How do you keep money from dividing friends and family? How do you counter a family member’s greed and selfishness? The costs can be great when a family divides over money. Abraham shows us how to overcome disaster by making humble choices. Below is a summary of a devotion from 32 days with Abraham by Mark Etter. You can have the full devotion by clicking here. You can have a sample of three full devotions from the book and one of the Bible studies by clicking here. The whole book is available on Amazon.com as a softcover book or for kindle. For more information on the book, click here.
Focus Passage: Genesis 13: 1-13
Money can wreck a family. I have watched children fight over their parent’s inheritance even before the funeral is over. I have seen husbands and wives fight over the checkbook. All of us have seen a child pout when he can’t have a toy he saw on television or in the store. It is all about selfishness. Abram and Lot left Egypt as wealthy men. The pharaoh had given them flocks, servants, and camels. When they returned, their success caused a new problem; “the land would not support them.” (v.6) The land simply could no longer handle their combined wealth. The great wealth has caused a rift in the family and a dispute that just won’t go away.
1. Abram is determined to be a peacemaker. The family was obviously important to Abram and Lot was his only family member. He tells Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me.”(v.8) . Instead of dividing the land and ordering Lot and his men to take the share he gives them, he humbly lets Lot make the choice of how the land will be divided.
2. Lot seized the opportunity and grabbed what he considered to be the better land. The text says that “Lot looked up and saw that the plain of the Jordan was well watered . . . like the land of Egypt.” (v.10) His heart was centered on wealth and the prospect of a better life. In his eyes, the valley looked like the Nile valley of Egypt that he had left behind.
3. Abram thinks of the family, but Lot thinks of himself. When anyone thinks like Lot, it leaves everyone broken. Lawsuits are threatened and relationships are damaged for a long time. The miracle of our Lord is that it takes just one person, like Abram, to live humbly and diffuse the situation. What if we change the future of our families by sharing instead of fighting? Family unity would be preserved and the others would be amazed at the love shown by this Christian family. God would be honored and the family would be stronger. Godly humility can change the future.
- Who have you quarreled with recently? If you could ask God to change one thing in that relationship, what would it be?