Material blessings are often accompanied by moral blight.
Let nature range where it will, it can never take faith’s treasure.
1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.
2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
3 And he went on his journeys from the south even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Hai;
4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
5 ¶ And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
14 ¶ And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.
Genesis 13:1-4 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 13:5-13 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 13:14-18 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 13:1-13 – Abram and Lot Part
The patriarch, like a restored backslider, made his way back to the old spot, on the highlands of Bethel, where his first tent and altar had stood. Through his wanderings hitherto there had been a depressing element of worldliness in his camp, through the presence of Lot, who, like many more, was swept along by his uncle’s religion, but had little of his own. Feeling that separation was inevitable, and that God would surely care for him, Abram offered Lot his choice. See Psalm 16:5. The younger man chose according to the sight of his eyes. In his judgment he gained the world—but see II Peter 2:7-8. The world is full of Lots—shallow, impulsive, doomed to be revealed by their choice and end. “Let there be no strife” (v. 8)! Blessed are the peacemakers! Wherever the interests of peace can be conserved through the sacrifice of your own interests, be prepared to forfeit the advantage, but stand like a rock when God’s truth is in balance. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Genesis 13:9 – The man of faith can easily afford to allow the man of sight to take his choice. He can say, “If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.” What beautiful disinterestedness and moral elevation we have here! and yet what security! It is certain that let nature range where it will, let it take its most comprehensive grasp, its boldest and highest flight there is never the slightest danger of its laying its hand upon faith’s treasure. It will seek its portion in quite an opposite direction. Faith lays up its treasure in a place which nature would never dream of examining, and, as to its approaching thereto, it could not if it would; and it would not if it could. Hence, therefore, faith is perfectly safe, as well as beautifully disinterested, in allowing nature to take its choice. (C.H. McIntosh)
Genesis 13:14-18 – Abram at Hebron
Lot lifted up his eyes for himself, but when the last of Lot’s followers had streamed out of the camp, God bade Abram lift up his eyes, not to choose, but to behold what God had chosen for him. He must first estimate his possessions, and then enjoy them. Let us count up our treasures in Christ, and use them. Lot grasped at and lost his all. Abram left and inherited all. Notice how prodigal God’s provision is: “All the land… forever… as the dust… the length… and… breadth.” —Through the Bible Day by Day
Genesis 13:14 – The Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him.
Abram’s life was one of an ever-perfecting separation. But out of these experiences sprang his rarest joys. The separate and obedient soul may reckon on:–
Fresh Revelation.—Whenever Abram dared to step out in obedience, the Lord spake freshly to him. But in Egypt we find no trace of the Divine voice. If God spake there, it would be in warning and rebuke. Has the voice of God long been silent to thee—no fresh command, no deeper insight into truth? See to it that thou art not in Egypt. Separate thyself, not only from Haran, but from Lot; not only from what is clearly wrong, but from all that is questionable; and the Lord will speak to thee things it is not possible for man to utter.
Further Vision.—Lot lifted up his eyes to espy what would make for his advantage and well-being, and beheld only the plain of Sodom, which indeed was well-watered, but the seat of exceeding sin. But when Abram lifted up his eyes, not to search out aught for himself, but to see what God had prepared, he looked northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward—words which remind us of the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of the love of Christ. The single eye is full of light; the far climber gets the widest horizon; if thou wilt do his will, thou shalt know.
Hundredfold Compensation.—Whatever Abram renounced, when he left his home, or gave Lot the right to choose, he received back in the usual measure of God, with an overflowing over plus. God gave him the entire land, including Lot’s portion. We can never give up for God, without receiving in this life more than we gave. —Our Daily Homily
Genesis 13:14 – It is difficult to read these words, “northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward,” without being reminded of “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of “the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19). Much of the land of Canaan was hidden behind the ramparts of the hills, but enough was seen to ravish that faithful spirit. Similarly, we may not be able to comprehend the love of God in Christ, but the higher we climb the more we behold. The upper cliffs of the separated life command the fullest view of the measureless expanse. (F.B. Meyer)