【Bible Study】Genesis 13: Follow Abraham's Mindset and Understand Blessing and Curse

Pastor Samuel Sharing

Brother William Sharing

Bible Study: Genesis


Today we are going to study Genesis chapter 13. Do you recall what happened in Chapter 12? It stated that God led Abraham to the land of Canaan where a severe famine occurred. However, Abraham was not confused, he then went to Egypt. The Bible did not tell us about his feelings, but he probably had a little struggle inside him in terms of faith as well as the flesh. We could almost visualize the scene in our heads. The famine was so severe that the food was extremely scarce, people were starving, as the land could not yield at all. Therefore, he went to Egypt instead.

Many people would criticize what Abraham did to his wife. One thing they have forgotten is to look at the result. And that is, not only God protected Abraham's wife, but also gave him a wealth of livestock, including donkeys, camels, and sheep. He also gained many slaves and servants. How amazing that is! The result is wonderful! Thus, from now on, everyone should look at the result that God blessed Abraham. This is what we need to focus on.

The Wedge between Abraham and Lot

The same theme continued in chapter 13 with many incredible stories. Our faith grew gradually like Abraham until it had reached the level that he would offer Isaac on the altar to the Lord. This is not easy at all. From chapter 12 to the end of the chapter, Abraham's faith is growing stronger and stronger.

In this chapter, many things were happening behind the scenes. There was a lot of quarrel between Abraham's herdsmen and Lot's. However, Lot never apologized to Abraham, the row continued to transpire causing a lot of trouble. I can see why this came about. Lot saw himself as the son of Abraham and would eventually inherit all Abraham's estate. This is because Abraham had no son or any children at that time, he took Lot under his wing and treated him as his own son after his brother passed away.

Lot never understood the spiritual principles and knew why he was so prosperous. He thought it was because of his wisdom of having any wonderful ideas on how to multiply in wealth. In fact, Lot believed it had nothing to do with Abraham. Nevertheless, we will learn in the next few chapters that Lot did not have a thing to his name as God wiped out all his fortune.

Abraham and Lot Parted Their Ways

In this chapter, the servants and the herders from both sides kept arguing and it went on for a long while. Finally, Abraham made a wonderful decision that he gave Lot the right of first refusal to choose the territory of his own. Lot was categorically told to pick the best land he could, Abraham would then go to the opposite.

Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left. (Genesis 13:9 NIV)

Do you know what went through Lot's mind? He felt wonderful as he could cherry-pick the best land he could. He needn't feel guilty towards his uncle Abraham as he was given the right to. He got to seize the opportunity to mark his territory. A land that is thriving and prosperous with abundant social wealth. Therefore, he grasped the most flourishing land that was winding along the Jordan River, like the Garden of Eden.

You may wonder why Lot was so selfish that it never came across his mind about sharing the booming land with Abraham. Instead, he took full ownership of the land and completely forgot about his uncle.

The Fall of Lot

But do you know why Lot could be so rich? It was because of Abraham. Abraham's wealth comes from God's blessing as the Lord told Abraham that

I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:3 NIV)

At this particular moment, Lot's selfishness had driven him to make a sheer stupid decision that turned out to be a way of cursing Abraham.

Who was the mastermind behind all this? You may not agree with my speculation because the bible never mentioned it. It was Lot's wife. She was a very material woman, she loved money and enjoyed material comforts brought her. It's very unfortunate for whoever marries such a kind of woman. If Lot was not married and stayed single, I'm sure he would stay with Abraham for the rest of the years, be blessed abundantly. As it stands now, the sorrow merely started to unravel.

Lot's wife was a key influence in Lot's life and any decision he made in his life. As her life revolved around selfishness. She firmly believed that she had made a wonderful decision because Abraham was getting old and confused which would result in a regretful decision for him to look back.

Was that a good decision? No! That was an utterly bad decision. Why? The reason is simple! I'm certain that if you take advantage of people like Abraham, you will pay a heavy price. Since a lot of people do not understand spiritual principles. When facing a man like Abraham, you'd better be careful. Like Lot, he lost everything after all, including his wife and all the properties.

