Genesis 13 — Is Your Faith in What’s Seen or Unseen?

by | Sep 4, 2020

READ Genesis 13

After Lot had separated from him, the Lord said to Abram, “Look from the place where you are. Look north and south, east and west, for I will give you and your offspring forever all the land that you see. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted.” (Genesis 13:14-16)

In this chapter, nomadic herdsmen Abram and his nephew Lot separate because the land is unable to sustain their livestock. We’re talking about the Promised Land of Canaan. Abram and Lot are both wealthy men, but their wealth is threatened if they stay in this place. They need to separate, so Abram gives Lot first choice of what territory he will take. Lot chooses the fertile land of Sodom near the Jordan River, and Abram chooses to stay in the Canaan, even though he’s taking a big risk.

That’s the fundamental choice we all have to make in life: will we put our faith in the things of this world, or take a risk and put our faith in God’s promises? And it’s a choice we make every day. Will we work our fingers down to the bone out of fear, or will we trust God to provide for our financial needs? Will we pursue unhealthy relationships to find intimacy, or will we trust God to provide for our relational needs? Will we backstab and cut corners to get ahead at work, or will we trust God to provide for our career needs?

The things and practices of this world offer short-term gain, but they never last. As Paul says, “We do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). The fertile land of Sodom was an illusion. Lot barely escaped with his life, as we’ll see in chapter 14. But Abram was rewarded for his faith as God repeated his promise here in chapter 13 to give Abram not only immeasurable land, but immeasurable descendants. 4000 years later, we’re the fulfillment of that promise.

Don’t fall into the trap Lot did. Put your faith in what’s unseen: Christ and his promises.

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