Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” Genesis 13:8-9
This week we find Abram and Lot at a crossroads. They are both so rich in gold and livestock, they discover they can’t dwell among one another anymore. There just isn’t enough room for both of them. We see many businesses in the past and present who are founded by two individuals, but there comes a time when there isn’t room for both and one leaves or starts a new business. I think Abram and Lot were in this same situation. They weren’t fighting over money or patents, but land and resources. Here’s what caught my attention.
Abram basically says to Lot, “You know what? This just isn’t working. We are close relatives (kinsmen) and this division is putting a strain on our relationship. Why don’t you pick whatever land you want and I’ll take what you don’t pick.” This is extremely generous. Very rarely do my daughter and son every offer the other the first slice of cake or turn with a new toy unless there is an ulterior motive. I pray they will get there with age and maturity, but we have some work to do. Abram freely offers Lot to take whatever he wants with no strings attached and then doesn’t even pit a fit or complain. He doesn’t need to win, be the best, have the best, or even have the last word. He just wants peace and resolution.
I wonder how Abram pulled that off? Was he so strong in his faith that he knew whatever Lot chose God was going to make sure he got all he needed? Was he just at the end of his rope and threw up his hands in desperation and exhaustion from the conflict? Maybe a bit of both. Either way, I love that faith of his. No matter how many times Abram messes up, and we have and will see more of that, he returns back to God for forgiveness and redemption.
This little portion of Genesis 13 makes me ponder a few things. One, am I the one who always have to have the last word in a conversation or disagreement? Why am I like that? Why can’t I just sit, listen and trust God to do His thing? Do I have a strong desire to always win? Where does that come from? Why can’t I just trust that my view of winning and losing isn’t what God’s looks like and His way is always best? Do I need to be the best or have the best things in my life? Why is that important to me? What idols (anything I think about more than God) am I clinging to?
These questions are very convicting for me this week. I needed this lesson from Abram. I pray we all will continue to develop a humble trust in our Lord’s plan and a desire to seek peace and resolution with grateful hearts and no strings attached.