The properties were burned down, everything was completely gone. The city he resided in was supposed to be full of prosperity, so he amassed enormous wealth. In a flash, everything he possessed turned into ash, descending generations from Lot became the people of the curse. We got to learn a lesson from Lot's experience.

Was Lot right with what he saw? Yes, the land was rich? But was he seeing the right thing? No! Because he saw everything with his own eyes, not the spiritual sight. He did not have the spiritual sight. He then made a decision based on the value of this world. He thought he made a good decision by taking advantage of the situation. All these served him right.

Understanding of Blessing and Curse

To many of us, when we do business, we only think of winning and the profit, but we are never aware that we may be under the curse. So, today we got to change our mind from profit and loss orientated to curse and blessing lead. We have to make sure we thoroughly understand what blessing and curse entail. They are the mainstreams of human life. If we do not understand blessing and curse, it's going to be sorrowful otherwise.

Whether the business is profitable or not, the beneficiaries are under the curse. Although it may be a booming industry, when you jump in, you will get a loss. It never goes by the industry, the richness of the land, how profitable the company is, or goes by your family background. The result is somehow to do with whether you are a person who is blessed. Lot was blessed because of Abraham, which he did not understand and kept wrangling.

Now look at Abraham, he made a good decision by giving Lot the first choice to pick the best land he could, and Abraham would go the opposite. We may appreciate Abraham's kindness and wouldn't take advantage of him. Are you going to be Abraham when facing the same situation? This is a good question to mull over. If you are not Abraham, then I'm sorry about that. But if you are Lot, then it will be even worse! Because when two Lots come together, they will negotiate and they will surely fight over a disagreement. However, when two Abrahams come together, they will stick together and grow the Kingdom of God.

Do you understand what is in the mind of Abraham? If you do not, then it is going to be very challenging to be a Christian. A lot of people have a lot of struggles, which they don't need to. The moment you struggle is because your mindset is not the same as Abraham's.

Abraham Took a Journey into the Unknown

But let me look at what was in the mind of Abraham ever since from Genesis chapter 12. This Abraham accumulated a lot of wealth in Harran. The father of Abraham decided not to move to Canaan, but Abraham took the whole family, left his father, and moved to Canaan, a country that was totally unfamiliar to him.

A foreigner in a foreign country could face many dangerous situations every day because the place was full of robbery and as many other precarious situations as you could imagine, no safeguarding mechanism in place whatsoever. You had to be your own policeman and take care of yourself and your family.

If you were powerful enough, you could make rules in that place as you desired. You could even snatch from the people on the street without fear. Or you had to let the robbers take your possession away from you as you were too weak. It was so bad, but that was the reality Abraham had to face. It's almost like the dogs in African Savannah are no match to the lions, they have to be sidelined in a lion's presence.

This was a similar situation for Abraham who took a great risk marching on and moved to a foreign land to be a foreigner. He had to get along with the people in that place to be able to survive. There were a lot of unknown factors and uncertainties.

Searching the Meaning of Life

Why did Abraham make such a life-changing decision? Do you understand why? If you read the Book of Ecclesiastes, you will learn that life is meaningless and meaningless, vanity and vanity. This is the foundation of the Christian life.

But when I talk to a lot of Christians, they are not bothered about the meaningless. Let me be brutally honest with you about life on earth. Whether you work in a great company, or you work as cleaning staff in a lousy company, or you are just a farmer, life is meaningless. Whether you have accumulated a lot of wealth, or you are in huge debt, it's meaningless. Abraham made such a great decision because he was pursuing something more than this life and beyond.

There are a few verses that should be engraved in our hearts from chapter 12.

"I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."(Genesis 12:2-3 NIV)

If you want to be this kind of person, you have to have a similar mentality to Abraham that sees everything as meaningless.

Do you know why I have been so devoted to serving the Lord? I will share the truth with you. When I was young, I concluded that life was meaningless. When I was facing difficulties in life, I was searching for the meaning of life. That is how I got to know our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe not many people would do what I do. You can follow what's in my mind or the mindset of Abraham.

