I’ve just started reading a 2-year devotional called God’s Story … for my Life. I’m about 2 weeks into it at the moment and loving it. I get an E-mail every day with a Bible-reading, then they give us something from that reading to think about. If you’ve read the Bible awhile and some parts feel familiar, I’d really recommend this way of taking a fresh look.
We’re onto Genesis 13-14 at the moment, all about Abram (he wasn’t Abraham then), and his nephew Lot. I’m sad to say that much of the time, Lot doesn’t get very favourable things written about him. Because he was given a choice and took what appeared to be the best piece of land, he’s called greedy, and yet later in the Bible, Peter very clearly says he was an upright man, greatly troubled by the wickedness of those around him (2 Peter 2:7-9).
So as I read today’s verses, I focused not on Lot, but on Abram – his uncle: When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them at Dan. There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer’s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. Abram recovered all the goods that had been taken, and he brought back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives” (Genesis 14:14-16).
What impressed me was Abram’s willingness to rescue. Even though his nephew had chosen the fertile land instead of leaving it for his uncle, Abram wasn’t bitter about that. He didn’t think: “Ah, well here he is, getting what was coming to him” – no, he went into the battle and rescued Lot.
Are we like that? When we’re going through a dry season and not seeing any fruit from the way we live, when people aren’t looking at our lives and telling us they’d like to know this Jesus we follow, how ready are we to help those who appear to have everything materially, but their spirits aren’t alive? Do we leave them to their own devices, or will we go into the battle and rescue them? Prayer is a big part of that battle. So is being ready to talk to them about Christ – not in a “Jesus is the answer, what’s the question” kind of way, but sensitively. Respectfully. Thoughtfully. If you were faced with their situation, what would Jesus have to say about it, and how would that help you?