Skip to main content

Genesis 13: The lure of self-salvation: Heaven is a place on earth?

Back in Canaan we find Abram and Lot together. Both of their households have increased via their trip to Egypt and now things seem crowded. God has prospered them at the cost of those who opposed this royal family. Now. there is tension between the two Sheikhs.

Abram puts his inheritance at risk by offering half of it to Lot. Lot could have the north or the south of Canaan to his nephew. Instead, Lot goes east (never a good direction to travel) to the lush Edenic valleys of Sodom, where the wicked live. And we're given advance notice of Sodom's fall. Seemingly he has learned nothing from Egypt, of the dangers of living with the serpent's seed. Alarm bells should be ringing but off he goes.

Waiting is rough in the short term. Lot divides from Abram and goes for Heaven on Earth – he wants to make his own way back into Eden, rather than waiting for Abram’s Offspring to lead his people back in and defeat the serpent. He walks away from the blessed family and their promised inheritance. Matthew Henry notes: "Lot had the paradise, such as it was, but Abram had the promise".

Abram remains in the land and has the promises renewed while he waits in the dusty post-famine land of Canaan. He’ll have more descendents than the dust in the land. And so he continues to establish the worship of the LORD in this land. Daily as he waits the dust on his feet will prophesy to him of God's great promises.


  1. Do you think Abram is putting his inheritance at risk by giving it to Lot? Or was the inheritance at risk because they were too great for the land to support them, and were threatening to be torn apart by strife, so that actually the division is a positive thing.

    Unless my memory fails me, the New Testament only evaluates lot in positive terms: Peter describes him as righteous (2 Peter 2). I can't help but think your evaluation of him is a little harsh.

    I like the observation about continuing to move east of Eden, though, and Lot's lot (!) looking so promising, so much like a return to Eden, whereas it's with Abram that the future lies.

  2. I think it's a tough one - cos you're right the NT is positive... I'm still pondering this (and all the other Genesis stuff).

    Appreciating your interactions.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…