Abram heard loud, angry words in the distance. He looked at his wife, Sarai. “It must be the shepherds,” he said sadly. “They’re quarreling again.” Abram stepped out into the bright sunshine. “Oh, Master Abram! Master Abram!” several shepherds shouted as they ran toward him.
“What is the matter now?” Abram asked.
“Oh, Master,” one shepherd began, “we started to move your flocks of sheep this morning. But the servants of your nephew, Lot, followed us everywhere. Every time we found a good place where the sheep could graze, they threw rocks and sticks at us and the sheep!”
Abram closed his eyes. He wished the problem would just go away. But he knew it wouldn’t. He and Lot were both very rich men now with huge flocks of sheep and goats. Their servants had been arguing over grassy pastures and watering holes for a long time. It was time for the arguing to stop. “I’ll take care of it,” Abram said to his servants. Soon he was standing in front of Lot’s tent.
“Uncle!” exclaimed Lot when he saw Abram. “How nice to see you! What brings you to my tent in the middle of the day?”
“Come walk with me,” Abram responded. “I want to show you something.” The two men climbed a small hill. From there they could see the whole valley spread out before them. “Lot, our servants are fighting over pastures and water,” said Abram. “The land here can’t support both our flocks. Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me. It’s time for us to separate.”
Lot nodded. He knew his uncle was right.
Abram looked across the countryside God had promised him. “You choose where you want to live. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right. If you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”
Lot looked across the land. On the left he saw good pastures. It would be a nice place to live. But on the right the pastures offered better grass and the river would supply plenty of water. It would be a great place to live!
“I’ll go to the right,” said Lot.
“Agreed,” said Abram. “I’ll go to the left.”
Abram walked Lot back to his tent and then continued on home.
“Sarai,” he called to his wife, “we need to pack. The quarreling among the shepherds will soon be over. We’re moving.”