Monday, June 26, 2017

“Let There Be No Strife Between You and Me” by Melanie Rigney (@melanierigney)

By illustrators of the 1728 Figures de la Bible, Gerard Hoet (1648–1733) and others,
published by P. de Hondt in The Hague in 1728 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

So Abram said to Lot: "Let there be no strife between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land at your disposal? Please separate from me. If you prefer the left, I will go to the right; if you prefer the right, I will go to the left." Lot looked about and saw how well watered the whole Jordan Plain was as far as Zoar, like the LORD's own garden, or like Egypt. (This was before the LORD had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) Lot, therefore, chose for himself the whole Jordan Plain and set out eastward. Thus they separated from each other; Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the Plain, pitching his tents near Sodom. (Genesis 13:8-12)

He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord. (Psalm 15:1b)

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)

Lord, guide my soul, heart, and head when I encounter disharmony.

There simply wasn’t enough for all of them. That had become apparent from the quarreling among their shepherds. What to do? Go to war? Abram and Lot were kinsmen, after all, uncle and nephew. But God had given the Promised Land to Abram. He was under no heavenly requirement to give up any of it.

And yet, Abram did just that, giving his younger, rich nephew first choice of the land and trusting in the Lord that whatever Lot chose, Abram’s people would be taken care of.

Lot looked out on the Jordan Plain and claimed it. There was water; it seemed the smart move, and Lot didn’t need God to tell him that. It would not be the last time Lot would or his people would ignore the Lord at their own peril.

Like Abram and Lot and all who have gone before us, we live in a time that there doesn’t seem to be enough—enough listening, enough respect, enough love. When the time comes to disassociate ourselves from others, may we do so with the same faith and generosity that Abram did.

Pray about how you might trust the Lord in ending a stalemated relationship.

No comments: