Read the “0105 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Read previous posts from today’s passage – “Balanced and Biblical Separation;”“Relationships are More Important than Riches;” “Gardens and Green Grass or God’s Will?;” and “Good Friends are Hard to Come By”
“And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between 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.” (Genesis 13:3-4)
Have you ever made a decision in life that brought you down a path that you thought you were supposed to be on, and then, perhaps after traveling a long time and a great distance, you discover that the road you were on was the wrong one. Usually in those cases, you end up going back to the place where you started – back to square one.
In our text, we see Abram, Sarai, and Lot back in the area near Bethel, which was the place that God had originally stated would be the place of His blessing (See Genesis 12:7 and 8). Abram had made the bad decision to leave the place of God’s will because there was a famine in the land. He took his family and travelled into Egypt, which was not a good move for him or his family. A lot of bad stuff happens while they are away from the place of God’s will. But, thank the Lord, Abram had the good sense to go back to square one – back to Bethel – the place of God’s will. Almost.
I say, “almost” because Abram was not in as good of a position the second time in Bethel as he was at the first. Why? Because he and his family picked up some things in Egypt that were hindrances to God’s complete blessing when they went back to Bethel. For example: Lot developed a taste for big city life in Egypt. You will notice in Genesis 13:10 that Lot’s choice to move away from Abraham toward Sodom later on was based upon the fact that it was “like the land of Egypt.” Also, in Genesis 16:1 – 4, we read about Hagar “the Egyptian” that was given to Abram by Sarai to be his concubine. Where did Abraham and Sarai find Hagar? Probably when they were down in Egypt. The fruit of Abram’s union was a son named Ishmael who was “a wild man” (Genesis 16:12) who couldn’t get along with anybody. Ishmael and his descendants became a thorn in the side of the people of God for many centuries, even to this day.
It was great that Abram took his family out of Egypt and brought them back to Bethel, the place of God’s will; but it would have been far better for them had they never left Bethel in the first place. There are many applications that we can make in our lives from this story:
- If you are not now in the will of God, get back there as quick as you can.
- If you are inside of the perfect will of God for your life, don’t be tempted to leave it.
- Before you make any major decisions in life regarding geographical moves, new careers, a potential mate, etc., seek God’s will through the Word of God, prayer, and godly counsel (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22; 24:6).
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 4 comments.