Please let there be no strife between you and me… for we are brethren. (Gen 13.8)
Surely not? Yet such strife did arise and early too, in the spiritual walk of our father Abraham. What engendered such a problem between those who were “brethren” in the flesh and should have also been in the Lord?
Fighting among followers
The “strife” was evidenced first among their servants. Is this not often the case in church history? That strife is generated among “followers” – where such sectarian spirit may have been magnified?
Not only so, the “strife” was over worldly possessions, which it ought not to have been either. The land of promise, “not able to bear them”. How so? Yet, did not Egypt supply much that was not God intended? Was not Lot an associate without a definite call of his own and part of the “kindred” Abraham was called to leave behind?
The Egypt sojourn left a sad legacy – in itself a poor response to the test of famine conditions – as going to the world for assistance always will for a true believer in Christ.
Fighting over prominence
So, the “strife” was over Substance. Over Servants. And over Situation too. How many of the Lord’s servants have engendered strife through a conflict over prominence of place?
Abraham’s response – for all his contributory failings – was exemplary. “Separate from me… (v 9)” By giving first choice to the younger man he defused the situation, yet gained the moral and spiritual high ground too. (Possibly discerning that the promises of God could not be deflected by the “sight of the eye” choosing of his contentious brother).
The wrong vision
Lot, sadly, could not see beyond his eye line. The possibility of the everlasting promises and benefits were squandered – along with so much else – for the short term gain of the grass which (as it always does) seemed greener on the other side.
Sadly his choice was never blessed and historically never reversed.
So do so many still. A little “strife” among brethren, a sight of seeming greener grass. A constrained situation. A sudden departure. Much lost that is never recovered.
“Let there be no strife… we are brethren”.