“Let there be no strife between you and me.” Ge 13:8 NAS
The conflict between Abram and Lot teaches us important principles about our families. Lot had lived peacefully in his Uncle Abram’s home. Abram had taken him along on the journey of faith, when suddenly conflict arose. And because conflict reveals character, Lot showed his true colors. Since their growing herds were too big to share the same pastures, Abram suggested they split the land between them, offering Lot first choice. Lot “chose for himself” the best land, leaving the rest to his uncle (v. 11 NAS). Lot moved to rich, sinful Sodom; Abram built an altar to the Lord. Same genes—totally different values! So: (1) Consider the facts. Abram was God’s appointed leader and Israel’s primary patriarch. God had promised him a homeland, fatherhood of a great nation, blessing and protection. And above all these, God promised that in him, “All the families of the earth will be blessed!” (Ge 12:3 NAS). In practical, day-to-day terms, Abram was the senior partner and major stockholder in the family business. He had shown love and generosity to his nephew, and in the crunch, valued their relationship over personal interests. Abram, therefore, deserved consideration and deference from his nephew. But Lot never gave it to him. (2) Consider the point. For the family’s sake, Abram chose not to “pull rank,” or “insist on his rights,” or “show who’s boss.” He proved that God alone vindicates us! We shouldn’t even attempt to vindicate ourselves. Abram chose grace over law, humility over pride, self-denial over “rights,” mercy over justice, love over lust, and character over popular opinion. Think about it!