Taking the High Road

Taking the high road does not come naturally and it usually doesn’t come easily.  Abraham and his family journeyed from Egypt to Bethel (because this was where God directed him to go). His nephew Lot and his family, servants, and cattle traveled with them.

The Bible tells us that Abraham was rich in livestock, silver, and gold.  Wealthy man, I’d say.  We don’t know how wealthy Lot was, but we do know that he also had servants who took care of his livestock.

The problem didn’t seem to be so much between Abraham and Lot as it was between their servants.  It’s also true that the conflict actually stemmed from the need of water for cattle, which was the responsibility of the servants.  They were trying to do their job – and both factions wanted water for their herds.  Their desire to take care of cattle wasn’t wrong,  but the way they went about it was taking the low road instead of the high road.

quarel man with donkey

So Abraham said to Lot, “Really, nephew.  There is plenty of land for both of us.  Look around you!  Let’s not quarrel among ourselves, and let’s not have our servants quarreling.   You choose.  If you go left, I’ll go right.  If you go right, I’ll go left.”

That’s taking the high road. Abraham was the noble one.  He was the elder, and he paved the way.  Lot’s decision that day was the first step toward his future destruction, for the place he chose put him right next to Sodom (a wicked place).

Lot saw the fertile land toward the Jordan valley, so he packed up his herds and his people and moved east.

After Lot was gone, God said to Abraham:

“Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.”

It’s easy to look back and see how God blessed Abraham.  Yet at the time,  when Abraham told Lot to choose first, he didn’t know what was going to happen.  It’s easy to see that Abraham did the right thing because we know the outcome.  Abraham didn’t know the outcome, but he knew God.  He had walked with God, and he knew he wasn’t alone.

Was it hard for Abraham to give Lot first choice when he knew he would (probably) be left with second-best?

Is it hard for you and for me to be second fiddle when we’d rather be first?

Abraham took the high road.  Are we willing to do the same?

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