Unfortunately, in the world we live in, where materialism is a prime motif, it is not uncommon to see families divided on account of property issues and disagreements.
According to Merriam-Webster’s, ‘substance’ is defined as material possessions and ‘strife’ is defined as a bitter and sometimes violent conflict. In the book of Genesis, we see that the Lord had blessed Abram to be very rich and he had blessed Lot, his nephew, who went with him, as well, with a lot of substance, so much so that the land was unable to support them being together, as their substance was great. Sadly, we see that such material blessings brings about a bitter conflict between Lot’s herdsmen and Abram’s. In other words, substance brought strife in Abram’s family. Abram has to take the initiative to settle the disputes and disagreements.
Points to ponder:
From this account, we can learn that substance can bring about strife and that excess can bring about estrangement, even amongst family members. This usually happens when the focus is on the materialistic things of this world, instead of our focus on the spiritual things of the world, that is to come. If you have any property disputes or disagreements with any other family member, take the initiative to reconcile, even if you have been the victim. It is not worth bickering and quarreling over some mere earthly materialistic possessions. Instead, let us focus on our laying up, of our possessions, actually treasures, in heaven, where there will be no strife (Matthew 6:20).
Genesis 13:6-7 (KJV)
6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
7 And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.