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BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT

Daily Devotional Genesis 13:1–18


If you ask most police officers, their least favorite call to address is a domestic dispute. Conflict between family members can get messy. In Genesis 13, we learn about the first conflict recorded in Abram’s family.


All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.

GENESIS 13:15


After returning from Egypt, Abram and Lot had both grown wealthy. It took quite a bit of land and fresh water to maintain their flocks and herds. The shepherds of Abram and Lot began to quarrel with one another over the best places to pasture (v. 6). This could have turned into a significant family conflict. Abram responded in a generous way. Even though he was the older of the two, he allowed Lot his choice of land (v. 8). To him, maintaining the relationship was more important than having the best land.


The way in which Lot went about choosing his land is significant. Lot saw that the land to the east was well-watered and beautiful (v. 10). It reminded him of Egypt. This is not a throwaway line. Lot foreshadows later Israelites who would also long to return to Egypt. More importantly, the people who lived in that land were “sinning greatly against the LORD” (v. 13). Lot chose what was attractive to him.


In contrast, God instructed Abram to look around at the land of Canaan (v. 14). He reaffirmed His promise that the land of Canaan would belong to his descendants forever (v. 14). He also reaffirmed His promise to make Abram into a great nation (v. 16). Abram’s response was to worship (v. 18).


Like Lot, sometimes we are tempted to make impulsive decisions based on what we see in the moment. Lot would later suffer the consequences of his choice (Gen. 14, 19). In contrast, Abram here is a model of faith. He waited for God’s instructions before making his choice (v. 14). He was willing to trust in God’s word more than in his own sight.


Go Deeper


Compare and contrast the choices of Abram and Lot. What can we learn from their decisions?


Pray with Us


Father, show us that we do not need to live life in competition, viewing others as our rivals. You have love and blessings in abundance! Trusting You to provide for us, we are freed to care for others’ needs.

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