You can’t lose.

While Abraham made some mistakes in his life, actually, some very big mistakes, he is one of the Bible’s great examples of how faith works.

There were times when his faith seemed to be temporarily on hold, but this ordinary man exhibited extraordinary faith, a faith worth imitating.

A perfect example of this is one we might miss as we read through the account of his life in Genesis 12 and following. After he and his nephew, Lot, were settled in Canaan, arguments arose between the servants over water rights, no small issue when you are dealing with livestock. It was clear that they needed to separate, but who decides who gets what?

We read in Genesis 13:8, 9, that Abraham graciously presents Lot with the choice. He says that if you go left, I’ll go right; if you go right, I’ll go left, leaving the decision totally in Lot’s hands, or eyes. Lot, being no fool, “lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord. . . So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley” and moved eastward, leaving Abraham the arid land with only the springs (vv. 10, 11).

Abraham was neither surprised nor disturbed. He had to know what happens when you give someone else the first choice, and that is that you get the leftovers. That is precisely where Abraham’s faith shines. He knew that he was under God’s blessing, and that the blessing of God does not depend upon our resources, but upon the God who provides them. He knew that God would prosper him because He had promised to do so, and he was willing to put his faith on the line in a very real way. On the other hand, Lot’s choice ended up costing him dearly (Genesis 14, 18).

It’s a reminder to us that we need not be overly concerned about our own portion, and that we need not micro-manage our lives and manipulate our circumstances. It’s good to cast our faith upon God and leave some choices to others, allowing God to choose how He blesses us rather than trying to dictate all events.

The very next scene (Genesis 13:14-18) has God restating the Covenant to Abraham, and assuring him that his descendants would be far too numerous to dwell in Canaan! Trust God, and see if He does not prove His covenant love for you, even when you give up your rights to the best.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.”
Psalm 84:11

One Response to “You can’t lose.”

  1. Steve Vishanoff says:

    Just between you and me, this is a timely example of trust at a time when (following Dinny’s death) covetousness could raise its smooth, serpentine head. Not much danger happily, but there have been a few times when I have had to resist the impulse to interfere in discussion that rightly belongs to my children.

Leave a Reply