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Daily Devotional

January 11


by Henry T. Vriesen

Genesis 13

Abram and Lot returned from Egypt with their herds and flocks. They came to the place where they had first pitched their tents. Abram built an altar as before and continued to worship the Lord. He was a very wealthy man. He not only had many servants, flocks and herds, but he also possessed much silver and gold.

Lot also owned many servants, cattle, and sheep. Indeed, it happened that the land could not take care of them all. There was not enough pasture for all the cattle. After some time trouble arose between the servants of Abram and the servants of Lot. The servants quarreled about the best pasture. By and by the news of the quarrel reached Abram. He saw the difficulties of the servants and, turning to Lot, he said, “Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”

This was noble and generous of Abram, for he was the older and might have claimed the first choice. God had also promised all the land to him. He could have sent Lot and his servants out of the land altogether. But Abram was not selfish. He kindly offered his nephew the first choice. Lot thought of his own interest. “Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere … even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt.”

Lot chose that country. He thought he was choosing the best, but it was a terrible mistake. For in that beautiful country were two of the most wicked cities in the world, Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible says, “The men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” Every day he pitched his tents nearer to Sodom, and in a short time he reached the city and lived in it.

After Lot had departed, the Lord spoke again to Abram, “Lift up now thine eyes, and look northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it, for I will give it unto thee.” Then Abram moved his tents from Bethel, where he and Lot had lived, for the last time. He came to and dwelt in the plain of Mamre. Here he pitched his tents under the oak trees near the city of Hebron, and built another altar to worship God.

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