Going without knowing: Recovering the next generation. (Part 1)
“The victorious invaders then plundered Sodom and Gomorrah and headed for home, taking with them all the spoils of war and the food supplies. They also captured Lot— Abram’s nephew who lived in Sodom—and carried off everything he owned. But one of Lot’s men escaped and reported everything to Abram the Hebrew, who was living near the oak grove belonging to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his relatives, Eshcol and Aner, were Abram’s allies. When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them at Dan. There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer’s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. Abram recovered all the goods that had been taken, and he brought back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives.”-Genesis 14:11-16
Shortly after settling in the valley, a war broke out among the kings of the region. Ultimately the Kings of Sodom and Gomorrah would be defeated and Abraham’s nephew Lot and everything he owned would be taken captive. Abraham would mobilize 318 men, born into his household, and would pursue and defeat the army that captured Lot and recover all the goods that had been taken.
If not for Abraham’s willingness to hear, mobilize and pursue an entire generation would have been lost. As I read through these passages I was struck by Genesis 14:14.
“When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them at Dan.”
“When Abraham heard that Lot had been captured...” This statement caused me to ask myself three questions.
1. Who are the messengers? In verse 13, we read: “But one of Lot’s men escaped and reported everything to Abram.” Who is it that is championing the next generation? If it were not for this man, who escaped captivity and came to inform Abraham about the situation, Lot’s entire family, wealth, and existence would have been swallowed up by another culture. Nothing would have remained of this godly family line if someone would have not chosen to be their voice. If he had simply escaped and gone off to focus on his own recovery an entire generation of Abraham’s family would have disappeared.
This one remaining man was the remnant of a generation that had been taken into captivity. He became their voice. He told their story and pleaded their case. God is looking for a remnant willing to be a voice for their generation.
2. Who is listening? To whom are these voices of the next generation to bring their message? Who are they to plead their case? Who is going to receive their pleas? Abraham heard. Abraham wanted to know what happened. Abraham’s reception of the news showed deep concern and an overwhelming compassion that led to action on his part. When the next generation brings their concerns to an older generation that is either disinterested, disgruntled, or disconnected from them, discouragement sets in. Could you imagine this man’s reaction if Abraham had responded in any other way than he did?
3. How will we receive the message? How often do we turn a deaf ear to those who are struggling, those who have been taken captive by the world we live in? Abraham could have said, “Well they chose to settle in the Jordan Valley, they need to live with their decision. Why should we bail them out, and spend our wealth, our time, and our attention on them? How are we to pursue the promises God made to us when we are having to rescue them from their poor choices.” The next generation will be lost if we see them as a distraction to our pursuit of God’s promises. It may seem like a distraction, but in reality, how we respond to the next generation determines whether His promises will die with a single generation or if they will be carried on. Regardless of what God has promised, whatever His dreams and plans, and purposes may be for us, we must always be ready to mobilize and position ourselves to recover the next generation.
Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church