"So Abram said to Lot, 'Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left.'" NIV translation
Abram offered his nephew the choice of the land. As the older family member, he could have had his choice of the land and sent Lot away but he did not.
"Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord." NIV translation
Lot looked and saw that the land to the east appeared to be good and so that was the land he picked. From his point of view, he could not see the wickedness of the people in Sodom and Gomorrah. We are reminded that, throughout the Bible, heading in the direction of east is associated with heading away from God.
"The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, 'Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.'" NIV translation
Abram took a step in the right direction when he sent Lot away and now God speaks to him again. Here, God gives Abram more information about the blessing that He proclaimed while he was still back in Haran. When he had arrived in Canaan, God had told him that the land would be given to his offspring but, now, he learns that he will have a vast number of children. Once again, this would have taken a measure of faith to believe as Abram still did not have even one son. We see from this passage that, when we get back on the right track and listen to God, He is waiting for us. Our little detours do not change His plans for us and He will still bless us.
"So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord." NIV translation
Now, that he was back on track, Abram moved to Hebron. The name Mamre means richness and Hebron means communion and we see that Abram has been restored to the path that God has called him to. This restoration of fellowship has again produced an attitude of worship and so Abram builds an altar. The same thing can happen for us when we decide to line ourselves up with the will of God. We, too, can dwell in the richness that is a life of walking with God. When we do, an attitude of praise and worship will follow.