Genesis 13:1-13

So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb. Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. He journeyed on by stages from the Negeb as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first; and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.


Now Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them living together; for their possessions were so great that they could not live together, and there was strife between the herders of Abram’s livestock and the herders of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites lived in the land. 


Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herders and my herders; for we are kindred. 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.”


Lot looked about him, and saw that the plain of the Jordan was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar; this was before the Lord had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. So Lot chose for himself all the plain of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward; thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the Plain and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.  Genesis 13:1-13


Lot’s father died young, leaving Lot in the care of his grandfather.  When his grandfather died, Lot moved in with his uncle, Abraham.  Lot was with Abraham from the beginning of their journey to the land of Canaan.  As Abraham prospered, it seems that he shared his bounty with Lot.


So it was that, as they got closer to the promised land, they began to run into those particular problems associated with the wealthy – we have too much stuff and no place to put it.


Here Abraham makes a decision that restores him in our eyes.  He allows Lot to choose where to settle.  Since the right thing to do would have been to defer to his benevolent elder, Lot should have taken the less choice looking land.  But he didn’t.  He took the pretty land and stuck Abraham with the wilderness.


That choice lifts Abraham back into high esteem and it lowers our estimation of Lot.


Today’s lesson is that things are not always as they seem.  Wealth does not equate wisdom and what looks good at first might not seem such a great choice on down the line. 


Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, far too often we look for the quick fix, the easy path, the lowest hanging fruit.  We need patience and wisdom.  Teach us to wait when we’re in a hurry, to think of tomorrow, not just today, and to trust your guidance along the way.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


2 Responses to “Genesis 13:1-13”

  1. Bert in Bellingham Says:

    And for Lot, the grass turned out not to be greener!

  2. Carolee Groux Says:

    This brought to mind the late comedian George Carlin’s humorous bit on “stuff”. We have stuff, we may covet our neighbor’s stuff, we want the best stuff, we finally have too much stuff, because we have stockpiled our stuff, while going about acquiring more stuff.
    With great wealth comes great responsibility, to help and support our neighbors, to be charitable not greedy.
    When offered two plots of land Abraham let Lot choose first, and he chose the prettiest land for himself. When we make choices we do not always know if they will turn out to be the best, just like Lot and Abraham. God’s plan for us is not dependent on the “stuff” of this world, or the wealth we may acquire. Rather His plan for us will be a great leveler; we will be judged on the riches of our spirit. How did we treat our neighbors and fellowman? Were we charitable, kind, and loving toward them, as God is toward us? We pray with you, Pastor, for patience, wisdom, trusting in the Lord for guidance.

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