Focus: Personal Growth
Text: Genesis 13:5-18
As they came out of Ur with Terah, Abram and Lot seemed inseparable, even when God had commanded Abram to leave his relatives behind. "Now the Lord said to Abram, " Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you" ( Gen 12:1). But finally, the ties between the two were weakening. Essentially their separation was caused by a few factors which are recorded in verses 5-7. Now Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents and the land could not sustain them while dwelling together; for their possessions were so great. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. The first problem was the success of both men as keepers of flocks. Both Abram (13:2) and Lot (13:5) had prospered. The second problem was the strife which seemed to be steadily growing between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot (13:7). Each man's herdsmen sought water and the best pasture for the animals of their master. This competition inevitably led to conflict between the herdsmen of Lot and Abram.
It is easy to forget that none of the land of Canaan as yet belonged to either Abram or Lot. When Abram and Lot separate, they do not divide real estate. They are both living in a land which is occupied by the Canaanites and Perrizites. The remarks from the pen if Moses not only reminded us that Abram was a sojourner, dwelling in a land that would some day belong to his seed, but it may also suggest that the strife which existed between he and Lot was a poor testimony to those who looked on with interest. Abram and Lot not only had to share pasture between themselves, but were at the mercy of those who had prior claim to the land. Long before, God had told Abram to leave his country and relatives. At that time, leaving Lot was mainly a matter of principle. Abram was to do it because God had said to. Now, years later Abram reluctantly acknowledged that a separation must take place, not as a matter of principle, but out of practical expediency.
1. Name some of the problems that hindered Abram and Lot from dwelling together?
2. What do you think caused Abram to reluctantly acknowledge that a separation must take place between he and Lot?
3. What are the fundamental differences between Abram's personality and Lot?
4. How can unity sometimes be preserved through separation?
5. Was Lot's decision on where to settle a selfish choice? Why?
6. Is there a connection between Lot's decision and how the rest of his life played out?
7. When is it important to look out for number one?
8. What "small" decisions have you made that had huge consequences?