Facing up to friction!
Abram now had to confront the unpalatable fact that the land of promise did not appear to be living up to its promise. “Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together” (vv. 5–6). God had prospered him and had promised him the land, but the problem he now had to deal with was that what God appeared to be doing did not fit what God appeared to be providing. This was another test of faith which was made more severe by the “strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock” (v. 7). One obvious solution would have been for them to decide that they had made a genuine mistake and to move on to greener pastures. But Abram could not do that because he believed that God was behind his move into this piece of real estate, and so other solutions had to be found. Perhaps he was tempted to think that the problems would go away if they were left alone! But Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me for we are brethren” (v. 8).
When strife comes along something needs to be done, and Abram showed what and how. He took the initiative, directly addressed the issue, appealed to what they had in common, and stated clearly his desire for resolution. It is doubtful if all those things, admirable as they were, would have achieved a solution, but Abram did not leave things there. “Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left” (v. 9). Abram, the senior member of the party, the one to whom the promise had been made, the one who received the call to leave Ur and proceed to the place of God’s appointing, could have told his younger relative either to shape up or ship out! He refrained from such an action, and humbly made a concession which he trusted would resolve the issue. Abram has much to teach us!
Abraham’s security was in the Lord, not the land he would soon be in a desert with God than lush green valleys without Him! How important is the presence of God to you?
Love ya all Prune B.T.