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obeys, knowing that though He may tarry long, yet eventually, He will prove that He cannot lie.
He built himself no house here, but as a stranger and sojourner dwelt in tents, still travelling as the Lord directed. After a time there arose a famine in the land, and he went down to Egypt to remain there until it should please God to send again plenty.
The Egyptians were a people who had forsaken and forgotten God, and had made idols and objects of worship of beasts and reptiles. Virtue and religion were far from their land ; -oppression and tyranny abounded. Now Sarai was very fair, and of great and surpassing beauty; Abram feared that when the Egyptians should see her, they would take away his life that they might possess her, if they should know that she was his wife. He therefore said, when they enquired of her, “She is my sister.”
Soon after they arrived in Egypt, as Abram had foreseen, so it occurred. All saw and spoke of the beauty of the stranger, the princes commended her before Pharaoh, and he sent and
took her into his house. To Abram he gave great riches for her sake. But these were no recompense for the loss of his wife, whom (too little trusting to the protection of God) he had weakly and falsely called his sister. But God himself interfered in behalf of his servant, and plagued Pharaoh and all his house grievously until he returned Sarai to her husband, and he sent them with all they had out of his kingdom.
Abram now returned to the place where he had first pitched his tent in Canaan,—to Bethel, where he had also piously erected an Altar to Jehovah.
When Abram left his country at the first call of God, Lot his brother's son accompanied him, and though but sojourners in a strange land, He had multiplied their substance in reward of their faith and obedience. So great were their flocks that pastures were not sufficiently extensive to feed them together. Contentions now arose between the herdmen of the two, for the occupation of the pasturage ; but that did not extend to Abram and Lot. They knew that they were amongst idolatrous strangers
ever ready to take advantage of their strifes to injure them, and what they considered of greater moment, they would take occasion from them to revile the Great God of Heaven, whom they worshipped. Abram therefore said unto Lot “Let there I pray thee be no strife between us or our herdmen, for we we be brethren; we should therefore live in unity and love. Let us separate, that we may each have room for our substance.” So Lot chose to go eastward to the plain of Jordan, separating from Abram with a kiss of peace and love.
The plain of Jordan to which Lot journeyed was fair and beautiful to the eye ; fresh green pastures were spread around, bearing appearance of an ever springing verdure, and cool bright streams of water flowed through this garden of delight, which resembled an Eden. Lot was well pleased with what he had chosen, and soon life was given to its beauty by the extensive flocks and herds the Lord had given him.
But he did not wisely in choosing this spot so fair and tempting to the eye, for here not
God but Satan reigned; there were cities on its borders full of riches and all wordly delights,
- large and noble to contemplate, but the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were even more sinful and desperately wicked than any other of the inhabitants of the land of Canaan; they were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly."
After the departure of Lot, God again bade Abram view the extent of the land eastward, westward, northward, and southward, promising all that he saw to his seed for ever ; and that this seed should be as the dust of the earth innumerable: then Abram removed to Mamre in Hebron, and built again an Altar to the Lord. “But as yet Abram had no child.” THE BLESSING OF MELCHISEDEC.
WAEN Lot quitted Abram and chose the plains of Sodom for his residence, drawn thither by their beauty and fertility, he did not wisely,—true he forsook not God, but yet, he dwelt in the tents of the ungodly, and as you will hear, he was involved in the miseries which the Almighty Ruler permitted to fall
The kings of the neighbouring countries disputed amongst themselves, and wars and fighting arose;—for how could the blessing of peace rest upon lands so full of iniquity ? Chedorlaomer and his allies fought against Sodom and Gomorrah, and prevailed; they entered their cities, carried off their goods, and made the inhabitants prisoners and slaves. Amongst the