Lift Up Your Eyes

The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, ‘Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.’ Then Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.”—Genesis 13:14-18 (NASB)

To understand God’s purpose here, turn back to chapter 12 where God called Abram. God instructed Abram to leave his homeland in Ur (including all his relatives) and travel to the land He would show him. God promised Abram blessings for this move of faith—a great name, a great nation, and innumerable descendants (Genesis 12:1-2). The directions were clear, and Abram did well in following them, except for one infraction: Lot went with him (Genesis 12:4).  

Lot’s father was Haran, Abram’s brother. After Haran’s death (Genesis 11:28), we can assume Abram took Lot into his household as an heir, since Abram and his wife Sarai had no children. 

But God had other plans—plans to give Abram and Sarai their own children. Lot being with Abram went against these plans, so God orchestrated a separation of the men, which must have been difficult for Abram. Lot was probably like a son to him. It was then that a tender and remarkable exchange occurred. 

The Lord said, “NOW lift up your eyes and look FROM the place where you are . . .” (Genesis 12:14 NASB, emphasis added). The word “now” translates to nâ in the original Hebrew with the idea of “please.” The word “from” is mâqôwm, which can mean location, but can also mean a condition or state of mind. When I read this, I imagine God saying with a sigh, “Please, Abram, see My faithfulness. See where I have taken you from and where I am taking you to. What you have lost, I will increase. What you don’t have, I will provide. Trust me.” 

I don’t know anyone who has completely trusted or obeyed the Lord. We all wander from Him from time to time. Yet, God is patience with us; He implores us, He comforts us. Often, He goes to great lengths to get us alone with Him to open our eyes to what He will do based on what He has done.

The Lord gives Abram three “I will” statements in this passage. And He holds to them. Christians worldwide are recipients of those promises—what God will give to us and what He will create from us. 

God’s instructions and purpose to Abram were clear, and Abram fully realized them. He dwelled in Mamre (which means strength or fatness), which is in Hebron (meaning communion). If you have been wandering, know that anyone who returns and dwells in the Lord will find the same strength and communion. 

DIG: Why do you think God wanted to take Abram and Sarai away from their homeland and relatives? It helps to learn about Abram’s heritage in Joshua 24:2.

DISCOVER: Is there anything or anyone in your life God has asked you to leave and to walk with Him instead?

DO: Write down some steps of faith you can take to fully realize what God has planned for you.

About the Author

Lisa Supp

Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.