"Is not the whole land before you?"

Richard Huls

READ : Genesis 13:1-11

The story of Lot and Abraham involves one man’s greed and another’s selflessness. There is an argument between the followers of Lot and those of Abraham over pasture land for their large flocks and herds. To the east is the well-watered Jordan Valley; to the south and north are the hills of Canaan, desert-like and dependent on rainfall for the grasses to feed the flocks. To solve the problem Abraham asks, “Is not the whole land before you?” He allows Lot to make the choice: the valley or the hill country. Abraham defers to his nephew and gives him first choice. Such a generous decision calls for sacrifice and courage.

Back home on the farm, my mother would often serve fried chicken. Who do you think always got the biggest piece? Of course, the first one who got the plate. I have seen the same struggle in times of dividing up a deceased parent’s possessions. The children gather to decide. Someone feels hurt because another brother or sister got more. Some get so angry that they refuse to talk to the others for years. What is the solution? It is to trust God to make whatever provision he wants to give us by allowing the other person to have first pick. Abraham responded to Lot by saying, “Take your pick and I will take what is left.”


Lord, deliver us from the greed of taking the biggest and best. Amen.