that spans the world and reaches into third-world countries where poverty is high.
Blessing is to have Your face shine upon me and for You to be gracious to me. It is the peace of Christ ruling in my heart and Your favor and presence upon me. May I rest in Your blessing, and if You give me riches, use them for Your glory.
“And he went on his journeys from the south”
Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd. You have told me that You will lead and guide me throughout my life. Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, You are with me. You are unlike the hired hand who runs at the first sight of danger. Instead, You gave Your life for me. You died so that I might live.
“even to Bethel and Hai”
As I look into the Old Testament, I see that some places were deemed holy. However, when I look at the New Testament, I see a story that sheds some light on how I must approach You after Christ came and died on the cross. Before Jesus died, He spoke of the temple as the proper place of worship. But then He said a time was coming when the true worshippers of God would worship You in spirit and truth.
Thus, I can worship You anywhere in spirit through Jesus Christ, Who is the way, truth, and life. Thank You for Jesus, Who is also said to be the temple in the Gospels. He is the avenue through which I must worship You. I can never get to You, Father, unless I go through Jesus Christ.
“Unto the place of the altar”
Nevertheless, I am reminded of the importance of worship. Abraham was devoted to You and set up an altar to honor You. May there be an altar in my heart set up for Your worship. May You be delighted in my worship. Please, help me to be like a Berean. Help me determine what is pleasing worship in Your eyes based upon carefully studying Your Word.
I see that worship is much more than singing. Instead, worship is the whole of life. Your Word tells me that whether I am eating or drinking or whatever I am doing, I am to do it for the glory of God. Thus, even in the most mundane of tasks, I can offer worship unto You if my heart and attitude are pleasing in Your sight.
“which he had made there at the first”
Father, please keep me close to You and never let me go. Guard my heart against the deceitfulness of sin and the wiles of the devil. If I would fall, please help me remember to do what I did at first. Jesus has said, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Rev. 2:5).
“and there Abram called on the name of the Lord”
I call upon You this day, O God Most High. You are God alone, and there is none like You. You created the heavens and the earth. The earth is Yours and all its fullness. Jesus upholds the universe, and if You were to take Your Spirit from me, I would return to the dust. Your greatness cannot be overestimated. Your worth can not be overvalued. Your majesty cannot be magnified enough.
You are the King of all the earth. Nonetheless, Jesus, You are a humble King Who came to the earth to secure His kingdom in love. Thank You for coming to save me. Would you rise for my help this day? In Jesus’ name, Amen.