And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.…
I. THE CAUSES OF THE SEPARATION. These were two classes: those which operated on man's part, and those which lay in the Divine plan of Abram's career.
1. On man's part. The narrative mentions the wealth of uncle and nephew as the ground of their parting (ver. 6).
2. On God's part. Lot might be detached from his uncle, and Abram might be set wholly free from family complications, and might stand forth as the sole inheritor of the promises (ver. 14).
II. TRAITS OF CHARACTER WHICH ABRAM DISPLAYED IN THE SEPARATION.
1. Great peaceableness (ver. 8). Abram, whatever he may have thought, restrained himself, and did not utter one single word of reproach. He is willing to lay a costly sacrifice on the altar of peace.
2. Large-hearted generosity (ver. 9).
3. Heavenly wisdom. Although Abram, by the Divine blessing, was "very rich," he had not come into the land of Canaan to be a prosperous flock master, and thus we find him acting here as one who knew that the Lord would provide, all the while that He was fulfilling His own purposes towards him. "Either hand for Abraham — either the right hand or the left: what cared the pilgrim of the Invisible for fertile lands or rugged sands?"
III. ABRAM'S REWARD IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SEPARATION. It was a trial to the patriarch to be left alone; but God's voice came to him to comfort him for the loss of his nephew, and to reward him for his beautiful generosity (vers. 14-18). The promise of the seed which had been given him in Haran (Genesis 12:2, 3), and that of the land "which had been added at Shechem (ver. 7), are now confirmed and extended.
1. The changes of life, and especially such as are in the direction of increasing worldly prosperity, are a decisive test of character.
2. We need a faith and a piety which are practical, which are content to tread the common earth, and regulate the details of business and social life; and that is the kind of religion which God approves.
3. "If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men" (Romans 12:18).
4. It is dangerous for a man to cut himself off from religious privileges, and, for the sake of material gain alone, to expose himself and his children to the risk of moral contamination.
5. A Christian may sometimes do wrong by insisting on his rights; but he will always profit, sooner or later, by every sacrifice which he makes for the sake of peace (Matthew 5:5; 1 Timothy 4:8).
(Charles Jordan, M. A., LL. B.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.