Abraham and Lot
All the families of earth will be blessed because of you. (Genesis 12:3)
Having just returned from Egypt, it seems that Abraham and Sarah’s story is back on track. They had experienced great success. Indeed, their family business was doing extremely well. But that brought problems of its own. The group of people and livestock became too big to live together, and as a result there was growing tension between Abraham and his nephew Lot.
Genesis is very realistic in its portrayal of people. It doesn’t hide the ugly side of personalities to craft idealized people. Abraham is no exception. And yet, it is hard to avoid seeing Abraham as anything other than a top notch example of problem-solving and peace-making. He handled the problem at hand with care and skill. Abraham could have done nothing or claimed the best land for himself, but instead he allowed Lot to make the choice. Here we see the importance of peaceful relationships for God’s people and the need for reconciliation when problems arise. In other words, God expects God’s people to be peacemakers.
From the top of the mountain ridge in Bethel, Abraham invited Lot to choose to go left or right. More precisely, Abraham offered Lot to go north toward Shechem where they first stopped upon arriving in Canaan, or south toward Hebron to the area where they just passed through on the way from Egypt. But Lot decides to go another way altogether. He wanted to go east into the Jordan Valley, which was rich with vegetation reminiscent of the garden of Eden.
• God wants us to work together.
• We should trust in God to guide our choices.
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