Genesis 13: Shrinking and Expanding Grace!
Life is Unique
While man has reasons for the things he does based on relational thinking and justifications, God always has the power to turn man’s actions around and use them to create a unique and perfect plan of his own. The scriptures often reveal how God uses the frailties of man to achieve his greater glory.
Abram returns from Egypt with all the wealth and security he would ever need. He and his people continue to grow in riches. Along with the unexpected and unimaginable wealth, the strife it created grew also. There came the very human need to protect what they had. Protecting hard earned money can cause relationship issues and problems among siblings. The families of Abram and his brother, Lot, were not spared this strife.
The blessing in a sacrifice
Like sensible people, Abram and Lot must come together to find a solution to their problem. Lot saw the fertile land in front of him and realized the great potential it held. Abram, suggested a solution by saying, “If you go left, I’ll go right; if you go right, I’ll go left.” He compromised by taking what was left by his brother. So, Lot takes what he feels is the better portion and Abram simply takes what Lot leaves behind. In order to have peace between brothers, one must be willing to make the necessary sacrifice.
The two brothers go their separate ways and both prosper. This is where the story gets more interesting because God’s plan never fails.
God never fails.
When we look to Abram’s future, we find that this seemingly insignificant sacrifice that he made by accepting what Lot did not want, becomes what is best for the future of his people. God never fails in his promises. God can and will turn everything into the best for those who are willing to humble themselves and build others up.
Why build up the other
This whole 13th chapter of Genesis is about Abrams willingness to put his brother before himself. It shows that his self-sacrificing nature paid off in the end when God, as always, keeps His promise to His people. Lot got what he wanted but God blessed Abram with much more. The two Transjordanian kingdoms of the progeny of Lot are smaller and more insignificant than the larger and greater future nation of Israel.
When we make sacrifices and do the right thing in life, we sometimes feel like we have been taken advantage of by the other. Sometimes self-sacrifice to build the other might feel senseless and even painful. Loss of wealth and security might also feel like a lot to take in especially when those who have taken advantage of you seem to prosper. One thing I have learned in life through this story and many others, God is a God of justice and not convenience, a God of who knows both the beginnings and the ends. Things will turn around when God is in control of life if only we can live without anxiety. Build up your neighbor, brother, sister, family, friends and in turn, I promise what might look like a lot, will turn into the best. For God knows the progeny of a selfish man only ends up shrinking and the sacrifice of the righteous will always prosper.