Devotional & Reflection
Genesis 13: See And Take
A scholar with two Masters degrees had a Lexus. He found a car valet ticket at a hotel, saw an opportunity and took off with a BMW (The Straits Times, 18 Jan 02). It is most unfortunate how we see and take sometimes. Many who see what is "visible" with their physical eyes were led to buy Enron's shares at up to nearly US$90 per share just about a year before its collapse. This undiscerning seeing is not new. There seems to be a repetition of such seeing and taking particularly in Genesis.
1. Eve saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and for gaining wisdom. She took it and ate it. It led to the fall of man (Gen 3:6).
Lot saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered like the garden of the LORD and chose for himself this plain. This plain was like the Garden of Eden - like a paradise restored. We do not know if this 'saw' was a 'covetous look.' But Lot saw and made a rational humanistic choice based on what was physically observable - missing the spiritual insight. The seeing and wisdom of humankind e.g. Eve, is in contrast to God who saw what was really good (Gen 1). Later, Jesus was to offer us the only proper way to seeing, eating and taking. It is to "take and eat; this is my body" (Matt 26:26), to feed on Him and be His disciples as we believe that He is the lamb who is the sacrifice for us all.
In contrast to Lot who seemed to see and grab, Abram let Lot choose first. This raised the possibility of a loss of the blessing of the promised land should Lot choose this land. Thus, there seemed to be a teasing motif of a possibility of losing the blessing - at first the near loss of Sarai to Pharaoh, then Sarai's barrenness and here, the land. It is not an easy matter, especially for Abram, to let someone else have the first right of refusal or first choice. Firstly, it is obvious that anyone who chooses first will get the best of the pickings. But Abram was a peace lover. Secondly, Lot should have acted honorably by deferring to his uncle to have the first choice. But Abram trusted in and surrendered to God to work matters out for him. Although prospects looked dismal, God did not disappoint Abram. God asked Abram to lift up his eyes.
Likewise, we may be in dismal circumstances - like Lot and Abram whose herdsmen were quarrelling because the land could not support both groups. There is friction and separation. God is telling us to "Lift up your eyes from where you are" and see His mighty work. How we see things can make a great difference in how we choose. When we see with spiritual insight, we realize God's fullest potential of what we choose (or more correctly, what He chooses for us) - although others cannot see it.
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