Choices And Consequences
Lord, on this special day when love is celebrated, I remember Your generous love to me. May that love shine through me.
Read Genesis 13
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“When Christians learn to be peacemakers, they can turn conflict into an opportunity to strengthen relationships, preserve valuable resources, and make their lives a testimony to the love and power of Christ” (Ken Sande).
“The blessings God showers on people create problems as well as possibilities” (T. Fretheim). The wealth and herds that Abraham brought from Egypt increased (1,2,6), but limited space led to “herders” quarreling (7). What do we consider when choices have to be made? Abraham, as leader, sees the importance of maintaining relationships. Disputes between “kindred” (8; NRSV) are often resolved in ways that have ongoing ill feelings, even ostracism and feuds, but Abraham’s stratagem “leads to peace” (Rom. 14:19). Although Abraham is the elder, he allows Lot to choose; whatever the consequences, Lot knows the decision was his. Lot sees an opportunity to select what seems best. Unlike the dry mountains of Canaan, he sees the irrigated greenery of the Jordan valley. He compares Egypt to a garden, forgetting the threat (12:12), a foreshadowing of the narrow-sightedness of those who complained in the wilderness (Exod. 16:3). Was Sodom’s reputation as people who “were wicked and were sinning greatly” (13) already known? What choices were involved as Lot settled “near Sodom” (12) and soon lived “in Sodom” (14:12; 19:1)? Did Lot see only the attractions of the land nearby and not the city’s dangers? Hereafter, we read only of his being captured (and rescued by Abraham; 14:12–16), barely escaping when Sodom is destroyed and being shamed by his daughters (ch. 19). Choices have consequences beyond our control. For Abraham, consequences were unexpected: a promise that all the land he could see from the heights near Bethel (and that would include the Jordan valley) would belong to him and his countless descendants. Lot went to a place of wickedness but Abraham “built an altar to the Lord” (18). Life is full of choices, including what we choose to see! Abraham is an example of seeing relationships with others and with God as central to life.
Are you involved in a dispute? If the answer is yes, how can you choose what makes for peace and honors God?
Lord Most High, I want to honor You in my relationships. They can be a challenge and I can be a challenge. I ask for a restorative work of Your Spirit.