And Abram had become extremely wealthy in livestock and silver and gold.
? — The following story is told of Jacob Ridgeway, a wealthy citizen of Philadelphia, who died many years ago, leaving a fortune of five or six million dollars. "Mr. Ridgeway," said a young man with whom the millionaire was conversing, "you are more to be envied than any gentleman I know." "Why so?" responded Mr. Ridgeway; "I am not aware of any cause for which I should be particularly envied." "What, sir!" exclaimed the young man in astonishment. "Why you are a millionaire! Think of the thousands your income brings every month!" "Well, what of that?" replied Mr. Ridgeway. "All I get out of it is my victuals and clothes, and I can't eat more than one man's allowance and wear more than a suit at a time. Pray can't you do as much?" "Ah, but," said the youth, "think of the hundreds of fine houses you own, and the rentals they bring you." "What better am I off for that?" replied the rich man. "I can only live in one house at a time; as for the money I receive for rents, why I can't eat it or wear it; I can only use it to buy other houses for other people to live in; they are the beneficiaries, not I." "But you can buy splendid furniture, and costly pictures, and fine carriages and horses — in fact, anything you desire." "And after I have bought them," responded Mr. Ridgeway, "what then? I can only look at the furniture and pictures, and the poorest man, who is not blind, can do the same. I can ride no easier in a fine carriage than you can in an omnibus for five cents, without the trouble of attending to drivers, footmen, and ostlers; and as to anything I 'desire,' I can tell you, young man, that the less we desire in this world, the happier we shall be. All my wealth can't buy a single day more of life — cannot buy back my youth — cannot procure me power to keep afar off the hour of death; and then, what will all avail, when in a few short years at most, I lie down in the grave and leave it all forever? Young man, you have no cause to envy me."
Return to Bethel - to the altar. The circumstances of the patriarch were very different. He was very rich. Lot is with him, and the sojourn in Egypt had far more depraving effect upon his weaker character than upon that of his uncle. We should remember when we take the young into temptation that what may be comparatively harmless to us may be ruinous to them. The subsequent misery of Lot's career may be all traced to the sojourn in Egypt.
I. The root of it lay in WORLDLY WEALTH LEADING TO CONTENTION. "They could not dwell together."
II. THE DIVERGENCE OF CHARACTER IS BROUGHT OUT IN THE COMPLICATION OF EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES. Lot is simply selfish, willful, regardless of consequences, utterly worldly. Abram is a lover of peace, a hater of strife, still cherishes the family feeling and reverences the bond of brotherhood, is ready to subordinate his own interests to the preservation of the Divine order, has faith to see that Canaan with the blessing of God is much to be preferred to the plain of Jordan with Divine judgments hanging over those who were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.
III. LESSONS OF PROVIDENCE ARE NOT LOST ON THOSE WHO WAIT UPON GOD, and can be learnt in spite of infirmities and errors. Abram could not forget what Egypt had taught him; rich as he was, he did not put riches first. He had seen that that which seems like a garden of the Lord in external beauty may be a cursed land after all. There are people of God who pitch their tents towards Sodom still, and they will reap evil fruits, as Lot did. It is a most terrible danger to separate ourselves from old religious associations. In doing so we cannot be too careful where we pitch our tent. - R.
Abram was very rich. I.
Abram, whilst "very rich," was TRULY GODLY.
II. Whilst "very rich," Abram was VERY godly.
III. Abram, whilst "very rich," highly VALUED "A GOOD NAME."
IV. Abram, whilst "very rich," TAUGHT HIS CHILDREN TO TRUST, not in uncertain riches, but IN THE LIVING GOD who gave them richly all things to enjoy.
V. Whilst "very rich," he was VERY GENEROUS.
VI. Whilst "very rich" Abram did not forget that his riches were NOT HIS OWN.
VII. Whilst "very rich" in earthly possessions, HE SET NOT HIS HEART UPON THEM. Conclusion:
1. It is a very noticeable and suggestive fact, that the thought of the earthly riches of Abram has a very limited place in the minds of men.
2. Rich or poor in this world, we all need to be poor in spirit.
3. Rich or poor, we may have "durable riches" through Jesus Christ.
Wherefore doth the Lord make your cup run over, but that other men's lips might taste the liquor? The showers that fall upon the highest mountains should glide into the lowest valleys.