He could make a great decision when he was facing Lot who was unfilial and very selfish. It is probably because the father of Lot died when Lot was very young, he then followed Abraham after that. I speculate that Lot's father was the youngest sibling for Abraham and was also very selfish which influenced Lot's values. Lot would have been a very different person otherwise.

Following the mindset of Abraham

If you want to follow, you don't follow what I do, but what is in my mind instead. I think everything is meaningless, that's why I serve the Lord wholeheartedly. Do I get blessings? Yes. Whatever I do prospers and yields results. You will think in your mind over whether what I have said is true. I'm open-minded and welcome everyone to come to know me, understand what I do.

When I was very young, I already concluded that life had no meaning. If life only revolves around work and study, study and work, then die. It actually got me thinking about the point of life. I felt my life was no different from street animals like feral cats and dogs.

Everything changed upside down on the day I met our Lord Jesus Christ. Did you know what happened? Over the last 30 years, I did not miss a single Bible study session or Sunday service, even though I was merely a church member, a lay believer. The church only held the prayer meeting once a month, I did not miss that either. The pastor probably thought I was a great supporter of the church activities, but I supported the Lord Jesus Christ.

Abraham did not think life was not a big deal deep down in his mind. If you struggle, then you may not get onto the Red Cross. If he felt the struggle in his life, he would not give Lot the first refusal to choose his territory, then cry inside. But Abraham did not spare any time on that. He valued everything as equally important as what Lot was thinking. Something important to Lot was not to Abraham, because blessing and curse are the first and foremost principles to Abraham.

Becoming Abraham or Lot is a Choice

To Lot, who was the nephew of Abraham, he never learned from his uncle. As the fertility of the land is crucial to Lot. What a sad life! We need to ask ourselves who we are. Are we Lot or Abraham?

I know a lot of people will deem themselves as Abraham with Lot's mentality, not the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result, life will be extremely challenging.

I have ministered to many people with all kinds of illnesses including cureless pains and struggles in life. I have spent a great deal of my effort trying to pull them out of the mentality of Lot and drive them into Abraham's instead. As one can imagine how formidable it is. I sometimes in my mind struggle with how I am going to minister to these people. I know many people like to pray with me, as they will feel the weight off their shoulders after praying, no burden on their minds.

Have you realized what I'm trying to preach? I am preaching that everything is meaningless and meaningless, vanity and vanity. Can you figure it out by now? If you can, you will think to yourself that this pastor is preaching a straightforward message.

After Abraham made such a significant decision, the Lord spoke to Abraham that

The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you. (Genesis 13:14-17 NIV)

Wow, how amazing! Do you know how much I hunger for this? I really want to get to the day the Lord speaks to me too as He did to Abraham. He will make me a great nation, make my name great; He will give this piece of land to me and make me a blessing. I will be a blessing for all the nations. This is exactly what I dream about.

Therefore, I started to change my perception of things, change the way I see things, and align my mindset with Abraham. That is wonderful! Since I started changing, I was getting more similar to Jacob; then more similar to Joseph and then to Abraham. What a wonderful life!

The Promise from God to me

Do you rely on the Lord Jesus? If you do, then this is the only surviving skill you need. This is my only surviving skill! Depending on the Almighty God as He is the one who controls the whole universe. He's the almighty God! We are dust to Him, but He treats us as a treasure. How wonderful can that be? I want to be a treasure! I want to be the treasure in the eyes of Almighty God! I want God to say that He will bless me and will give me this piece of land!

My ambition for Lord has not stopped! Expanding the Kingdom of God is my lifelong ambition! I have no intention to establish my own kingdom but the Kingdom of God. I want to bless all the nations even though I speak broken English. This may be far less than enough to minister to the English-speaking community, I will flat out! I stand where I stand and God says

Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. (Genesis 13:14-15 NIV)

Though we cannot see far enough ahead of us using our flesh eyes, when I close my eyes, I can still see through space! You may wonder how I can see with my eyes shut. I may close my flesh eyes, but I open my spiritual eyes seeing the land God created, Europe, North America, Australia and many other countries. I can see the entire world in my vision.

