Abraham, of the Bible, was a successful businessman and entrepreneur in the cattle industry of his time. He owned plenty of livestock and was in charge of groups of herdsmen employees who managed the livestock on his behalf. In Genesis 13:2 it says, “And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.”
The nature of his business allowed Abraham to move from place to place as directed by God. At one point, his business expanded so much that he had to separate from his nephew Lot, as the land could not contain them both. Genesis 13:6 said, “And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.”
So, what did Abraham do right? How did he become a successful and wealthy entrepreneur?
1. He Faithfully Followed God
Abraham consistently followed God and did what He asked him to do. Abraham had lived in Egypt with his family with their many possessions, and they likely had friends and other family members. They likely felt settled and happy. Yet, God asked him to take all of his belongings and move to Canaan. Imagine being asked to leave your home in a great nation to another place, leaving all you knew behind? How many of us would be so willing?
Abraham was. He listened to God and picked up all he owned, and brought his families and departed as the Lord had asked of him.
Genesis 12:1-5 says:
2 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:
3 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.
4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
As entrepreneurs of faith, we should strive to listen to God and what he tells us. We should pray and stay close to him so we can recognize when he is asking something of us. As we faithfully follow God, we will be blessed.
2. He Blessed Others
The second lesson we can learn from Abraham is that he blessed others. Abraham used his own wealth to help bless the lives of others around him.
In the story of Isaac’s life, the son of Abraham, we learn that the Philistines filled in the wells Abraham had dug. This shows us that Abraham had dug wells in the lands to help those around him. He blessed the lives of those around him with the blessings God gave him and his family (Source: Medium.com).
Most of us will also be familiar with the story of Abraham and his nephew, Lot. When Abraham and Lot moved out to Canaan, as God asked them to, they both had too many possessions to be on the same plot of land. There was land on the right and land on the left. Abraham let Lot choose which land he wanted first, kindly giving him the option to take the spot for himself. He gave the better land to Lot, blessing him and his family.
Genesis 13:8-11 says:
8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
9 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.
10 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.
11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
As entrepreneurs, we have the ability to bless others. We should take this opportunity to do all we can to bless our own family and the lives of others around us.
Michelle Obama said, “Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”
3. He Worked Hard
The third lesson we can learn from Abraham’s success is his hard work ethic.
When Lot and Abraham chose the different land, Lot received the more fertile land while Abraham received the less fertile land. However, Abraham still continued to prosper. His wealth continued to grow because of his hard work. Only hard work could turn rough land into something great. By Genesis 21, Abraham made treaties with kings and generals.
Vince Lombardi, an American football coach, said, “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand . . . whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
4. He Looked Towards God
Abraham didn’t just obey God; he directed his sight towards God and His teachings. Abraham consistently looked towards God instead of focusing on the world and other distracting things around him.
We know why Abraham was blessed and wealthy, yet why don’t we also speak of Lot, who started off just as wealthy when they left Egypt and went to Canaan? Lot received the better piece of land, and yet he wasn’t as blessed. Why?
In the chapter, it continues and Genesis 13:12-13 says, “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.”
Abraham, on the other hand, pitched his tent towards the other land, facing an altar of the Lord. Abraham continued to put his sights towards God.
While Lot and Abraham were both blessed by God, Abraham had many more blessings because he chose to put his sights on God, while Lot looked on the city of the world. When the time came and Lot and his family were asked to move, Lot’s wife looked back and turned to salt. She could not give up the world. Lot’s spiritual condition deteriorated due to his choice. He started out as wealthy but ended up living in a cave (Genesis 19).⠀
Thanks for joining me for this episode. I hope we can learn from Abraham as we strive to become successful and faithful entrepreneurs.
Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
- Just as Abraham did, we should faithfully follow God, strive to bless others, work hard, and constantly look towards God. As we do this, we will be blessed.
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