under a special agreement with
presents "Light from the Old Testament"
under a special agreement with
Lesson 2 (Part 2)
Abraham was 75 years old when he left his home in Haran to go to the land of Canaan. Abraham took Sarah, his wife, his servants, and his flocks and herds of livestock. His brother's son, Lot, also went with him.
In time, Abraham became very wealthy in cattle, silver and gold. His nephew Lot also had flocks and herds and servants. Soon they had so much livestock that the land could not support them. There was fighting between the servants of Abraham and the servants of Lot.
Abraham realized that they needed to separate, and he took Lot to a high place and showed him all the land. Some of the land was rocky and mountainous and some was fertile, flat land near the river Jordan. Though he was much older than his nephew, he gave Lot first choice of the land.
Lot chose the plain of Jordan which was well watered. It was also the place where very wicked people lived in nearby cities. Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom. The Bible says,
"But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly." (Genesis 13:13)
Soon Lot and his family were living in Sodom. Lot became one of the rulers of Sodom, but the people were very wicked. The Bible says that Lot was "vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked."
In time Sodom and a nearby city, Gomorrah, became so wicked that God told Abraham that He was going to destroy them. God had to send two angels to bring Lot, his wife and their two daughters out of Sodom. Then the cities were destroyed. The Bible says, "Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven." (Genesis 19:24)
We would not know that Lot was a believer except that we are told in the New Testament that Lot was "a righteous man."
Satan cannot keep a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ from going to heaven, but he will do all he can to make him a worldly believer like Lot. This world is not our home. God has given heaven to us, and He tells us that we are to be "strangers and pilgrims" in this world.
There are times when Satan puts something before us to get us out of the path of faith. It may be a better job or more money, but it may put us in a place or situation which is not of God. It may look like something that God had ordered; yet it may be just our own choice.
Lot chose for himself, and he ended up with a disastrous life. Abraham let God choose for him, and he became "the father of all those who believe."
We too will be tested by circumstances. Will we choose for ourselves or will we let things be God's choice? The psalmist said, "He shall choose our inheritance for us…"
God had promised Abram that He would make of him a great nation. Abram had become wealthy, but he and Sarah had no children. Sarah was barren. She could not bear children.
Since Abram and Sarah had no son, Abram asked God if the son of his servant, Eliezer, was to be his heir. The Lord said to him, "This shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own bowels [body] shall be your heir." (Genesis 15:4)
The Lord brought Abram out of his tent and said,
"Look now toward heaven, and tell [count] the stars, if you are able to number them." Then God said, "So shall your seed be." Genesis 15:5
Abram's circumstances told him that this was impossible. He was 85 years old at this time and his wife was barren. What was Abram going to do? Would he believe in his circumstances or would he believe God? Abram chose to believe God. The Bible says,
"He believed in the LORD; and He [God] counted it to him for righteousness." Genesis 15:6
Here we see the great principle on which we can be perfectly righteous before God—the principle of faith. When we believe God, He counts to us a perfect righteousness.
Abram simply believed the faithful God who cannot lie, and God counted it to him for righteousness. Being declared righteous by God on the principle of faith may seem like a foolish principle to men, but it is God's principle. We are saved by grace through faith and faith alone.
After a time, when Sarah had not conceived, she thought it would be good if she gave her maid, Hagar, to Abram, that he might have a son by her. Unfortunately, Abram went along with Sarah's idea. Hagar bore a son by Abram, and he was named Ishmael. But Ishmael was not the son which God had promised Abram.
When Abram was 99 years old, God appeared to him and said, "I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be perfect." (Genesis 17:1) God made a covenant with Abram, renewing His promised to him. As a token of the covenant, God commanded that every male child of Abram and his descendants should be circumcised.
God changed Abram's name to Abraham which means "father of a multitude." God told Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son one year from that time.
Sarah had not only been barren, but she was now long past the age of childbearing. She laughed at the thought of having a child. Abraham himself wondered how this could ever happen. But he believed God.
The principle that marked Abraham was faith. The Bible says that Abraham was "strong in faith, giving glory to God." (Romans 4:20) This is the one simple principle that has always marked the true people of God.