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Abram and Lot.

Abram and Lot.

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Published by glennpease
Gen. xiii. i.
Gen. xiii. i.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 08, 2012
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08/12/2013

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ABRAM AD LOT.BY JOSEPH PARKER, D.D.Gen. xiii. i.THIS is the first tune, is it not, that a rich man Is mentionedin the Bible. I do not remember that we have yet seenthat great division of human society which is known by thenames of "rich " and " poor." ow there is a rich man beforeus, and we shall see what rich men do when they are put to it.A wonderful thing it is, by the way, that some men should berich and others poor : they live on the same earth, they need thesame comforts, yet one man seems to have everything andanother to have nothing. Behind all this there must he a secret.It certainly looks like an unnatural state of things; yet weknow that if all men had exactly the same to-day, in less thansix months we should find ourselves very much where weare now.In the text we learn that Abram was " very rich," and that Lot" had flocks, and herds, and tents." You will say, then, that thismust have been a very happy company of travellers ; they mustbe so, for they have come out at God's call, they are walking inGod's way, and they have flocks and herds, and silver and gold,and every comfort that can be named. But even here a strifearose! "Their substance was great, so that they could notdwell together." Things got mixed. The cattle ran together sothat sometimes the herdmen could not tell which was which ;the count was always wrong at night; and the noise got louder
 
and louder as the herdmen became fretful and suspicious. It wasin the kitchen, as we should say nowadays. The;med to get along fairly well with each other, but theere at open war. Small credit to the masters, perhaps Ieverything nice ; the lentil soup and the smoking kiddually set before them, and mayhap the wine-flagonanting. But noise travels upward. It gets somehowitchen into the parlour. It was so in this case. Abramie vulgar quarrel and was the first to speak. He spake; an elder and a millionaire : " J-ot," said he " you,Gen. xiii. i.] ABRAM AD LOT. 201must see to it that my peace be not broken ; you must lay thelash on the backs of these rough men of yours and keep them incheck ; I will not stand any noise ; the lips that speak above awhisper shall be shut by a strong hand; you and your menmust all mind what you are at, or I will scourge you all to withinan inch of your lives." And when the lordly voice ceased therewas great fear amongst those who had heard its solemn thunder !ow it so happens that the exact contrary of this is true.Abram was older than Lot, and richer than Lot, and yet he took nohigh airs upon him, but spoke with the meekness of great strengthand ripe wisdom. His words would make a beautiful mottoto-day for the kitchen, for the parlour, for the factory, for theChurch : " Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me andthee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen ; for we be
 
brethren. Is not the whole land before thee ? separate thyself,I pray thee, from me : if thou wilt take the left hand, then Iwill go to the right ; or if thou depart to the right hand, then,1 will go to the left." And instantly Lot arose, and said : " o,mine uncle, this shall never be; I am the younger; I am but afollower ; without thee I cannot stand ; if we must part, thechoice shall be thine, and what thou dost leave I will take." Abeautiful speech for a young man to make : quiet and also great,and full of tender pathos ; but, unhappily, never made by Lot !This is what Lot really did ; listen : " And Lot lifted up his eyes,and beheld all the plain of Jordan." /And as Lot stole out aloneto take another look, he said to himself, " ' It is an ill wind thatblows nobody any good ' ; if these rattle-pated herdmen had notcome to high words this good luck never would have been mine."And he looked round with the air of a rich lord, and hoped thatall quarrels would end as well.Brave Abram ! we say as we read his words. He walked byfaith and not by sight. Certainly his foot slipped in Egypt, buthe is strong now, and he looks every inch a king as he stoopsbefore Lot " Let this mind be in you, which was also in ChristJesus ; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to beequal with God : but made himself of no reputation." It isbeautiful to see strength stoop to weakness, but a very hard thingfor strength to do.There is a clause in the story that has much meaning in it203 THE PEOPLE'S BIBLE. [Gen. xiii. i.which would be useful to us : " And the Canaanite and thePerizzite dwelled then in the land." o doubt their flockshelped to lessen the pasture which had already suffered fromwant of water, but I wonder whether we are not entitled to saythat Abram did not want these strangers to hear any quarrellingamongst the Lord's people. As if he had said : u They arepagans; they are to be sent away from this land; they knownot our God ; but if we fight and bicker, and if we assail and

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