Daily Devotion for January 28, 2012
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
I bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.
Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Those Who Have Turned Away
Grant, O Lord, peace, love and speedy reconciliation to your people whom You have redeemed with your precious blood. Make your presence known to those who have turned away from You and do not seek You, so that none of them may be lost, but all may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, so that everyone, in true love and harmony, O long-suffering Lord, may praise your all holy Name.
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
But the folly of fools is deceit.
Fools mock at sin,
But among the upright there is favor.
Genesis 13:8-13 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham 
Then Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left."
And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east.
Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.
Notes on the Scripture
Abram sensibly points out that there is plenty of land, and no need for Lot and him to be getting into disputes caused by overcrowding. Lot moved his operation southeast to a plain near the Dead Sea. The delta of the Jordan River is drastically different today than 4000 or even 1000 years ago; it was formerly covered with plant life, in places a jungle of papyrus and palms trees. The Roman historian Flavius Joseph called it "the most fertile spot in [the Roman colony of] Judea".
Zoar is a city known to archaeologists, although it might have been so small that it would hardly be called a "town" today; the name, zoar, means "insignificant". It still appears on the our old map of Palestine; you can see it just below the Dead Sea (called "Sea of the 'Arabah" on the map). Today, it is a desolate spot.
Sodom, the closest city to Lot's ultimate stopping point, will become central to the early events in Abraham's history. The lands of the Negeb east of the Jordan, where Lot has pitched his tent, will eventually come under the rule of the Moabites and the Edomites, and later, the Kingdom of Jordan. They were never part of Israel or Judah.