Open your bibles or bible app to Genesis, Chapter 13 and read the entire chapter – 18 verses.
Overview: After Pharoah told Abram to leave Egypt, he took his wife and his nephew Lot and all that he had and went to the place he had been in the beginning – between Bethel and Ai. To the place where he first made an altar to the Lord. The land was not able to support Lot and Abram both, and all their flocks and herdsmen. Lot and Abram’s herdsmen were fighting. There were also Canaanites and Perizzites dwelling in the land. Abram took the initiative to settle things with Lot and told him he wanted no strife between them. He allowed Lot to choose the location he wanted first and said he would take what was left. If Lot went South, he’d go North. If Lot went North, he’d go South. Lot looked around and chose the lushest area in the plain of Jordan. He traveled East while Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan. Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent as far as Sodom. Sodom was full of wickedness and men who sinned against the Lord.
After Lot had separated from Abram the Lord told Abram that he would make his descendants as numerous as the dust of the earth. He told him to walk the land – for everything he saw – God was giving him. Then Abram moved his tent and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mare, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the Lord.
Lessons from today’s scripture:
- In Abram’s day sheep and cattle owners could acquire great wealth. Abram had not only silver and gold, but a lot of livestock which was a valuable commodity. They could trade the animals for other goods they needed. Abram watched his wealth grow daily.
- To avoid conflict with his nephew Lot, Abram took the initiative to settle the dispute. While Abram was older and had the right to choose first, he gave Lot first choice. Abram also risked being cheated. His example teaches us how to respond to difficult family conflicts (1) Take the initiative to resolve the conflict. (2) Let others have first choice, even if it means not getting what you want. (3) put family peace above personal desires.
- Surrounded by hostile neighbors, the herdsmen of Lot and Abram should have pulled together. Instead, they let petty jealousy tear them apart. That situation exists today as Christian’s bicker while Satan is at work all around them. Rivalries, disagreements and arguments among believers are destructive. (1) They damage goodwill, trust and peace – the very foundation we should be building on. (2) they keep you from reaching important goals. (3) We become self-centered instead of Love-Centered. Jesus understood how destructive arguments between Christians could be. In his final prayer before being betrayed and arrested Jeus prayed that we all would be “one”. (John 17:21)
- Lot’s character is revealed by his choices. We too can put ourselves first and choose the best while ignoring the needs and feelings of others. But this kind of choice, as Lots life will show, leads to problems. If we are not making choices in God’s direction, we are going in the wrong direction.
- Good pasture and available water seemed like a wise choice to Lot at first. But Lot failed to understand that living that close to wickedness could provide temptations strong enough to destroy his family. Have you chosen to live or work in Sodom? Even though you may be strong enough to resist temptations, others in your family may not. Yes, God calls us to witness to those who are like Sodom who are near us. But we must be very careful that they do not pull us down instead of us lifting them up! It’s always a slow fade…. be very careful of the choices you are making. Every choice is either bringing you one step closer to God, or one step further away. Nothing stays the same – we are either going toward or away from Jesus. Where are your choices taking you??
Happy Monday Friends! I look forward to sharing this week with you as we look into the journey of Abram. Have a great start to your week!
**Some notes taken from the Life Application Study Bible