genesis 13: strife

“Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen.”

Strife: Contention. Struggle. Fight. Discord.

Abraham was unwilling to allow there to be strife, because they were family. But then he goes further. Aaagh. So much we could learn from Abraham.

He was so peace-minded that he allowed Lot to choose what lands he would take first. He wasn’t after the best and biggest piece of the pie. Not interested in whether he would get his fair share. He was after peace.

Side Note: I’m looking for God in this chapter and I found Him when Lot chose his land.

It was God’s plan all along to give the promised land to Abraham and his descendants, and in the moment of Lot’s choice of land, I smiled. Because even when Abraham gives the choice to another, God still made sure that Lot chose in accordance with God’s plan! I just love the Word of God!

We can roll the dice to see where they land, but oh beloved be sure of this: the dice will obey God!

Interestingly, many, many years after he sought peace with Lot, Abraham’s descendant David would write these words:

Family is one of the most contentious arenas on the planet. So much brokenness in families, so much offense and bitterness being held in hearts that should be knit together. Arguing, demanding, refusing to give up their right to have, or their right to be right.

Turning from our bitterness and anger to do good is hard. But I wonder if it could be easier if we became seekers and pursuers of peace. People who cannot abide the presence of strife. People who would rather step back and allow someone else to choose what they would prefer, and be content to take what is left.

That last one is hard for a lot of us. Unless, like Abraham, we trust God, and we value peace in the family above getting what’s ours.

Questions:

  • Have I allowed strife to remain in any of my relationships with family?
  • Am I causing, or adding to the strife by demanding what’s mine, trying to prove I’m right, or launching accusations against others?
  • What would it look like to seek and pursue peace?

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