August 10, 2006

Separating for Peace

Genesis 13

"Let's not have any quarreling ... for we are brothers." Genesis 13:8


The growth of Abram's and Lot's herds led to a grazing shortage and a shortage of tempers. Before long, shepherds were about to use their staffs against one another rather than to herd sheep. What would Abram and Lot do?

Conversations sometimes carry seeds of conflict. People stake positions and refuse to listen. Motives, goals, and grounds become platforms for making a stand.

Abram was older, and he was the uncle. In that culture he could have pulled rank, taken Lot aside, and sent him packing. But in a moment of wisdom Abram refused to plant seeds of conflict. He allowed Lot to choose first, and the two separated for the sake of peace.

Abram began the conversation by treating Lot not as a competitor and not just as a relative but as a brother. Abram framed the conversation within the bonds of family love and care.

Do you want to defuse explosive situations? How do you view the other persons involved? Do you see them as people to take advantage of or as brothers and sisters to bless and encourage? Abram was not only extending the gift of peace; he was also extending the blessing God had given him. And God responded by affirming his earlier promise to give all the land to Abram, including the land Lot had chosen for himself.

God of peace, in the midst of relationships that are breaking, please send your Spirit to guide, encourage, and rebuild. When we are weak, help us to know you are strong. Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!