Many years ago, I was in tears while I was praying alone. Because the church was not in a great situation, there were only a few members. Then I saw something great in front of me! I saw the model of the earth revolving, the lights lit up and it was getting brighter and brighter! Eventually, I saw the entire earth was lit up. I thanked God for what he did. Then God told me that this was his promise to me! I was going to be a blessing for many people.

Practising God's Words, Becoming a Blessing to All Nations

Am I going to be a blessing for many people? I was thinking about what God told me since this had been my dream. But look at the church, how was it possible? The church was so small and almost closed. Then I cried and believed! I kept my faith and marched on. The daily challenge was tremendous, I struggled in my own heart. The struggle appeared in every single case of the ministering. I was trying very hard to find out how to solve the problems from one to another. This has paved a solid foundation for deliverance within the church and I am the master! As God has been with me while I try to resolve all problems.

In terms of doctrine, I figured out the concept from the Bible one by one, then put it into practice. I always say to God how honored I am that I could do such incredible things. I was from nowhere and seeking the meaning in life! Through my great perseverance, I found Him! He took me in and used me as a vessel.
I'm so happy to be a vessel for the Almighty God to be a blessing for many people. That is the story about how I came to God.

What I am trying to share with you is not something extraordinary, it is your mind! Do you have the same mindset as Abraham? If you do, you won't struggle when your customer was snatched by other colleagues, as you don't live off your customer. If you're a scientist, your scientific research was patented by your colleagues, then bless them!
God will give you more than enough! If you are not upset by them, then great things will happen. Because you see everything is meaningless. So what if things are snatched off you?

Yes! Lot, you could choose first, take the land you want! I will take the other part because I have the Lord with me even if I live in a barren land. No matter whether I'm rich or poor, it makes no difference to me as I will always have the Lord with me, and He will make me rich.

Wealth is not something I dream about, it is about curse and blessing and the glory of eternal life. I want to make my life meaningful. I don't want to be a merchant of money or goods, but I want to be a merchant of blessings. I pass on blessings. God is faithful and is in control of your life. Therefore, put down all your struggles. They come from a different mindset from Abraham, they are the mindset of Lot which will lead to destruction, profit and loss. What should you and I choose? Not the profit and loss, but the blessing and curse.

God will make our offspring numerous. If you can count the dust, then we'll be able to count the people who follow us. If you can count the number of stars in the sky, or the dust on the earth, you will be able to count the number of people we will be passing the blessings on.

Following the Path of Blessing

After listening to my sharing, how much do you want to change your mind? I can tell you very bluntly that life is meaningless. This is not what I say but the Bible tells us. If you don't believe that, you will have a lot of struggles. If you believe that, your struggle will become much easier.

I'd like to make things simpler, whether it is IT, carpentry, renovation or hands-on things. I hope I can simplify it and make things much simpler, easier to operate, easier to put into practice. The message I'm sharing with you today is to simplify your life by reading more of the mind of Abraham.

He is a formidable man that carved the path of blessing. You bless Abraham, you follow him, you will be blessed. I don't want to be living under the curse even if I choose to die. I want to live under the blessing, the blessing of the Almighty God.
I hope you can all agree that no one wants to be cursed. But the problem is not your favor of blessing, it's about your mind. Do you follow in the footsteps of Abraham? If yes, you say Amen to respond to God and He will hear that.


I will end my Bible study of Chapter 13. People like Lot are very selfish and bear no gratitude for what others have done for them. Instead, they will take advantage of you just like what Lot did to Abraham as he thought Abraham was old and getting confused. He did not understand why even though he was with his uncle for many years. So you may get hurt, but you can choose not to. Because you think differently, you carry the spiritual mentality and understand blessing and curse. You are not living off all earthly things. You are living by the blessing of Almighty God. We only choose to please God, because we are serving Him. I am determined to serve my Lord wholeheartedly. That is my destiny. My work says it all.

I don't think many pastors will work as hard as I do. Yes, my work does not add an extra bit to the Lord, but that is my attitude and I enjoy serving the Lord with all my heart. That is the only meaning for me to live on this earth.

All the above has explained the behaviors of Abraham, Lot and I. I hope every one of you will be a blessing to many people.


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