Abraham and Lot Separate (Genesis 13) Commentary


So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Back to the land promised him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.  Riches can be a hindrance to man’s realtionship with God, but Abram’s wealth was a fulfillment of God’s promise to him.

From the Negev he went from place to place he was unsettled until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier  his place of commune with the Lord. There Abram called on the name of the Lord. He prayed and worshipped.

Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. Lot had also aquired much, but his riches were burdensome. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. There was a lack of space and resource for both parties.  And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. Out of covetousness, pride; fighting over the resources The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. Who were not people of God and likely increased the tension, as the they were still strangers in the land.

So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Blessed are the peacemakers.  Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. He released Lot of any obligation he felt If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left. and generously offered the first choice of the land, to soothe the contention between them.

Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, advantaged compared to the rest of the country. like the garden of the Lord, Eden; a reference to God’s endless provisions like the land of Egypt as the Nile was to Egypt  (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) Before He judged their sin. So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. He was given the choice, and took the best of the land. Lot could have split the the good with the not so good, but he did not make that choice. God is giving and gracious with us! So we should be with others.   Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. The deal was honored, and Abraham depended again on the providence of God.  Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord. We should rather live poor and parched then in evil. It was better Abraham to live set apart from such wickedness. God would provide for him.

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west.  All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. The Lord assures Abraham. People like Lot who make selfish choices are many, but the Lord is forever giving and generous.  I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. His physical and spiritual offspring. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you. God created it, it is His to give.

So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.  Worship God wherever you may be.
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