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. (Genesis 13:8)
This verse has almost no commentary on it. Almost no one has ever referred to it in a talk or analyzed this amazing bit of scripture.
From the Old Testament Institute Manual we read:
The incident between him and Lot provides an excellent insight into Abraham’s Christlike nature. By all rights Lot should have insisted that Abraham choose first. Lot had been nurtured and protected by Abraham, and Abraham was the patriarch of the clan. Abraham could have taken his rights and given Lot what was left. Instead, his concern was only that “there be no strife” between them, so he gave Lot first choice ( v. 8 ; see also vv. 9–10 ). Lot seems to have chosen the best land—the well-watered plains of Jordan—and yet there is not a trace of resentment in Abraham. In fact, in the next few chapters is recorded Abraham’s intervention to save Lot’s life. Here was a man for whom principles came first and material things second.Strife seems to be the main activity in most business dealings. It is the focus of most lawsuits. It is the main result from children dividing up their parents' estate. Much family and communal living, like college life, is defined by it.
Material possessions are often at the root of it all. Yet, Abraham set the example for us. Even though he was in a superior position to Lot, he let Lot choose and he accepted that Lot chose the most prosperous alternative leaving him with what was obviously less desirable
How many of us would give up something of value to eliminate strife? Precious few, I think.