The Chief End of Man (5)
Abram and Lot’s flocks had become so large that the land could not support them both. Therefore Abram proposed that they separate. He gave Lot the first choice, and he picked plain of the Jordan (which included the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah). Abram then chose the land of Canaan. Lot “lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.” This was very poor judgment on Lot’s part, for “the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.” We pick up the narrative at verse fourteen.
13 14The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15for all the land which you see I will give to you and to your descendants for ever. 16I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your descendants also can be counted. 17Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” 18So Abram moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron; and there he built an altar to the LORD.
The LORD builds on His promise, comparing the number of Abram’s descendents to the uncountable dust of the earth. Is it possible that Abram detected an undercurrent of menace, or at least dissonance in the metaphor?