Gen. 13:1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.
Gen. 13:2 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
Gen. 13:3 And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;
Gen. 13:4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
Abram leaves and ends up at the place where he built the altar between Bethel and Ai. Point is made that he was a very rich man in cattle, silver and gold. Then he “called on the name of the Lord.,” he prays—just as he did the first time he was there. (Note: We aren’t told that the famine has ended. Yet, Abram heads back to where he came from—in the land where God had told him to be.)
Gen. 13:5 And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.
Gen. 13:6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
Gen. 13:7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
These verses affirm that Lot was an adult with great possessions of his own. The herdsman of the two men began fighting over the land (needed for grazing the animals I assume). They weren’t the only ones in the land either; the Canaanites and Perizzites also lived there.
This is the first of many consequences related to Abram’s choice to bring Lot.
Gen. 13:8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
Gen. 13:9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
Gen. 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
Gen. 13:11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
Gen. 13:12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
So Abram gets with Lot and does the unusual, the unselfish—he gives Lot his choice of land and agrees to separate from him. Lot, on the other hand, does the usual, the selfish—he chooses the best land for himself, the well-watered, garden-like Plain of Jordan. The area was so beautiful it was compared to the garden of the Lord (of Eden I presume) and Egypt. So Abram dwells in Canaan, and Lot goes to live near Sodom.
I noticed that Lot pitched his tent “toward” Sodom, but it wasn’t long before he was “in” Sodom (14:12).
Good application from Stedman re verse 8: “Brethren cannot have strife without injuring one another. Whenever strife develops between members of the Body of Christ, it always has this result. It is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. If you hurt your brother, you are surely hurting yourself.”
Gen. 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
The emphasis here is on the men—the ones who are given the position of leadership in the home. I’m sure those already living in Canaan were wicked as well, but it seems that point is being made that the men of Sodom were among the worst.
Thought: It’s obvious that the early generations of man had some sort of guideline as to what was pleasing to the Lord and what was not. There was some sort of standard for good and evil. We just aren’t told how they knew this.
Gen. 13:14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
Gen. 13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
Gen. 13:16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Gen. 13:17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
Gen. 13:18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.
Again, God speaks to Abram. He makes another promise to him:
The LORD tells Abram to walk the whole of the land in every direction; it is God’s gift to him. Abram chooses to dwell in Hebron. Again, he builds an altar to the Lord.
Another good thought from Stedman: “Everyone dwells in a world exactly like that of Abram and Lot. A world in which material values constantly clamor for us to make a choice. We have only so much time to invest, so much life to spend, and we are pressured to try to grab the best for ourselves while we can. We can say with Lot, "I want what the world can offer me now, I want the cities of the plain." Or we may wait with Abram, content with our tent and altar, enjoying the blessings of the land by faith now, and waiting for God's fulfillment of all his promises in that wonderful age yet to come.”