Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Avoiding Strife by Trusting God

Gen 13:8-9 Then Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. "Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me: if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left. "Gen 13:10a-13 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere-- So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD.

In Genesis chapter 12 we see the weakness and failure of Abraham, but here we see his strengths. He knew what the book of James tells us in chapter 3:16 “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” Abraham generously gives Lot the choice. “If you go right, I’ll go left, you choose.” How many of us fight and jockey for positions or possessions with self-interest foremost in our minds? What a study in contrasts:

· Lot lifted up his eyes
· Lot chose for himself
· Lot moved his tents toward Sodom
· Bad neighbors/bad choice

Genesis 13:14-18 And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. "And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. "Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you." Then Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.

· God lifted Abraham’s eyes
· God chose for Abraham
· Abraham moved tent to Hebron and built altar
· God focused/good choice

I have often heard it said, “God gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him.” Surely this must be the proof text of that proverb. With the renewal of the promises we see Abraham responding with gratitude and worship by building an altar.

We may think there are no lessons to be learned from this story, but we would be wrong. I live in an area where once cheap rural farmland skyrocketed in value. It isn’t uncommon to hear of siblings feuding over the division of property and possessions. In the church and community I have seen people jockeying for prestige and position. What a bad choice. Let God lift your eyes and show you what He has for you. It will beyond what you “could ask or think.” You will be freed from strife and striving and that’s a good choice.

MY PRAYER: Lord, your word says that "fights and battles among us come from wrong desires in us." Lift our eyes to the real and lasting rewards that you have for us. Help us to lay down our right to choose, and embrace your best. In Jesus name, Amen.

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