I think a lot of us can relate to the family disagreement found in Genesis 13 between Abram and Lot. Sure, we may not have had arguments over land, but we have had arguments over family money, family homes, or family keepsakes – treasures in various forms.
Abram had the right to choose first what land he wanted for his immediate family and livestock because he was Lot’s uncle and elder. Yet what we see in chapter 13 is Abram deciding to be a peacemaker and not a “right reminder.” He graciously allowed Lot to choose first so he could pursue peace with his nephew. Some may view this choice as weak, maybe even cowardly, but if you look closer, it is neither. Abram was both loving and brave.
It was loving because Abram wanted the best for his nephew even though his nephew didn’t desire the same for him. Abram chose to be gracious instead of greedy by giving Lot the opportunity to pick first. By allowing his nephew this opportunity, Abram showed how much he loved Lot. Abram could have fought for his right to pick first. He could have put Lot in his place and reminded him that he had the right, being his uncle and elder, to choose which land he wanted first. Instead, Abram put family first over land, money, or treasured possessions.
Abram risked being cheated for the sake of his relationship with Lot. And he was cheated. Lot took the best land and, in doing so, revealed his character. Lot was greedy and wanted the best for himself, not thinking of how his selection would affect his uncle. Lot’s choice showed his lack of faith in God’s provision for his life. A choice that would have dire consequences years later.
Abram was also brave. He knew he was risking being cheated. He knew his rights. He could have insisted his nephew make the second selection of land. Lot could have chosen to honor his uncle and all that Abram had done for him by giving him first pick of the land. But Lot lived his life by what he saw. He saw the better land, the better location, the better opportunity, and he wanted it. In doing so, he likely broke Abram’s heart.
Abram, on the other hand, lived his life by faith. Maybe it was due to the mistakes he had made earlier in his life when he hadn’t trusted God. Maybe this time Abram was determined to trust God no matter what. Abram learned that what God gives, no one can take away. Lot may have cheated Abram out of the better land but God had more to give Abram than just land. Much more . . .
“I will give all the land that you see to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone is able to count the dust of the earth, then your descendants also can be counted.” –Genesis 13:15-16
While it is painful to have loved ones hurt us, take from us, and cheat us, we must remember that God sees it all. It is in those painful times in our lives that we have to turn the pain and injustice over to the Lord and trust Him with it. Lot may have taken the best land and broken his uncle’s heart in the process, but what God gave Abram was greater than any property.
Warren Wiersbe once said, “Let others take what they want; our God gives far more than they can ever imagine.”
I wish none of us could relate to the heartbreaking story found in Genesis 13, but I know many of us do. What I want you to know today is God sees your pain. He is not blind to it. And like He did for Abram, God gives us better gifts than what has been taken from us. Let’s trust God in the middle of our heartbreak as we wait for redemption.
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