The Way of the Warrior Week 28 - The Warrior's Journey®

The Way of the Warrior Week 28

Author: Nathan Werner,

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

The Way of the Warrior

In our devotionals, we’ve been investigating the life of Abram, God’s chosen: “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3).  He was 75 years old, and very wealthy (Gen. 13:2).  He would become one of the greatest warriors of ancient history (Gen. 14).  An elderly rich guy, who gave his wife up to be Pharaoh’s concubine, would be transformed into a fearsome wildcat! It is amazing how the Lord chooses certain people, then shapes them into people who will impact the world.

However, there was a knotty problem that needed to be resolved before all the fireworks start.  When the Lord called Abram, he was very specific about some pre-conditions that had to be obeyed: “Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you’” (12:1).  Abram conformed with leaving Haran and going to Canaan, but…he was to leave all his relatives.  “Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him” (12:4).  Who is Lot?!  This was Abram’s nephew, his brother’s son.  Lot was not supposed to be with Abram.  Will the Lord’s plan unravel if one tiny detail was overlooked? Just one itsy, bitsy compromise. Come on!

When the Lord makes a command, it is not a suggestion up for revision.  He gives detailed directions, because he knows potential dangers and pitfalls.  Lot was a problem.  His presence with Abram will cost thousands of people their lives!  This is not an exaggeration.  The Lord is omniscient, and fudge factors we try and implement, to shape God’s plans, will result in less than optimum results. Tiny deviations can result in monumental problems.

After Abram got kicked out of Egypt by Pharaoh, he had to take his entourage through the Negev- a stark and bleak place (13:1).  “He journeyed on from the Negeb as far as to the place where he had made an altar at the first” (13:3, 4).  He traveled past modern-day Jerusalem, 15 more miles north to Bethel, where he had built an altar for worship, and publicly called out to the Lord (12:8). He fully expected that he and the Lord would reconnect, that he would be accepted back by God. He knew the Lord was kind and gracious, unlike Pharaoh.

“And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.” (13:5).  Again, Lot was not supposed to be with Abram (12:1), he’s still tagging along, and Abram’s still was dis-obedient. “The land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together” (13:6). Natural consequences begin to take over, rather than the Lord doing a supernatural intervention.

“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” (13:7). People-drama begins.  Humans begin their dance of self-focus. Canaanites and the Perizzites, the heathen pagans were getting along, but the Lord’s ‘chosen people’ were acting peevish, and selfish. This was not a good witness to a lost world.

We expected there would be consequences for Abram’s disobedience, and now they began to blossom. But who would be the ‘grown-up’ and begin to manage this situation?

“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’” (13:8). Who goes to who?  Shouldn’t the lesser be going to the greater? Lot should be taking matters into his hands, trying to resolve the tension, out of respect for Abram. Abram was the reason Lot was successful.  In the ancient world, the lesser went to the greater. Lot was not a leader, who assessed the problem, and moved to solve the issue. He was a selfish squish.

Abram, the one being trained by the Lord, goes to Lot.  Abram did for Lot what the Lord did for him.  Abram takes the initiative, noting the problem and moving to solve the issues.  He does not pridefully expect Lot to be a thoughtful problem-solver. Humbly, Abram goes to Lot, suggesting a solution: “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.”(13:9).  What a reasonable and generous offer!

Abram acted like the Lord.  He did not act like Pharaoh, who kicked him out of Egypt. Abram could have kicked Lot to the curb. Abram assessed the matter, negotiated a magnanimous settlement, and settled for second best.  He acted with kindness and grace, the way the Lord treated him.

“And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere…” (13:10). Imagine Lot’s mind assessing the situation – noble deference for his uncle, or personal gain for himself… “So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley” (13:11).  Self-focus won.  He chose the best for himself, but it would turn out to be the worst choice.  In contrast, humbly Abram became a blessing: “I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing(12:2). Abram blessed his nephew, though Lot did not deserve his favor.  Lot acted selfishly, Abram acted nobly. This is the standard for people of faith. After all: “the Lord Jesus…he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”(Acts 20:35).

“Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom”(Gen. 13:12).  Sodom, oh, no!  “Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD”(13:13). Worldly systems are attractive and alluring, and Lot was being sucked in.  He just had been kicked out of Egypt, but now another highly sexualized culture was beckoning, and he’s testing the waters, getting close. Lot wasn’t afraid of materialism, the glitter, or the prosperity of Egypt- he’d like Sodom

Whereas Lot: “lifted up his eyes and saw(13:10), doing an evaluation for his best interests. The Lord directed Abram’s vision: “The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and lookfrom the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward”(13:14). Lot had self-directed vision, and evaluated poorly, while Abram had God-directed vision and became a great influence. Both were believers.  But one had to help the other: Abramrescued righteous Lot, (2 Pet. 2:7). Lot placed himself at risk and would need help. Abram graciously saved Lot as the Lord had done for him.

Believer’s are not immune from making poor choices. Abram began being wise: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you”(James 4:10).  Abram had learned a hard lesson in Egypt, so he began to implement humility and wisdom. How about you?

Let's Talk

100% Confidential | Warrior-to-warrior

We respond within 24 hours and can provide community support, resources, and referrals.