I’ve recently found myself mesmerised by the great faith giants in Genesis. Genesis is the book of beginnings and in it we are greeted by some of the famous patriarchs of the Old Testament. These faith fathers, as I like to call them; demonstrate faithfulness and fullness of relationship with God. We learn about the lives of Noah and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. The Bibles ‘hall of faith’ found in Hebrews 11, lists eight of the men we read about in Genesis. We also see how God started His redemption plan through Abraham and we continue to see that plan unfold right until the birth of Jesus.
While working through the first few chapters of Genesis, I felt a stirring in my heart to build up my faith. To live out the example that these men have set for us. If you ever feel that your faith is being tested, I would highly recommend that you submerge yourself in the pages of Genesis and build up your faith by learning from these faith fathers.
I was struck by two men: Abraham and his nephew Lot.
The comparison between these two men really represent our lives today and how we choose to live them.
- Abraham was a man of greatness because he believed in the Lord.
- Lot was a man of greed because he believed in himself.
- Abraham lived a life of adventure.
- Lot lived a life of apathy.
Lets take a deeper look at the lives of these men:
We are introduced to Abraham and Lot in Genesis 12. We are introduced to Abraham through Gods promise to him. Abraham was obedient to the Lord from the moment we meet him. He left the land of his father and headed to the place that the Lord had shown him.
In Genesis 13 we see Abraham had finally settled in this land but there was not enough space for both Abraham and Lot and all their families and livestock. So Abraham says to Lot:
“Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”
So Lot lifted his eyes and found fruitful land and journeyed East. But Abraham lifted his eyes to the Lord. He had full confidence in the Lord and knew that whatever piece of land he was given, the Lord would make him fruitful. Lot chose according to what he could see but Abraham trusted the Lord and chose according to his faith in the Lord.
So often, we too find ourselves living in a place of self-indulgence instead of seeking out Gods will for our lives. We live from moment to moment by what our minds can make sense of and what our eyes can see.
2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds us that we “we walk by faith and not by sight.”
This was a principle that Abraham understood and lived out. He trusted in the Lord.
Hebrews 11 tells us that; “faith is the confidence of what we hope for, the assurance of what we do not see.”
Abraham walked by faith, Lot walked by sight.
Do you walk by faith or do you walk by sight?
We read further that Lot pitched his tent as far as Sodom. This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom. Sodom was a sinful city, yet Lot still chose to live there. We see that Lot lived a life of compromise and it led him astray, even though his ‘intentions’ were good.
When we live a life of compromise, disobedience is disguised as good intentions and disobedience leads to bad decisions. Abraham walked closely with the Lord and he was obedient to everything the Lord had told him to do.
In Genesis 14 we read that Lot is taken captive and he had lost all his wealth.
“Those believers who conform to the world must expect to suffer for it.”Charles SpurgeonTweet
Lot suffered the consequences of his choices. When we live a life of compromise, we will also suffer the consequences for the compromises we make. Lot believed in the Lord, however he chose to live a life that did not yield to the supremacy of God. If we as Christians choose to do the same, we will also suffer the same fate as Lot did.
Abraham was an honourable man and chose to rescue Lot from captivity. Abraham shows us the heart of mercy when he rescues Lot from a situation that Lot deserved, due to his actions. However, Lot moved right back to Sodom after he was released. Lot refused Gods warning and wasted his life. Abraham was a man of wisdom and he waited on the Lord and therefore lived in Gods favour.
We can opt to waste our life living in sin, or we can commit our lives to the ways of God.
At this point in Abrahams life, Abraham was old and still childless, yet he still believed. He believed in the Lord and trusted in Gods promises. Abraham not only believed in God but he believed God. This is the gospel demonstrated in the Old Testament. Abraham had faith and his faith was credited to him as righteousness. God fulfilled all the promises he made to Abraham.
Do you believe God? Do you have an Abraham like faith?
Abraham teaches us that we can choose to live a life of trust or treason, confidence or compromise, faith or fear.
As I sat, paging my way through Abrahams life – I felt the urge to pray for an Abraham like faith. A kind of faith that knows that it knows the true God.
A kind of faith that believes.
A kind of faith that trusts.
A kind of faith that hopes.
A kind of faith that relies wholly on God.
A kind of faith that is painted with assurance and certainty.
A kind of faith that experiences more of God.
A kind of faith that is expectant.
A kind of faith that is filled with conviction.
A kind of faith that moves mountains.
A kind of faith that is willing and obedient.
A kind of faith that knows no doubt.
A kind of faith that doesn’t have to see to believe.
A kind of faith that will trust even when blindfolded.
It just believes becasue it knows the One who we believe in.
I want that kind of faith.
I’ve concluded that Lot suffered from a disease called apathy. He was apathetic towards the things of God. If we choose to live a life with an attitude of apathy, then we too will live a life of mediocrity, empty of the supernatural abundance of Gods goodness that we see in the life of Abraham. Make no mistake, Abraham lived an exciting life from one God adventure to the next.
Are you keen to go on a God adventure too?