TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 13
AUTHOR: Jeremy Witt
As many of us know in Oklahoma, livestock is necessary and also can build wealth. Abram has collected livestock, silver, and gold. Just as God promised Abram, he would be blessed. This does not always mean materially but in some cases, it includes wealth and more as Abram had. Abram and his family were leaving Egypt and returning back to the land that Abram had set up altars to the LORD. Lot, his nephew traveled with Abram, but as their livestock herds grew, it caused issues between the two or between their shepherds as in verse 7.
Friction was developing as it does in families at times. Abram “took the bull by the horns” or addressed the issue before it got worse as he and Lot determined what to do. Rather than fighting, Abram realized that they must separate. It was time for Lot for going on his own. This is a difficult thing to do when you serve as the “Parent” or guardian in the lives of those under us. I have watched many parents struggle to let go as their child nears adulthood. My daughter is only a freshman and I am struggling. It is just a matter of time before she leaves for her post-high school time. If we just read this passage, we might miss the “humanity” of the moment. It was more important not to be in conflict than to fight to stay together. Abram also gave two options to Lot. It kept it simple. Choose one way and I will go the other. Notice that Lot made his decision based on what he saw. In verses 10-11, Lot chose the better-watered area as most shepherds would choose. This choice will have consequences as we read in verse 12. Many times the eyes still the good and neglect to see the bad. Sodom and Gomorrah lie in the area that Lot chose, and we will see the consequences of this choice in the next few days.
We should also point out that there is safety in numbers. Abram and Lot could have stayed together, but it was their herdsmen that the friction was found. We are not told which group was the cause, but jealousy snuck into the camp, and it would affect Lot the most. Had they been together, chapter 14 (tomorrow’s reading) may not have happened.
There are a variety of things we can learn from this chapter. We could talk about Lot’s greed for the best land without thinking of the consequences of the rest of the land. We could speak of jealousy in our homes and lives and how it affects us negatively. We might point out how material things lead us to lose relationships with others close to us. In our reading today, we never see Abram and Lot go to the LORD. We know that God will bless Abram, so leaving that safety and promise or faith that Abram had would cause Lot not to be under that umbrella of protection any longer. Many times in our lives we may not realize what we have had until it is gone. About 4 ½ years ago, my grandmother died. She was a prayer warrior. I knew that before she died, but I felt it after she was gone. I literally felt more vulnerable and less protected. My cousins have said similar things because we knew that she was gone and not praying for us anymore. Lot will soon realize the importance of Abram’s presence in his life.
If we notice in verses 14-18, that God showed up to Abram again and promised Abram’s descendants as far as he could see. God promised a man without children at this point that his descendants would be like the dust of the ground. Can you imagine what meant to Abram and how he must trust God in faith? Imagine thinking that you would never have children and being made this promise. Remember that Abram was 75 years old when God first made the covenant with Abram. We are not sure of his age at this point, but it most likely was more than 75 years old. What faith Abram had to trust in God despite his circumstances! For those who have read the devotionals for a while know that this is an application point. What is it that God wants you to trust Him in despite your circumstances? What is it that God is calling you to do even though it makes no sense? Will our eyes be like Lot’s or trust in God? Will we seek Him before making a big decision or basing it on our own understanding as Lot did?
May our faith and trust in God grow more each day.