PeopleAbram, Canaanites, Lot, Mamre, Perizzites, Zoar
PlacesAi, Bethel, Betonim, Canaan, Egypt, Gomorrah, Hebron, Jordan River, Negeb, Sodom, Zoar
TopicsAbram, Cattle, Exceedingly, Gold, Livestock, Rich, Silver, Wealth, Wealthy
Outline1. Abram and Lot return with great riches out of Egypt.
6. Strife arises between Abram's herdsmen and those of Lot.
8. Abram allows Lot to choose his part of the country,
10. and Lot goes toward Sodom.
14. God renews his promise to Abram.
18. He moves to Hebron, and there builds an altar.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 13:2
5077 Abraham, character
5414 money, stewardship
5503 rich, the
8780 materialism, and sin
8811 riches, attitudes to
5076 Abraham, life of
LibraryJuly 21. "Look from the Place Where Thou Art" (Gen. xiii. 14).
"Look from the place where thou art" (Gen. xiii. 14). Let us now see the blessedness of faith. Our own littleness and nothingness sometimes becomes bondage. We are so small in our own eyes we dare not claim God's mighty promises. We say: "If I could be sure I was in God's way I could trust." This is all wrong. Self-consciousness is a great barrier to faith. Get your eyes on Him and Him alone; not on your faith, but on the Author of your faith; not a half look, but a steadfast, prolonged look, with …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
August 11. "All the Land which Thou Seest" (Gen. xiii. 15).
"All the land which thou seest" (Gen. xiii. 15). The actual provisions of His grace come from the inner vision. He who puts the instinct in the bosom of yonder bird to cross the continent in search of summer sunshine in yonder Southern clime is too good to deceive it, and just as surely as He has put the instinct in its breast, so has He also put the balmy breezes and the vernal sunshine yonder to meet it when it arrives. He who gave to Abraham the vision of the Land of Promise, also said in infinite …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
The Importance of a Choice
'And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journeys from the south even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Hal; Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the Lord. And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Land of Promise
"All the Land which thou seest, to thee will I give it."--Gen. xiii. 15. Gertrude of Hellfde, 1330. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 It was as if upon His breast He laid His piercèd hand, And said "To thee, beloved and blest, I give this goodly land." O Land of fountains and of deeps, Of God's exhaustless store-- O blessed Land, where he who reaps Shall never hunger more-- O summer Land, for ever fair With God's unfading flowers; O Land, where spices fill the air, And songs the golden towers-- …
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)
The Wilderness: Temptation. Matthew 4:1-11. Mark 1:12, 13. Luke 4:1-13.
The University of Arabia: Jesus' naturalness--the Spirit's presence--intensity, Luke 2:45-51.--a true perspective--- the temptation's path--sin's path--John's grouping, 1 John 2:16.--the Spirit's plan--why--the devil's weakness--the Spirit's leading--a wilderness for every God-used man, Moses, Elijah, Paul. Earth's Ugliest, Deepest Scar: Jesus the only one led up to be tempted--the wilderness--its history, Genesis 13:10-13. 18:16-19:38.--Jesus really tempted--no wrong here in inner response--every …
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus
Notes on the Third Century
Page 161. Line 1. He must be born again, &c. This is a compound citation from John iii. 3, and Mark x. 15, in the order named. Page 182. Line 17. For all things should work together, &c. See Romans viii. 28. Page 184. Lines 10-11. Being Satan is able, &c. 2 Corinthians xi. 14. Page 184. Last line. Like a sparrow, &c. Psalm cii. Page 187. Line 1. Mechanisms. This word is, in the original MS., mechanicismes.' Page 187. Line 7. Like the King's daughter, &c. Psalm xlv. 14. Page 188. Med. 39. The best …
Thomas Traherne—Centuries of Meditations
Discourse on the Good Shepherd.
(Jerusalem, December, a.d. 29.) ^D John X. 1-21. ^d 1 Verily, verily, I say to you [unto the parties whom he was addressing in the last section], He that entereth not by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. [In this section Jesus proceeds to contrast his own care for humanity with that manifested by the Pharisees, who had just cast out the beggar. Old Testament prophecies were full of declarations that false shepherds would arise to …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
The Old Testament Canon from Its Beginning to Its Close.
The first important part of the Old Testament put together as a whole was the Pentateuch, or rather, the five books of Moses and Joshua. This was preceded by smaller documents, which one or more redactors embodied in it. The earliest things committed to writing were probably the ten words proceeding from Moses himself, afterwards enlarged into the ten commandments which exist at present in two recensions (Exod. xx., Deut. v.) It is true that we have the oldest form of the decalogue from the Jehovist …
Samuel Davidson—The Canon of the Bible
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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