Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the First Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord

Posted on January 17, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Genesis 13:1-18 (NKJV)
13:1 Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South. 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.
3 And he went on his journey 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 first. And there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
5 Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. 6 Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. 7 And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land.
8 So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”
10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of 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 toward Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. 12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.
14 And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 16 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. 17 Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.”
18 Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD.
“Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom.”
Abram and Lot had been given great material blessing by the Lord; so great that the herdsmen employed by each were getting in quarrels over resources. So Abram asked Lot to pick one side or the other, and agreed in advance to take whatever Lot did not pick. Lot picked the good green land of the plains, “and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom.” Later, we will hear that he had moved into town. And Sodom was a wicked city.
Abram dwelt in Canaan. He understood, at least in this case, that he did not need to secure the best for himself. The Lord had promised to bless him, and nothing about this division of the land would ultimately change that. Quite to the contrary, he may well have seen that it was a blessing to keep some distance from wickedness. Certainly we can see that!
So, too, with us. The wicked places may look more attractive, but God grant us to keep our distance! Rather, even when we find ourselves placed in “less than ideal” circumstances, God grant us the simple trust that “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all” will indeed, together with Him, give us all things.
We pray: Merciful heavenly Father, keep me this day from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. Strengthen my faith, that I may quietly and confidently trust in the salvation You have given me in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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