When Abraham (then ‘Abram’) and Lot found their flocks and people too many to live peacefully together, Abraham offered Lot whichever part of the land he wanted, so they could each have enough space.
Lot looked over the land, and seeing how fertile and endowed with water the plain of Jordan was (the area that the Jordan River waters), he chose this portion for himself. It was a beautiful area: green, fertile, easy access to water – described as like the garden of Eden, or the best of Egypt (Genesis 13:10) – pleasant and prosperous to live in, with already-established cities.
Abraham then took what was left: Canaan, or the area to the west of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea (perhaps not dead then?). It might seem like he came out the worst in this bargain – Lot got to choose the nicest lands, because Abraham was generous enough to offer him the first choice, and Lot was selfish. But Lot ‘pitched his tent toward Sodom’ and lived in the cities of the plain, and Abraham spoke with God and built an altar to Him in Hebron. Because he kept the principles of righteousness, he prospered anyway.
With God, and diligence in living by righteous principles, we can prosper no matter where we are; no matter what injustice or unfairness is perpetrated upon us – by life or other people. We can be merciful, kind, and gracious, as Abraham was, without worrying that someone else will get the better end of the deal and that we’ve gotten the short end as a result.
It doesn’t matter.
God turns ashes into beauty, coal into diamonds, and dross into silver and gold.
Thus, ‘all things whatsoever ye would that men would do to you,’ – like offer you the best bits of land – ‘do ye even so to them’. That, Jesus says, is basically the sum of all the commandments about how to act towards ourselves and others, and all the teachings of the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Why? Because God is a good Father, who knows how to give good gifts to His children: the exact gifts we each need. As I said, He turns ashes into beauty, coal into diamonds, and dross into silver and gold.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use youMatthew 5:43-44
if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy tunic, let him have thy cloak also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.Matthew 5:40-42
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you…?
… for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.Matthew 6:28-30 & 32