Lift Up Now Thine Eyes
(Genesis 13:14 KJVA) And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
Today’s message is more than a message of Thanksgiving for the things we have and our past blessings, it is a message of Thanksgiving for the promise before us. Today we are going to be looking at the life of Abraham and discover the beginnings of promise. Too often we say that we are blessed and highly favored of the LORD but do not walk in those blessings. The book of Hebrews tells us of how Abraham did not receive the promise but embraced it and walked his whole life in the blessings of the LORD.
(Hebrews 11:13 KJVA) These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Looking at the promise that was first given to Abram we see how God kept His end of the bargain and is even today continuing to bring the promise to His people.
(Genesis 12:1 – 3 KJV) 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: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
When we read the account that Stephen gives in the book of Acts we see how Abram only kept half of his part of the covenant.
(Acts 7:2 -4 KJV) And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.
Abram left the land of his birth, the land of the Chaldaeans, but he took his family with him. He took with him his father and his nephew, Lot. His first part of the journey Abram only got half way. Haran was half way between ur and Cannan. Too often we end going only half way with God. We get hear the call of God and get up and start out on our way with Him but something holds us back about half way. In Abrams case it might have been his elderly father who after five years dies in Haran and then Abram hears again form God and gets up and continues on to the promise land.
But when he gets there it does not seem to be much to write home about.
(Genesis 12:10 KJVA) And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
Have you ever thought that the grass was going to be greener on the other side of the fence only to find the person on the other side of the fence thinking that the grass on your side was the greener grass? What do you suppose might have happened if Abram stuck it out through the drought? We all have those times in our lives that we can look back at and say, “Should of, could of, would of.” The fact is we can not turn back the hands of time and undo the mistakes that we have made in the past. The best we can do is to learn from our mistakes, or better yet, learn from the mistakes of others and not do the same thing again in the future.
Abram had left his home, lost his father in a strange land and now here he was in the land that was to be this place of great blessing and everything is dried up. Don’t make the mistakes of the past. Dig and stand on the promises of God. Our faith needs to be strong enough to see us through the dry times and the times of flood and the storms of life. Like we read in Habakkuk, “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD….”
(Habakkuk 3:17 - 19KJVA) Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
What does Abram do when things start to look tough? He turns away from the promise of God and runs into sin. And a pretty grave sin at that. To save his own hide he basically gives up his wife to be another’s. Can you imagine? He tells his wife to say that she is his sister. And sure enough the Pharaoh takes Abrams wife in but God would have none of it.
How many of you know that God still intervenes in the lives of men and women today? God is in fact moving heaven and Earth to make all things work together for your good.
Abrams wife is returned to him and he heads back up to the place where the LORD appeared unto him and reaffirmed the promise. He went back to Bethel. He returned to the House of the LORD.
Now things start to get interesting. His nephew Lot shows his true colors. Lot had grown wealthy on the blessed coat tails of Abram. But he wanted it all. Looking up the name Lot I discovered it to mean secret or mystery. Lot was a mystery all right. When trouble came up and Abram gave him the choice of which part of the county to take. He did not hesitate but took the best and left the rest to the old man.
(Genesis 13:10 KJV) And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
Well, we know how that worked out for him, but at the time it seemed like the best choice. It might not have been fair for his uncle Abram who has given him everything he has, but he asked him which part he wanted. Don’t you think that doing what is right is a lot better then doing what is selfish? Lot’s true colors was self.
So lot went his way.
Now, finally…. After how many years, Abram is fulfilling his part of the original bargan. Remember God told him to leave his country and his family, but Abram insisted on hanging onto lot. What is your lot. What is it that you have been hanging onto that has been keeping the promise of God from being fulfilled in your life. Abram did not of his own will get rid of Lot. I am sure that if Abram had his way Lot would have stayed right there with him his whole life. And His whole life he would have been wondering why God did not fulfill the promise. Lot took off. Sometimes we have to loose things that we have been relying to heavity upon in order for us to fully realize in whom is our strength.
What is your Lot? Maybe it is your job. Maybe it is a bad habit or addiction. Maybe it is something that you just do not want to let go of, even thought you know it is the very thing that is holding you back. What is your Lot?
Now we get to our scripture verse for today.
(Genesis 13:14 KJV) And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
And the LORD said unto Abram, AFTER THAT LOT WAS SEPARATED FROM HIM!
After you get beyond what ever it is that has been keeping you separated from God. After you get separated form your Lot. After you shake off the weight and the sin which so easily besets you. When will your after finally be? Let it be right now. Let it be today. Let it be this very moment that God can say to you, and He is:
Lift up now thine eyes!!!
That does not mean later this afternoon, or tomorrow. It means NOW! Look around you and see the opportunity, see the blessings, see the promise.
Now, that would be a great place to end this message but wait, there’s more! Read the rest of the chapter with me.
(Genesis 13:14 -18 KJV) And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Now Right here:
(Genesis 13:17 & 18 KJV) Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 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.
The word I want you to meditate on is “Arise.” The original Hebrew word is “koom.”
raise (up), (again, against), rouse up, set (up), (e-) stablish, (make to) stand (up), stir up, strengthen, succeed, (as-, make) sure (-ly), (be) up (-hold, -rising).
Get up and get going! God is telling us all to lift up our eyes and see the promise before us then get up and go after it. I actually want to give you one other place where this wood “Koom” is used and hopefully it will further inspire within you the depth of what God is telling us today.
This is found in the book of Judges. The idea is not one of nonchalance, it is not a passive verb, it is a life or death get up and get going kind of expression. Here and in many other places throughout the Bible it is used to mover people into action. For 20 years the Canaanites had been making life miserable for the Israelites. There army was strong and unbeatable, But when God’s people pray and turn from their wicked ways, when they separate themselves from whatever their Lot may be and draw nigh unto God, He makes the impossible possible.
(Judges 4:14 CEV) Deborah shouted, "Barak, it's time to attack Sisera! Because today the LORD is going to help you defeat him. In fact, the LORD has already gone on ahead to fight for you." Barak led his ten thousand troops down from Mount Tabor.
Needless to say the victory was won and your victory is waiting for you to arise! Lift up now your eyes and arise!
Lift Up Now Thine Eyes!