After Lot had gone, the LORD said to Abram, “Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west. I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants as a permanent possession. And I will give you so many descendants that, like the dust of the earth, they cannot be counted! Go and walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you.” So Abram moved his camp to Hebron and settled near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. There he built another altar to the LORD.
Paul put it this way, "let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up" (Hebrews 12:1). In this phase of Abram’s life what weighed him down was the love and devotion he had towards Lot. The sin that tripped him up was disobeying the Lord and not leaving all his family behind as instructed. When we remove the obstacles that prioritize our lives and emotions and repent of our disobedience, we allow God to speak into our future.
God first in all things
When Abram finally made God first priority in his heart and life, God was beyond delighted! He repeated to Abram all the ways He would bless and honor him. I don’t know what Abram’s vantage point was, but it appeared that from where he stood he could see land for miles seemingly without end. In those days, when land was purchased, it was required by the buyer to walk the perimeter. God instructed Abram to walk the land and stake his claim for the taking. This would be the piece of earth reserved for Abram and all of his descendants forever.
Abram gratefully replied to God’s generosity by moving his camp to Hebron which is defined as 'association' (1). Physical relocation is symbolic of Abram’s internal repositioning of his priorities. His previous focus was on things (self sufficiency) and people (Lot). From here onward, Abram’s primary focus will be to maintain a sincere affectionate relationship with God.
Seek God first and strength and riches come
Abram settled near an oak grove. Oaks in Isaiah 2:13 symbolized might or strength. So, a grove of oak trees symbolized strength multiplied. Interestingly, Mamre is also defined as 'strength' and 'fatness' which indicated richness, fertility, and abundance of every area of life (2). Repeated symbols, especially in the same passage, emphasizes a theme. Abram positioned himself where he would be strong in the Lord and rich in His blessings.
Lastly, Abram built another altar at the spot where association, strength, and riches met. As always, where an altar is built, heaven and earth touch and God meets His people.
So, can we change? Absolutely! But, how much and how far depends on you. God has great confidence that as you walk with Him, change is inevitable.
if there is anything I have learned from Your Word, it is this: giving You first place in my life is what brings You ultimate pleasure. I want my life to be a continual conversation and interaction with You. I love You and I thank You for strength and the richness of all Your blessings. I will use them for Your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.