Quarreling and Strife
"Then Abram said to Lot, 'Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herders and my herders; for we are kindred.'"1
There is a legend from Greek mythology that the god Hercules was once walking along a narrow road when a strange-looking creature appeared threateningly in front of him. Hercules struck this creature with his club and passed on, but soon afterwards was surprised to be confronted by this same creature, only now three times as large. Hercules struck it again and again and each time it grew in size until finally it completely blocked the road. Then the goddess Pallas Athena appeared to Hercules and told him to stop. "The monster is called Strife," she said. "Let it alone, and it will soon become as small as it was at first."
All quarreling and strife will certainly return to manageable proportions and ultimately cease if one of the quarrelers lets it alone. One is either a peacemaker or one is a "stirrer"ódetermined to keep the argument going for the sake of personal gain or satisfaction.
Take Abraham. His herdsmen quarreled, and he and Lot might have quarreled too, had not Abraham taken the wise course and ended it. "Lot," he said, "this won't do. Let there be no strife between you and me or between my herdsmen and yours, for we are all brothers." And then he became the generous mediator and told Lot that he could have the best land in the east, if that was what he wanted. It was wise to separate the two groups and it was generous of Abraham to give Lot first choice. As an elder he could have dictated the terms but he was above meanness and was blessed as a result.
Abraham was above personal gain, he did not seek after flocks and herds, silver and gold, servants or the best land. God was sought first; other things were added. Lot, on the other hand, couldn't keep his eyes off the fertile plain of Sodom. He wanted it; then he wanted more; he got it; then lost it all.
NOTE: Today's devotional was written by Pastor Ron Clark of Tasmania, Australia.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me not to be greedy for personal gain and material possessions but always seek to put You first and be a peacemaker rather than a strife-maker. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Genesis 13:8 (RSV).