When we live in close proximity with someone, small and simple things can cause a big conflict. I think of what I witnessed many times over when I was living in the dorms at college. Two people would arrive to college their freshman year and sign up to be roommates. Now, the dorms in college tend to be small - especially the rooms assigned to underclassmen. At first as they configure how the space will look and how it will be shared and everything seems to go well; however, as the year goes on and the stress of classes build so does the tension between the roommates. If the friendship is strong and stable, usually they can work out compromises and make it work. But I have seen friendships almost come to an end from the close proximity. Something that I also witnessed was how the friendship could be mended once they separated as roommates and had a little space between them. The story I am looking at today is about Abram and Lot and how they kept the peace between themselves. Please read Genesis 13 - it is a short chapter!
The first thing that is pointed out to us in this chapter is how wealthy both Abram and Lot are and how it was beginning to cause tension between their herdsmen. Abram was very wise in how he handled this situation because he loved Lot and wanted to keep peace between them; however, he also saw that if they continued traveling together it was going to cause problems. The Bible tells us that there was no way the land where they were was able to support both of them and all that they owned. But Abram handled this problem in a way that allowed Lot to feel like he was gaining rather than losing.
Abram gave Lot the first choice of where he was going to go. Abram probably knew that this meant that he may not get the choicest of land; however, it was worth keeping peace between him and Lot. Lot chose the land that seemed to be the best because it was fertile and by the Jordan River. I will not go into Lot's choice today - I plan on looking at that a little more tomorrow. This meant that Abram could choose anywhere else to live. I find Abram's decision in this difficult situation so amazing and humbling because God had already told Abram that he was going to inherit the land that he was at. Notice that they had come back to the place that God had originally made that promise to Abram. So, here is Abram at the very place he had built an altar to God when God gave gave him the promise of his inheritance. I think it would have been really easy for Abram to put his foot down and tell Lot that God had promised all this land to him and that Lot would just have to find his own way. Instead, Abram trusted that whatever God promised was in God's hands and God would fulfill the promise when the time was right.
Abram could have pushed and fought his way to his promise and done things on his own time, but instead he chose to allow humility to take over and trust God's timing. Perhaps God has given you a vision or a dream but you see things moving in the opposite direction. Take heart because when God is ready to fulfill His promises, nothing in this world can stop Him! When we try to step in and take over the promises He said that He would do, we get ourselves into a big mess. But when we allow God to unravel events for us, we find that we do so much better. Proverbs 16:9 (NLT) says, "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." It is so much better to allow the Lord to show us the next step than to plow through and try to figure things out our own way.
Do you trust the direction God gives to you?
This post is linked with iFellowship Blog Hop and Word-Filled Wednesday.