5 Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. 6 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. 7 And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land.
8 So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. 9 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.”
God had blessed Abraham as he left Egypt and now he and his nephew were running into trouble. Their stuff, their belongings, and livestock had become so great that they were no longer able to dwell together. They were running out of green grass to feed all their livestock and I am sure that is why their herdsmen were butting heads, or herds. What were they going to do?
Now Abraham does something wonderful here and it shows the true nature of his heart. He lets his nephew Lot pick which area he wants to live in. He had all the right in the world to demand that he have the better part and that Lot would just have to live with it and yet he does the opposite.
By now Abraham seems to have learned a lesson when it comes to dealing with God and others. Something that we can still benefit from now.
We must die to others in every situation. What does that mean? It means that in any type of conflict, in any type of situation, somebody has to die. Not physically but someone has to give in or give way.
It means dying daily, as Paul puts it (Rom 12). It means putting others interests before our own. It means dying to our own needs and putting their need first. It can actually be one of the few things that we can actually control in life. Our reactions to others and to God.
How do we react when we are faced with making a decision about provision. As fleshly men and women we almost can’t help but be concerned with the material from times to time and if you say that you are not affected then you are a liar.
We can’t always rely on the circumstances to be the answer for us. Abraham had all the right in the world to believe that he had the right to the best part of the land. He was promised all the land so he had the God given right to take control of any part that he wished.
I would like to believe that Abraham had finally learned something from his previous episode because now he reacts to situations in a different fashion. Instead of choosing to follow his need and flee when God had not called him, he decided to die to his need and trust God and here is the key.
Jesus said “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things (the material – what you need) will be added unto you” Matthew 6:31-33
Abraham gave his needs over to God. He trusted that God would take care of him regardless of where he was or the present circumstances. He died to self and gave way to service. He died to the situation.
But if you notice, He received what Lot greedily coveted and he was blessed because of it.