Thursday, January 08, 2009


In Genesis 13:5ff we have the account of the conflict between Lot’s herdsmen and Abram’s herdsmen. Abram found the quarrelling distasteful and approached Lot with the purpose of finding a way to make peace. By the way, here is a real peacemaker!

I am impressed with Abram’s humility. He is the patriarch. By rights, it was Lot’s responsibility to come to his elder kinsman and try to make things right but it doesn’t seem as if Lot is as concerned about the fighting that was going on. So Abram takes the high road by making himself lower and makes an offer to Lot. One of the most important things about being a peacemaker is being willing to suspend one’s claims to any rights.

Abram suggests that Lot make the choice. Again, Lot should have refused. He should have said, “Oh no, Uncle! You choose! You are God’s man and I just could not choose ahead of you! Surely you know what would be best for us!” But no. Lot raised his eyes and looked at the plain of the Jordan and saw that it was “well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar.” (13:10) “So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan…” (13:11) He chose the whole plain of the Jordan. He didn’t say, “Look, you take the northern part of the plain and I’ll take the southern part of the plain. That way each of us will have plenty of water.” The fact that Lot was arrogant enough to choose in the first place is astonishing; but that he took the whole plain for himself is beyond description!

Abram accepted Lot’s choice without complaint. That’s not to say that he may have felt a tinge of concern as he considered the mountainous desert that was being left to him. They parted company in peace. Another important thing about being a peacemaker is being able to completely trust the Lord to order your steps and provide. I don’t think you can really be a peacemaker if you have your own concerns at heart! It appears that Abram left his lot (no pun intended) entirely up to the Lord and trusted the Lord to do what was best for him in the situation.

We know the outcome of Lot’s choice. Lot pitched his tents near Sodom and before you know it he was living right in the city of wickedness! He and all his people would be carried off in the war of the nine kings and Abram would have to rescue him. His choice didn’t turn out as well as he had hoped. That’s what happens when we make our choices based on what looks good to us! Abram, on the other hand, heard from God shortly after Lot departed from him. God said, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” (13:14, 15, 17)

Blessed are the peacemakers. Abram was blessed by God. He suspended his claim to rights and entrusted his situation to God. He humbled himself and the Lord lifted him up. He gave Abram all the land, including the land Lot had chosen for himself. We should not do the right thing with an eye toward getting a big reward. We should do the right thing with the hope that God will be glorified through the doing of it! Did God receive glory from Abram’s actions? “So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD.” (13:18) Abram worshiped. God was glorified!


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