Genesis 13

The Word Made Fresh

1Abram left Egypt and traveled back to the Negeb with his wife and all his belongings. Lot traveled with him. 2Abram was now quite wealthy with livestock, silver, and gold. 3He camped through the Negev until he reached Bethel, between Bethel and Ai where he had camped earlier. 4He had built an altar when he lived there before, and he went there to call on the LORD.

5Lot also had flocks and herds and tents. 6The land couldn’t support both of them with all the animals they had together, 7and their herdsmen had begun quarreling with each other. Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the same area.

8Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not argue, or have our herdsmen fighting. We’re family. 9There is a lot of land out there, and we need to separate. You choose: if you go to the left I’ll go to the right. If you go right, then I’ll go left.”

10Lot looked around. He saw that the whole plain beside the Jordan was well watered like the LORD’s garden, and like Egypt all the way toward Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11So Lot chose that area along the Jordan and moved eastward, and he and Abram parted company. 12Abram stayed in Canaan, while Lot moved toward the cities along the Jordan and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13The men of Sodom were wicked men who were constantly sinning against the LORD.

14After Lot moved on the LORD said to Abram, “Look around you – north, south, east, west – 15all the land you see I will give to you and your children after you to have forever. 16Your descendants will be as numerous as the grains of sand on the earth. If you can count the grains of sand, you can count them. 17Go ahead and walk through the land, end to end, because I am giving it to you.”

18So Abram moved his camp and resettled near the grove of large trees near Hebron that belonged to Mamre, and there he built an altar to the LORD.

Commentary

1-7 Abram and Lot leave Egypt and return to Canaan, passing through the land back to Bethel and Ai in the highlands north of Jerusalem. Abram has grown rich in Egypt, and now his holdings and Lot’s are more than the land can sustain. Their herders begin to fight with one another.

8-13: Abram offers Lot a fantastic deal: take what you want, I’ll settle for what’s left. Lot chooses what appears to be the most fertile area in the region – the well-watered Jordan River valley. But all is not as it appears to be in the valley; Lot is settling among a wicked people in Sodom.

14-18: Abram surveys what is left, and sees that God is giving him a vast territory indeed. Looking at the land, he also hears God promising him numberless descendants. God invites him to look around. Abram, always attracted to the wide-open spaces, moves southward to Hebron, on the edge of the wilderness. So, God gives Abram a large territory; this is the first time since Adam and Eve that God has located a human couple in a place God has specifically chosen for them.

Takeaway

When God chooses someone to use to forward God’s plan, God always provides whatever is necessary.