Although many instances in scripture can be found that reflect the character and disposition of God’s friend Abram (Abraham), may I share just two examples:
- First, “Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold” (Genesis 13:1). Following God’s calling, Abram had thrived. Lot, his nephew, traveled with Abram and his flocks and herds also prospered. The land was not able to support both of them. Strife developed over water and pasture. They needed to separate. Although Abram was the Patriarch of the family, and seniority rights dictated that he should have first choice of territory, he deferred to Lot. Abram believed that his security and his future rested with God – not in land or earthly possessions. Then we read, “And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere…like the garden of the Lord. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan”. (Genesis 13:10-11). The record reveals much about both men, especially the wisdom of Abram. The arid hills and a close relationship with God proved to be his security.
- The second illustration follows in the account of Abram’s interaction with the King of Sodom. In a courageous and daring rescue, Abram and his servants delivered Lot and his family from a marauding army. The invaders had attacked Sodom and “Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went on their way” (Genesis 14:11). They also took Lot’s family and many of the people of Sodom as captives. After the heroic rescue, Abram returned everything that had been taken to the King of Sodom. The king wanted to reward him handsomely. Abram responded with words that are riveting and give great insight into Abram’s character. “…I will take nothing from a thread to a sandal strap” (14:23).
Abram was apparently aware that two of the devil’s most powerful tools are materialism and greed. The pages of scripture are littered with the accounts of lives that yielded to them and were destroyed. Lot’s experiences serve as case in point. How easy it is to focus on the things this world can provide and forget the Provider. Attention is often on our own strength and cunning to get ahead. We may even justify things like cheating a little on income tax or taking advantage of a situation for personal gain to the detriment of someone else. Decisions do not necessarily have to be dishonest or illegal to be damaging to our character and integrity. A wise friend once told me “Men, like rivers, get crooked following the course of least resistance”.
Let me share two verses of scripture that relate to this devotional:
- “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
- “As a partridge that broods but does not hatch, so is he who gets riches, but not by right; It will leave him in the midst of his days, and at his end he will be a fool” (Jeremiah 17:1).
Prayer: Lord, help us to live in the center of your will. Our future and our security is in You. We want to “take nothing from a thread to a sandal strap” that we should not have.
~ Brother Roy