Genesis 12, 13
Terah hailed from the Ur of the Chaldees and majorly, they were idol worshippers. Terah was Abram’s biological father and Abram had other brothers – Nahor and Haran. Haran also had a son named Lot. According to the Good Book, Haran (the youngest of Terah’s sons and Lot’s Father) died at a pretty young age and for one reason or the other, he ended up with his uncle, Abram.
While Terah was still alive, God made a move on Abram by instructing him to leave his father and his family because He (God) had a place and a purpose for him to accomplish for posterity. Abram refused and continued to stay with his father and kindred. Admittedly, his future was secured because of the many things his father had accomplished and according to their tradition and culture; the father sets up his children.
Not until the death of his father, Abram never made a move despite the many visits from God even though God was aware of the fact that they were predominantly idol worshippers. We might as well conclude that when the time comes, Abram will surely make that move because it was an instruction from Heaven.
Finally Abram’s father died and he decided to move away from his family to the place (unknown to him) where God was going to take him. God had worked in him not only to will but also made available to him the capacity to do because the instruction had the stamp of Heaven on it. He had no choice but to fulfil the will of his maker.
Abram did not know where he was going to, he had only depended on the promise that God gave him. God promised that, “I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
Abram made one mistake when he decided to leave his family – he took Lot with him. Lot was part of the family that God had instructed him to leave. Emotionally and sentimentally speaking, Abram was a good man who didn’t want to leave his nephew behind. The instruction from God didn’t have the name of Lot on it, meaning, God had no plan for Lot aside Abram.
Lot is a pagan name that means, “to cover” or a “covering”. It therefore means Abram carried or took something with him that would serve as a covering or deterrent to his vision. We are able to predict from this act that Abram would eventually encounter difficulties as he journeyed with God. No matter what God tries to show him, because of the presence of Lot in his life, he (Abram) would be seeing something else.
Would Abram come to this awareness? NO. He would never believe Lot was going to be the issue that would stop him from getting to or going into the land of Canaan and until he gets to this Land, the promises and the Will of God would forever be on hold.
The first place he (Abram) landed at was Canaan and because there was famine in that land, his perception was to move from that land to somewhere that was more comfortable and convenient – Egypt. He took his wife and Lot and off they went and before they got there, Abram had planned with Sarai to deny she was his wife to prevent him from being killed – the many things that we go through when we are not in the right frame of mind and perspective.
Obviously, they were in the wrong place, they had all the material comforts of life and the reason they went to Egypt was because of the famine they had experienced in the land that God had promised them. God moved on Pharaoh (who had been visited with many plagues that threatened his life) to prevent him laying his hands on Abram or Sarai, his wife. One day Pharaoh woke up from his sleep (in trepidation) and had Abram, Sarai, Lot and all they had, thrown out of Egypt. Abram never knew that it was God working behind the scene.
He had no choice but to meander his way back to where he came from and where he was meant to be – the land of Canaan. All through his time in Egypt we did not read that God said anything to him. The last time God spoke to him was when he made an altar where his tent had been – Bethel. At this time, the Bible recorded that Abram was rich in cattle, gold and silver but had not gotten to the pinnacle of the Will of God for his life.
Having material blessings is not and should not be used as an indication of blessings of God.
He got to Bethel and something strange started to happen. God was getting ready to deliver Abram from the covering he had on his eyes. Lot also had prospered, having gold, cattle, silver, and herdsmen to the extent that the land could no longer accommodate the two captains (Abram and Lot). Abram would never have suspected that Lot was the issue he had and why he had not settled in the Land.
A fight broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and that of Lot. Where they were was already becoming too small for both parties that it would eventually force a separation between them. That was the only thing that could happen because emotionally, it would have been too difficult to separate these two. They both witnessed this and it became an uphill task to find a solution to the problem of their herdsmen.
Finally, Abram summoned courage and approached Lot giving him an option to choose left or right so that he would be left with no choice but to go in the opposite direction as long as it would ensure peace between them. Unknown to either of them, it was God at work.
Lot ended up making his choice and both were separated from each other and there was no more rancour between their herdsmen. Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the Lord or the beautiful land of Egypt (this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). Lot chose for himself the whole Jordan Valley to the east of them. He went there with his flocks and servants and parted company with his uncle Abram.
After Lot had gone, the Lord said to Abram, “Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west. I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants as a permanent possession and I will give you so many descendants that, like the dust of the earth, they cannot be counted! Go and walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you.” So Abram moved his camp to Hebron and settled near the oak grove belonging to Mamre.
We all have so many distractions in our lives, some we know and some we don’t know until we are pushed to making some decisions through the many challenges we go through. God – the one, who knows the end even before the beginning, has permitted some of these challenges. As long as God allows the challenges, pains, trials and tribulations for reasons known to Him, these challenges may help to get rid of the many Lot’s we have in our lives.
“I wish, dear friends, that half the time we spend in trying to better our circumstances were spent in bettering ourselves after the right fashion; and that even a tenth of the trouble we take to fit our circumstances to our desires were used in fitting our desires to our circumstances” – CHS