I’ve made it a goal to sit down every week or two, read one chapter of the Bible, and pull out as much as I can from it, to see what God has taught me and to find out what he’s going to teach me next.
Today, I’m reading chapter 13 of Genesis.
So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord.
Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. And quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. –Genesis 13:1-7 NIV84
Though God doesn’t discourage wealth, and in fact He often provides it, it does often cause problems, as it seems it has in this story. Riches stir up contention between people, especially family members. I believe this is why God doesn’t provide excess riches to all Christians, even though he does provide prosperity for those who trust him with their finances.
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” –Genesis 13:14-17 NIV84
The troubled relationship between Abram and Lot pretty much put God’s plans for Abram on hold. However, once they civilly parted ways, God once again began promising what was to come.
I think we all fail in this area. It’s hard to get along with people. We get angry, we take offense, we hold grudges, and we hang on to hurts, and all of this poisons our spirit. We become fixated on negative things and miss out on the blessings of God!
In Genesis 13, we find that wealth isn’t necessary a bad thing but can cause relationship problems, we find that sometimes the best thing for two people who can’t get along to do is part ways, and we find that hanging on to offense can block our blessings from God, who is waiting to unleash the floodgates on us!