The dissension among the herdsmen of Abram and Lot was creating enough trouble that Abram thought it wise to separate the herds. Lot could take his and go one way and Abram the other. Abram, the elder of the two, gave Lot first choice. This was not the practice of the day as the one in charge usually makes the first choice.
Abram, in verse 8 of chapter 13, says, “Let there be no strife, I pray thee…for we are brethren.” A good guess would be that Lot was getting worked up over the whole thing and Abram was doing his best to avoid conflict. This is telling about the two men.
Abram is the one in control, but he is willing to let Lot have first choice of grazing land. He has the power, but he constrained himself to keep the peace. Romans 12:18 tells us to live peaceably with all men as much as it is possible. Lot set his cap on the land over toward Sodom, the plain of Jordan. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan.
Right after this split is when the Lord spoke to Abram again. He told him that as far as his eyes could see in any direction the land would belong to him and his seed forever. Also, the Lord told him that his seed would be as the dust of the earth (verses 14 through 16).
Why Abram? Could it possibly have something to do with his character? God blessed Abram, gave him land, and innumerable descendants. James 2:23 tells us that Abraham was called the Friend of God. Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) Jesus also says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
Abram was meek. He demonstrated it by being the patriarch and allowing Lot to choose the land he desired.