Genesis 13:6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
9 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.
10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
We are moving through the life of Abram. We want to notice that God’s plan for His child is a life of separation and holiness. Our separation is unto God and that will mean separation from sin and from the world. You cannot be a faithful child of God and be part of the world system.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
True Christianity does not take its direction from the world. True Christianity does not look for an easier way to live. True Christianity follows God’s eternal way. Abram needed to learn this and so do we.
As we have noted in the past, God commanded Abram to leave his homeland and his kindred. He was to follow God to a new land. Abram was reluctant to do so. Along the way to the land that God promised him, God took his father Terah, out of the way. Now we see that Lot needs to be removed as well.
Lot was not of the same mind that Abram was. He did not desire the things of the Lord. The Bible calls him a just man, but God also says that Lot was vexed in his soul from day to day. Why was that? It was because he refused to obey God. Lot’s life was a mess. He lost his wife. Two of his daughters got him drunk and they both committed incest with him. Two sons were born that were not brought up in the fear of God and they and their descendants were a problem to humanity. They made choices that were contrary to God’s will.
We read in our text that the land was not able to bear both Abram and Lot. God did not want them together. He did not want them sharing equipment or labour. God wanted to bless Abram because he was faithful. He could not bless Lot in the same way.
God had already told Abram what he needed to do, but Abram did not do that. So now God used a human situation to drive them apart. There was strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle. At this time, God did not drive out the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. This would happen later. For now, Abram needed to set up his household in this new land. The land was big enough that he could live separated from the original inhabitants of the land. The land was not big enough for Lot and Abram to dwell together in it.
God does not endorse a compromised Christian life. Those within New Evangelicalism who are saved, and there are few of them, cannot be blessed by God. There are those who look at their material successes and they believe God has blessed them. Lot was a wealthy man, but he was morally corrupt. His family was a wreck. He had no good moral testimony.
God directed Abram to make an offer to Lot. God knew the heart of Lot. He did not force Lot to make a bad choice. He knew Lot’s heart was not right with Him. He had opportunity to observe Abram and to learn to walk with God, but he chose not to do so.
God was not afraid that Lot would choose the land of Canaan. The land of Canaan was not an enticing piece of real estate. God would turn the desert into a fruitful land. He would make it a land flowing with milk and honey.
Lot needed to get out of the way. Abram gave Lot the choice. Lot looked at the land and he saw the plain of Jordan. It was well watered and Lot could see potential there for himself and his family. He did not concern himself with Sodom and Gomorrah. He figured he could live there and do business with them and making money was of greater importance to him than truth.
In verse 10 God tells us that Lot’s choice of land was like the Garden of the LORD. It looked good to the naked eye. Lot gathered all his possessions and headed to his new haven. He had it made. He could see the money rolling in. What could possibly go wrong?
Verse 12 tells us that Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan. That was God’s plan. God was going to make His plan work. Lot chose to dwell in the cities of the plain and he pitched his tent toward Sodom. Lot did not have his heart in the right place.
The Christian life is not about what I want. It is about what does God want for me? Christians need to learn this.
I Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
I Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
Christians have a higher calling. Life is about more than money and things. It is more than the pleasures of this world.
Abram would face some further challenges. He would face things that he would not know how to handle. He needed to learn to trust God all the time. The problem was not with where Abram lived. The problem was with his lack of faith in God and His promises. God did not leave him in that weakened state. He moved him along to greater obedience to His will.
Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, but he soon moved into Sodom. God tells us that the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. That did not matter to Lot. He cared more about money than about his soul and that of his family. He eventually lost his wife. His own children did not even have the limited faith he had.
Those who are saved need to ask God to open their eyes. We need to see things from God’s perspective. We know the devil convinced Adam to look at things differently than what God wanted of him. He found out too late that his eyesight was very bad. He made a very wicked judgment call. He could not back up and try again. If we do not choose wisely, the consequences are severe. We may make money or advance up the corporate ladder. What about our souls. What about our family? It is sad to see how many “conservative” type parents have lost their children to the world because of bad choices by the parents. Then they lower their standards so that they can still speak highly of their children even though their children are morally bankrupt.
That does not help them nor their children. We will all make mistakes in life. Christians will sin against God at times. The important thing is to learn from it, not to shrug it off. God shows us the importance of repentance and confession of sin. He will forgive the humble servant of His. He knows how to bring low the proud. Those who humbly submit to God’s authority, will not be fooled. They will press on for God’s glory. They may be small in number, but they are on the LORD’s side. That is what matters.