I want to take a brief look at 3 of the not-so-commonly known mistakes in the life of Abraham, in hopes of gleaning some practical lessons for our daily lives. First of all this simple thought:
ANY ACT OF DISOBEDIENCE WILL COST YOU IN THE LONG RUN –
AND PROBABLY MUCH MORE THAN YOU THINK IT WILL
We’re all familiar with Abraham’s lapse of the faith in Genesis 16 – where he goes in unto Hagar who bears a son named Ishmael – and what it cost him and the Hebrew nation. The reason that Jews and Arabs fight to this day in the Middle East is that this son of Abraham became father of the Arabian people. It was prophesied of him in Genesis 16:12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
But what about the problems Abraham caused for his nation way back in the beginning when God called him out? Let’s take a look.
Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
God told Abram to leave his family, to leave his country, and to go to place that He would show him. But in Genesis 12:5, the Bible says that Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son…
I’ve often wondered why Abram took Lot if God told him to leave his family behind. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m of the opinion that Lot’s being included on this journey was not part of God’s design; that this was an act of disobedience on Abram’s part.
And it didn’t turn out real well. There was strife between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen in Genesis 13, and Lot ended up pitching his tent toward Sodom. In chapter 14, Abram had to go to war to deliver Lot from the army of Chedorlaomer.
But the real kicker is in chapter 19 – one of the most disgusting chapters in all the Bible. God delivers just Lot (2 Peter 2) – against his will (Genesis 19:15-16) – from the destruction of the wicked city of Sodom and Gomorrah. His wife looks back and becomes a pillar of salt (v. 26), and after a brief stay in Zoar, Lot and his daughters flee to the mountains surrounding the cities of the plain (vv. 29-30). There his daughters get him drunk and conceive his children (vv. 33-36). Those boys became the fathers of the Moabites and Ammonites (vv. 37-38). If you know your Bible, you will recognize those as enemy nations that harassed and fought and were a thorn in the side of Israel throughout the course of the OT.
And it all started with a seemingly small act of disobedience on the part of Abraham. And what makes it amazing is the fact that Abraham partially obeyed the Lord. He left his country. He went where God told him. He left MOST of his family. And I’d imagine he would’ve never imagined all the problems it would cost his people hundreds of years later.
But that’s how sin works. The consequences are often far greater than we’d ever imagine. We’re just often deceived into keeping our minds in the short-term and thinking “it won’t be that big a deal.”