I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

Genesis, Chapter 13

Landowners and Renters

Sarai’s house had grown large in Egypt. The land beyond those fertile borders had been emptied from the ravages of famine. Where there weren’t fields, grasslands filled with wild animals, There were thin strangers, in thin families, wearing their scars. The Egyptian Exiles spread easily over the land of Canaan. The drought was truly over, lushness and bounty flowed everywhere.

They established a house in a tree dotted valley, and as the years passed the house grew into a town. People, desperate from starvation and ruin, flocked to their wealthy caravan. The family shared their bounty. Calves were given as welcoming gifts, and the burden of survival was shared. Soon, the valley was filled with people, all friends in comfort and peace.

There was bound to be some trouble.

Abram and Lot were bickering over where to keep their herds. In some places, the grass grew taller than others.. They went to Sarai to solve the problem. They said: “Our herdsmen are fighting over fields and wells. There are too many of us! We don’t want to make war between family.”

Sarai said: “There’s plenty of land for all. We don’t have to limit ourselves to this valley. Abram, since you are older, why don’t you get first pick?”

Abram, who didn’t want Lot to think favorites were being played, said: “I’ll defer to Lot. You can have first choice, my lad, and we’ll go another way based on what you choose. Your choice will be the choice and I’ll agree, even if you pick the better option. If you want to leave for newer fields, we’ll stay near all these people. If you want these people, we’ll leave for new fields.”

Lot thought long and hard. He kept looking at the vast green plains, but he feared a trick. The people were growing in number, because the lands were rich and bountiful here, too. Abram seemed to be hinting something, but Lot wasn’t sure what. “This place,” he decided.

It’s better to trust Abram. He’s my kin. My blood is his blood. Surely, he’s asking me to take this gift. These people will need a leader, won’t they? Without Sarai and Abram, I’ll finally get to prove my worth! “I will choose this grand valley you offer. Thank you, Uncle. This means so much to me.”

Vision from God

Abram shook Lot’s hand hard, thanking him and Sarai. After saying goodbye to the people going with Lot, Sarai’s household traveled deeper into Canaan.

This was a good thing. The growing crowds were founding towns. Building laws and corruption. It reminded her too much of home, filled with people chasing ownership and wealth, using lies to empower greed, where violent hearts would find rewards.

That night, Sarai had a dream. It was the Elohim. “This is Earth. Your Earth. You are to look after her.”

Soon after, she found a rich land to settle in. It looked like something from a dream.

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