Minimalist Bible: The Covenant – Abram & Lot Split

Written by Chad -

God has given me the idea to pursue a personal design project of creating minimalist posters to share the awesome stories of the Bible. If you missed out on previous posters, don't worry, I have created a landing page where you can easily catch up. Check it out here.

This poster series comes from the book of Genesis. It is a story filled with tests of faith, promises and miracles. I'm excited today to reveal The Covenant: Abram & Lot Splitpart two of an eleven part series.

The Covenant: Abram & Lot Split  begins in Genesis 13:5-15 (NLT) which says, "Lot, who was traveling with Abram, had also become very wealthy with flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and many tents. But the land could not support both Abram and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together. So disputes broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. (At that time Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land.) Finally Abram said to Lot, 'Let’s not allow this conflict to come between us or our herdsmen. After all, we are close relatives! The whole countryside is open to you. Take your choice of any section of the land you want, and we will separate. If you want the land to the left, then I’ll take the land on the right. If you prefer the land on the right, then I’ll go to the left.'

Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the Lord or the beautiful land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) Lot chose for himself the whole Jordan Valley to the east of them. He went there with his flocks and servants and parted company with his uncle Abram. So Abram settled in the land of Canaan, and Lot moved his tents to a place near Sodom and settled among the cities of the plain. But the people of this area were extremely wicked and constantly sinned against the Lord. After Lot had gone, the Lord said to Abram, 'Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west. I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants as a permanent possession.'"

What should I do?

Life is full of decisions. We have to make them every single day. Hit snooze one more time or get up? Should I go healthy with an apple or enjoy a donut? Should I put the extra hours in or relax with my family? These are easy questions with very different outcomes. We will constantly be confronted with "What should I do?" situations in life. When these moments arrive, how will we know which decision is correct? Ultimately, everything should be run through this simple filter: "Will the decision glorify God or glorify me?"

The "What should I do?" situation that developed between Abram and Lot sheds light on what happens when we don't approach God for an answer. Before the situation happened, we didn't know too much about Lot except that he was a wealthy nephew of Abram. When things started to go south between the herdsman, Abram took the initiative to present an open-ended choice before Lot. This proposition showed the true colors of both men. Abram gave up his right to choose, even though he was the oldest, so that he could save the relationship with his family member and his people. Lot, instead of returning his thanks to Abram, became selfish and picked the best land available for himself, even though it meant settling near a city known for its sin. Lot didn't care about being fair—when Abram gave him the opportunity to choose his direction, Lot saw the money and power he could gain and chose the option that glorified himself.

Throughout my own life, I have faced countless "What should I do?" situations. Like Lot, for so many years I chose the direction that most glorified me, regardless of how that decision would affect those around me. However, one time early in my faith, one of my best friends from my high school was getting married and I was invited to celebrate with him and all the guys at the Bachelor Party. I was excited about it until I heard the whole plan and the ending location for the party—the strip club. Almost instantly, I heard two voices. One screamed, "He's one of your best friends from high school. You need to show your support and celebrate with him before he hangs up his bachelor shoes," while the other one softly said, "No." It was a very hard decision for me. I wanted to be there for him and feared the opinion of my friends if I declined, but due to my past struggle with pornography, I felt it was a bad idea for me to go. I didn't want to go down that road again. I didn't want to end up in Sodom. That's when it hit me—going to this party would not glorify God.

With a large portion of courage from Jesus, I called up my buddy for one of the most honest friend conversations I've ever had. I told him that I couldn't go to his Bachelor Party because of the strip club. I told him that I was a changed man and if I chose to go there, I was worried I might slip back into the bad habits that God had already helped me break. His surprising response was, "That's cool man. I don't want you to make that mistake again." I'm not really sure if our friendship has ever been the same, but I do know that it was the best decision for me, personally. Like Lot, my decision would have lead to problems. Tough decisions don't seem as tough sometimes when you filter them through that simple question, "Will this glorify God or glorify me?"