The Source of True Strength

But you have made me very happy,
happier than they are,
even with all their grain and new wine.
I go to bed and sleep in peace,
because, Lord, only you keep me safe.
—Psalm 4:7-8

The passage above from Psalm 4 is actually quite a good commentary on the passage in Genesis 13 and 14 about Abram and Lot (see the Bible reading list below). Abram and Lot are crowding each other and need to put some space between them. Abram gives young Lot first choice, and Lot decides to go for the plains. Easy to farm, lots of water close by, several walled cities for protection from marauders. Where will I be most prosperous, he wonders, and thus makes his choice for ease and comfort.

Abram then is left with the hills and continues the life of a nomad. It’s desert country, rough terrain, water is harder to come by. God assures him he made the right choice, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.

The irony is that when those feared marauders eventually appear they conquer the cities, capture Lot and his people and steal all his stuff. So much for his expected life of prosperity and comfort. Abram leads a daring night raid and defeats the bad guys, rescues everybody and recovers their stolen property.

Abram, and much later the author of Psalm 4, are prime examples of a theme common throughout the Bible: we can work as hard as we want toward our own personal success, but in the end all that counts is our dependence on God.

Bible Reading:
Genesis 13:1–14:24
Psalm 4:6-8
Proverbs 2:1-5
Matthew 6:1-18

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