The United States spends about $310 billion a year on tort litigation. In fact, we outspend all of our global neighbors in our quest to defend our rights and demand compensation when those rights are ignored or abused.
The belief that we deserve something from others—or from God—can put us in a precarious spiritual predicament. Satan seeks to animate our sense of entitlement and destroy our trust. In the Garden, he positioned his argument so that Eve would transfer the locus of goodness from God to one of His gifts. As she began to suspect that God wasn’t good, she noticed the fruit was. How could God withhold something that she was meant to have?
Satan’s strategy is to find this vulnerability: often, our temptations take root in an area of need, even in an area of divine promise. We can clearly see how tempting it must have been for Abram in today’s story to choose rights over relinquishment, entitlement over trust.
When God called Abram to leave his country and his father’s house, He promised Abram the reward of the land (12:7). Yet when Abram, Sarai, and their household made the journey from Ur to Haran, finally arriving in Canaan, they encountered famine. In order to survive, they were forced to flee to Egypt.
In chapter 13, they had finally made their way back to Canaan but faced a new problem. Their flocks and herds were too great for the land to sustain both Abram and Lot. Abram didn’t do what we may have been tempted to do in his place. He didn’t demand his rights. Instead, he ceded first choice to Lot. And he was duly rewarded: “Look around from where you are” God says—and see the future blessings I have in store for you (vv. 14–16).