An Unlikely Example of Partial Obedience
In the Bible, God told Abram (later called Abraham) to go to a new place. As he went, Abram was to leave behind his country, friends, and family.
So Abram left, taking with him his nephew Lot. Abram obeyed the part about going but didn’t fully comply with the part about leaving everything behind. He invited a relative to tag along on the adventure God called him to.
Abram apparently wasn’t ready to let go of everything, bringing Lot along as a companion or perhaps to maintain a connection to family. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t what God said to do.
Though we admire Abram for boldly leaving to go to a new place that God would reveal to him, only after the journey was underway, we fail to realize Abram’s obedience was only partial.
We later read that Lot’s presence caused problems for Abram (Genesis 13:5-7). Their flocks were too big to co-exist and their herdsman bickered with each other. To resolve this constant strife, the only solution was to go their separate ways. And when they did, Lot took the choice land and Abram got the leftovers (Genesis 13:10-11).
This grief could have all been avoided had Abram left Lot behind, as God told him.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.