Genesis Chapter 13
1 Abram went up out of Egypt-he, his wife, all that he had, and Lot with him-into the South.
2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.
3 He went on his journeys from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,
4 to the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first. There Abram called on the LORD's name.
5 Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, herds, and tents.
6 The land was not able to bear them, that they might live together; for their possessions were so great that they couldn't live together.
7 There was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites lived in the land at that time.
8 Abram said to Lot, "Please, let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen; for we are relatives.
9 Isn't the whole land before you? Please separate yourself from me. If you go to the left hand, then I will go to the right. Or if you go to the right hand, then I will go to the left."
10 Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well-watered everywhere, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as you go to Zoar.
11 So Lot chose the Plain of the Jordan for himself. Lot travelled east, and they separated themselves from one other.
12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, and Lot lived in the cities of the plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom.
13 Now the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinners against the LORD.
14 The LORD said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him, "Now, lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward,
15 for I will give all the land which you see to you and to your offspring forever.
16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can count the dust of the earth, then your offspring may also be counted.
17 Arise, walk through the land in its length and in its width; for I will give it to you."
18 Abram moved his tent, and came and lived by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD.
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Genesis Chapter 13 Guide
Thus, delivered by the divine intervention, Abram set his face again toward the line of the divine purpose and returned to Bethel. In this act is seen the victory of faith over failure.
It was at this crisis that the separation came between Abram and Lot. The occasion was strife between herdsmen, but the reason is to be found in the differing principles governing the lives of the two men. Abram was following God. Lot had been following Abram; and while in the deepest desire of his life he was loyal to God, the lack of direct communion seems to have resulted in clouding his vision and lowering his ideals. In the hour of crisis he made his own choice and it was the choice of a man attempting to compromise. The conflict of desire within him is seen in the phrases, "like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt." If these two things could be made contributory, then success was ensured by all the standards of human measurement.
Abram is seen in direct contrast to Lot in every way. Lot chose for himself. God chose for Abram. Lot chose by sight; "And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld." Abram, by faith, chose not to choose; and now Jehovah brought him into the place of sight on the basis of faith: "Lift up now thine eyes." Lot, having chose, obtained, and yet did not possess. Abram, trusting God, received from Him the title deeds to all the land, even including that which Lot had chosen for himself.
Abram immediately moved his tent and built his altar. In this connection the strength of faith is most clearly seen. Dependent on the promise of a seed to be as the dust of the earth, which at this time must have appeared to be contrary to all the probabilities of Nature, he took possession of the land by faith.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.