Abram and Lot Separate
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. And he journeyed on 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 upon the name of the LORD. And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.
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.” And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley 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 destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.
The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.
Genesis 13 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Abraham’s nephew Lot was a character. While a young man his father died. Although he had strong role models of his grandfather Terah and his uncle Abraham – he never seemed to develop purpose and ultimately made choices based upon his own wants and desires. The case in point was the contention that developed between his clan and Abraham’s as infighting began. Abraham being the eldest had the rights to everything. On many fronts Abraham’s cloak covered Lot. But the righteousness of Abraham led him to deal with the situation and be a servant on some roles. Meaning, he took him before the land of which they were going to settle and gave him first choice. It really was insane of an offer actually as one direction was barren and another was rich and fertile and had the rise of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah on the landscape. The self-centeredness of Lot led him to choose the better in his eyes. As we know, this would ultimately be the demise of this purposeless man.
Lot’s character was revealed in his choices. He was greedy, wanting the best for himself rather than thinking of his uncle who had been there for him through all the turns of his life. His choices and character led him to many problems. In time it took an ugly turn. He became so much a part of the sinful culture of those times and cities he didn’t want to leave. Then when he was forced to do so, in time he slept with his own daughters as he once again looked upon the landscape of things from earthly eyes rather than spiritual ones in trusting God to provide.
There’s a lesson here. From Abraham’s standpoint it shows regardless of what the perceived outlook of things were physically, he trusted God. He trusted Him no matter the choices of others. God honored Abraham and reassured him once again of his descendants and His purpose. He was a humble individual, not a weak man as some would attribute his giving Lot first choice. Lot, on the other hand, was one so driven by his own wants and desires. In the end, he had no purpose or direction.
For us, what is the purpose of our life? Are we living in the moment of some “thing” that only we can see with such blind eyes? Or are we searching and living out our days in the aspect of trust and assurance God is at work despite? Are we heading toward God or simply drifting along until something new comes along? The latter choice will bring difficulty and usually hardship. If we’re truly searching out God in our purpose and destiny, hardships come no doubt, but purpose and direction are giving in the middle of it all. One choice places other choices in a new light and leads us one way or the other.
Genesis 13 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Between chapters 12 and 13, we see a spiritual maturity unfolding in Abram’s life. His journey into Egypt illustrated his lack of trust in God’s provision. Now, we read that he has decided to allow God to determine his steps.
Genesis 13 opens by describing both Abram and Lot as wealthy. The difference, as we will see, was that Lot worshiped his wealth while Abram worshiped God. Their possessions were overtaking the land, so something had to give. Demonstrating a humble and unselfish spirit, Abram gave Lot the first choice of land. If he went right, Abram would go left, and vice versa.
The best land was found in the valley of Jordan. In fact, it was described as lush as the garden of Eden. Lot chose this land, and it would be his downfall. From a worldly perspective, it was a great choice. From a spiritual perspective, it was deadly.
But I want to go back to Abram.
Every believer in Jesus has had moments of weakness due to a lack of faith. In Chapter 12, Abram failed miserably. He was deceptive, fearful, and selfish. What I love so much about Chapter 13 is that Abram learned from his sin and responded to God’s grace with genuine change. He could have easily repeated his selfish attitude and taken for himself the better land. He could have been deceptive and tricked Lot.
Abram used his failure to learn how to trust God. He didn’t feel sorry for himself or give up. He got right back out there and allowed God to lead him. How does this resonate with you today?