Summary: What alliances have you built to get you through life and into eternity?
Building Your Alliances
Tonight’s the night, no not the Super Bowl, tonight is the night that Survivor two begins on CBS, you know, outwit, outplay, outlast. How many people watched all or part of the first Survivor, it’s OK you can admit it you’re among friends. I watched parts of the last episode, but Greg kind of kept me up to speed during the season. But there was one part that I remember quite vividly, it was down to the last ballot and as they come forward and cast their ballots they are explaining why they are doing what they are doing, remember that? And Rudy, whom I personally was hoping would win marked his ballot he said “Rich, We had an alliance to the end and I’m fulfilling my obligation.” Early on in the show some of the players formed alliances to keep each other in the game. This morning I want to speak on “Building Your Alliances.”
The story is found in the first book in the Bible, Genesis, Angela read it this morning. The two key players are Abraham the father of the modern nation of Israel, who was still known as Abram at the time and his nephew lot. A little background here. In Genesis chapter 12 God called Abraham to leave his home and to go to a land that God was going to show him. And along with the command to go God made Abraham a really awesome promise, this is what it was Genesis 12:2-3 I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.” Neat huh? And here we are five thousand years later and his offspring are still impacting the world in entertainment, science, medicine and art.
And so following God’s instructions Abraham packs up everything he has and with his wife Sarah and Abraham they hit the road. If we were to pull up a map here we can see that this is where Abraham was from originally, this is where he started his trip with Lot, and so after a trip that takes them to Egypt and back they end up here between Bethel and Ai. And at this point they discover that they have a strange problem, they have become too successful. That’s right you can become too successful. Between Lot and Abraham their herds had come to the point that they couldn’t be supported within the area that they had settled. The land just wasn’t capable of supporting the livestock of both men and so their employees started quarrelling and fighting over who had rights to what grazing area. Eventually it got to the point that Abraham realized that something would have to be done and so he did it. He was a man of decision and he recognized the truth of Yogi Berra’s words: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
So Abraham met with Lot and explained the situation and said “this doesn’t have to happen. We have the entire land to choice from, I’ll give you first choice. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right, if you go to the right I’ll go to the left.”
If you know the story then you know what happened. In perfect world Lot would have said “Ok Uncle Abe, why don’t I take the east side and you go west.”
Instead what happened is that Lot looked across the entire plains that led to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and said to himself “why don’t I just take all of it?” He obviously couldn’t think of a reason not to because he moved into the most fertile area and left his Uncle the rocky hilly area surrounding Cana.
I wonder how Abraham felt? Abraham was his nephew, he had partnered with him and allowed him to travel as a part of the family. It was no doubt because of Abraham that Lot had prospered and some scholars go so far as to say that Abraham saw Lot as the son he didn’t have. And then to have Lot do this, to betray his trust. Reminds me of a Peanuts comic that I read: There are two pieces of cake left for Lucy and her little brother Linus, Lucy picks first and of course she picks the biggest piece. Linus interjects at this point and says “Lucy if I had the first choice I would have picked the smallest piece!” To which Lucy responds by saying, “Well that’s what you got isn’t it?”
1) You Need Alliances