Genesis 13-16

So Abram and Sarai have been booted out of Egypt.  God is still on their side though… a lot of worse things could have happened for lying to a pharoah.

Genesis 13

  • Abram, Sarai, Lot, and all that they owned went north to a place between Bethel and Ai (where ABram had built an altar before).  Abram and Lot’s herdmen started feuding… this land was not big enough to support both of their servants and livestock.
  • Abram, although he should have been able to choose (due to him being older), allowed Lot to choose which section of land to settle in.
  • Lot chose the better and more fertile Jordan valley.  He settled close to Sodom, where the people were very wicked.
  • Abram settled in Canaan.  God promised him this land would be given to him and his offspring.  God also promised Abram that his offspring would be uncountable… a pretty bold promise for a man whose wife to this point has still been barren.

Genesis 14

This chapter begins with war breaking out!  These notes come from my perspective as well as some of the notes in my study Bible.

  • When a city was conquered during this time, the conquered city paid tribute to the victor.  Apparently King Kedorlaomer had conquered Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela, who now formed an alliance and rebelled against King Kedorlaomer.  Sounds like he was pretty powerful.
  • King Kedorlaomer and his allies defeated the rebelling kings.  They fled into the mountains or slipped into tar pits.  Then the victors plundered Sodom and Gomorrah… taking Lot and everything he owned with them!
  • One of the men who escaped told Abram the news of his nephew.
  • Rather than be mad about Lot and his selfishness (which the Bible never says anything about… perhaps Abram never cared or never did anything about Lot’s choice of land), Abram gets together 318 people in his household and chases after Kedorlaomer’s army.  They attacked the army during the night and won! Amazing… Abram’s household, who probably did not consist of several soldiers as in an army, defeated a powerful king’s army.
  • Abram and his allies recovered everything, including Lot and his possessions.
  • Once Abram returns, the king of Sodom and Melchizedek, a priest of God, came to greet him.  Melchizedek blessed Abram, who gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he has recovered.
  • The king of Sodom asked Abram for his people back but told Abram to keep the goods.  Abram wanted God to get all the glory for his riches and victory; therefore he refused the king of Sodom’s offer.  He returned everything (except for what they had eaten).  Abram also asked the king to share the goods with his allies.

Genesis 15

  • God comes to Abram in a vision.  Abram tells God his concerns of not having a son… that one of his servants will get all his wealth.  God tells Abram that his descendants will be like the stars… countless.  Abram believes, and the Lord says that Abram is righteous because of his faith.
  • God also tells Abram He will give him the land he is now in (as well as several other pieces of land named later in the chapter… interestingly, most if not all of these lands belong to the descendants of Ham).
  • Abram has a scary vision that night.  God tells him his descendants will be like strangers in a foreign land.  They will be slaves to a nation for four hundred years, but God will punish that nation and Abram’s descendants will come away with great wealth (God foreshadows what the book of Exodus talks about).
  • God also states that after four generations, Abram’s descendants will return to the land Abram is now in after “…the sin of the Amorites has run its course” (Gen. 15:16).  Once again, the Amorites are descendants of Ham.  But also note that they have four generations to repent!

Genesis 16

Once again, Sarai and Abram decide to take matters into their own hands and ‘help God out…’

  • Sarai, still being barren, told Abram to have children through her Egyptian servant, Hagar.  Abram agreed.
  • Hagar became pregnant and mistreated Sarai.  Sarai blamed Abram and said God will make him pay for this.
  • Abram told Sarai that Hagar was her servant and to treat her however she wanted.  We don’t know what Sarai did, but it must have been pretty bad… Hagar ran away.
  • An angel found Hagar beside a desert spring.  The angel told her to return to Sarai.  The angel also said that she would have more descendants than she could count. Her current son, who should be named Ishmael, will be against all his brothers, and his brothers will be against him.
  • Abram was eighty-six when Hagar birthed Ishmael.
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