“So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. For the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and whee he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord. Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, And quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and the Perizzites wee also living in the land at that time. So Abram said to Lot, ‘Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before ou? Let’s part company. If you go the the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.’ Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company. Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lord chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The women parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lord lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.” (Genesis 13:1-13- History, Narrative)
Israel’s authoritative Scripture is historical narrative in form rather than theological discussion of doctrine or catechetical life of teaching. The narrative centers on persons of minor or no significance from secular historians of the biblical period. Biblical history is concerned with the spiritual experiences of chosen people with God rather than with the political history of powerful nations. Only as international politics intersects with the working out of God’s purposes do international institutions and personalities receive notice in biblical history. Abram moved from Mesopotamia through Canaan to Egypt, but no kings, pharaohs, or international events were name. Rather Abram’s ability to bring blessing or cursing on nations and individuals is the focus. History is the story of God’s blessing and promise, 12:2-3, and promise, 13:14-17.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, in the story of Lot and Abram, we see two brothers traveling together, though Lot’s situation depended desperately upon water, that the plains would provide, while Abram was willing to going either way to appease the rift between him and his brother. Lot’s focus overlooked the danger of sinful Sodom, and it would later cost him dearly. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“A man is rich according to what He is, not what he has.”
“In the fifteenth year of Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel became in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. He did evil in the eyes of he Lord and did not turn away from any of he sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit. He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel fro Lebo Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, in accordance with the words of the Lord, the God of Israel, spoken through His servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher. The Lord had seen how bitterly everyone in Israel, whether slave or free, was suffering: there was no one to help them. And since the Lord had not said he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, he, he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash. AS for the other vents of Jeroboam’s reign, all he did, and his military achievements, including how he recovered for Israel both Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Yaudi, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? Jeroboam rested with his fathers, the kings of Israel. And Zechariah his son succeeded him as king.” (2nd Kings 14:23-29 – History Narrative)
Historical narrative dominates the inspired Old Testament. This narrative documents that which God wants to teach His people, not that which human historians need to reconstruct a political history of Israel. Political historians would provide extensive details of Jeroboam’s forty-one years, particularly of his important military victories. The biblical historian simply summarized the reign briefly, emphasizing the king’s serious spiritual errors and noting the goodness of God in fulfilling the prophetic word in responding to the people’s suffering. God’s Word is interested in obedience more than political accomplishment.
“As for other events of Solomon’s reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Naah the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat?” (2nd Chronicles 9:29 – Narrative History)
As for the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, they are written in the records of Samuel the seers, the records of Nathan, the prophets and the records of Gad the seer, together with the details of his reign and power, and the circumstances that surrounded him and Israel and he kingdoms of all the other lands. In short, it was a custom of this time that if a seer or prophet mentioned and event or king, it was written down by whomever heard about the subject. These folks wrote better that we have conversations, so to think someone my get by with something, is pretty slim. Besides, God knew all anyway.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“The word of the Lord that came to Zehaniah son of Cushi, the son of Gediliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, during the reign of Josiah, son of Amon king of Judah.” (Zepaniah 1:1– Narrative History)
Prophetic books basically record series of prophetic sermons. The introduction of the books give, however, and historical framework to the prophet’s ministry. Prophetic preaching is closely tied to historical events and cultural contexts. It gains meaning by relating to historical human existence rather than idealistic spiritual dreams. God’s judgments and hope grow out of historical conditions and historical needs. Prophecy retains its power as we find it so natural to relate to the historical conditions of a previous generation and find God’s call to them speaks to our historical conditions also.