Genesis 13:1 – So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.
When Abram and Sarai (who later become Abraham and Sarah) receive God’s call in the beginning of Genesis 12, God asks them to leave their family as, in 12:1, He says “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house…”
God blessed Abram and his wife with the opportunity to leave the pagan, wicked land where they had been raised (Babylon) and move in order to have a relationship with Him. However, it seems that Abram possibly gave God only partial obedience to the blessing by not leaving his entire family but also taking with him his nephew Lot and Lot’s family. And as you’ll see later in the story of Abraham, he probably wishes he hadn’t as Lot gets into a lot of trouble.
This also brings up the concept of boundaries among extended family. The plan and blessing God has for your immediate family may not be the same plan and blessing he has for your extended family. A multitude of issues arise, even in today’s time, when extended families start to see themselves and one big family who has certain rules, traditions, and holidays, and we see this in Abraham’s time.
In the beginning of Genesis 13, Moses, the writer of the book, mentions that Abram was “very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold”. He’s been greatly blessed monetarily and in possessions after following God’s call to leave his homeland. God continues to reward and bless him throughout his life, despite his own failures and shortcomings. Later in Genesis 25:5 upon the death of Abraham, it says that “Abraham gave all he had to Isaac”, meaning it seems that he stewarded his wealth well and was able to give generational wealth to his son.
The sad fact is that success is as hard to manage as failure and the statistic is true that 70 percent of lottery winners end up broke, while one-third of them end of bankrupt. They’re given everything and end up with nothing. No matter what God has blessed you with, my hope, prayer, and goal for you is to be a wise steward of all God has given you, be able to grow and invest it well, and be able to pass it down generationally to your children and grandchildren. In this area, we can see that, at times, Abraham was a bad example at stewarding blessings and, at other times, he redeemed himself and set a good example for us to follow.
What can we learn about the difficulty of relationships and importance of boundaries with unhealthy extended family members from the story of Abram and Lot? How can we also learn to steward our financial blessings well to pass down generationally?
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