Sunday, 24 October 2010
Against Strife among God's People – The Best Portion to Have is Jesus; Genesis 13
The history of the Patriarch Abram is continued through the whole of this chapter. He is still in his pilgrimage state, wandering and removing under the guidance of Heaven, from one place to another. A strife between his servants and the servants of his kinsman Lot soon causeth them to separate from each other.
"Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left" (Genesis 13:9).
Sweet and endearing argument! Oh! that it were more generally made use of, and its power more generally felt.
Canaanites and Peruzzites may quarrel; for nature untaught, unrestrained by grace, hath corruptions to beget it.
But let not you and I who profess to be disciples of the lovely and all-loving Jesus; John 13:35.
"Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee" (Genesis 13:17).
Was not this a type of Emmanuel's land, the glory of all lands?
And is not every true believer like the patriarch, called upon to enter upon the possession of it by faith here, before he comes to the realising of it hereafter? Psalm 48:12; Hebrews 11:14.
"Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord" (Genesis 13:18).
Still in a pilgrimage state.
Observe Abram builds an altar.
And what doth his conduct in this instance teach, but this, that it is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, in all places wheresoever a gracious God meets His people in the visits of His love, that there they should raise a memorial of tribute to His praise?
Amidst all the competitions, strifes and jealousies which this world's goods excites among men in life, let Abram's portion be my portion.
Let me but be able, in a well-grounded assurance, to call Jesus mine, and I value not what sinners value of the perishing things of time and sense.
Precious Redeemer! it is Thy favour which gives a sweetness to every joy, and softens every sorrow.
Let the cisterns of all creature-comforts be dried up, if Thy wisdom see fit: the streams of Thine everlasting love will still flow.
And while, like the prophet, I can truly rejoice in the Lord and joy in the God of my salvation, it matters not, even if the fig tree doth not blossom, neither fruit be in the vine.
Methinks this gracious call of God to Abram, which is always sweet in mercy, is uncommonly so in this instance: lift up thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art.
And is not the same in effect said to every believer?
Lift up thine eyes, and behold in every direction, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward, how all mercies and promises are confirmed to the faithful in the Covenant of grace which is in Christ Jesus.
'All are yours (saith the Apostle) if ye are Christ's'; whether the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come.
Blessed God! May it be my mercy to enjoy all things in Jesus, and Jesus in all things!