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October 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord.”—Genesis 13:10-13 (NKJV).
Abram (Abraham) and Lot had each come to a position of great wealth and possessions. Unfortunately, great gain was the cause of great loss as the land could not sustain them, and arguments between their men arose. Separation was necessary. Abram, Lot’s uncle, placed Lot’s interest above his own by offering his nephew first choice of the land beyond them. Without hesitation, Lot “lifted up his eyes.”
Interesting that was Lot’s first instinct—to lift up his eyes to the Jordan plain and not to God for guidance. It would be a natural response for a man like Lot—a man not really attuned with God, despite living and traveling with Abram. It seems nothing taught was caught. David Guzik proposes, “It wasn’t Lot’s choice that led his heart astray. His heart was already astray, and it was demonstrated by his choice.”
What’s also interesting is the Jordan plain looked like “the garden of the Lord”—lush and rich in resources. But what was also enjoyed in the Lord’s garden (Eden) was a close communion with God. Lot; however, considered only the physical aspect—what the land had to offer. He turned his eyes to what looked like Egypt, a picture of the world. In contrast, Abram’s eyes were set on a city whose Builder and Maker is God (Hebrews 11:10).
Thus, they separated. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, and Lot to the east near Sodom. By faith, Abram received what God gave him. By choice, Lot took what gave him gain. Ultimately, both received the Lord’s work in their lives with vastly different outcomes.
What does this teach us? First of all, “haste makes mistakes” (Proverbs 19:2 NLT). When presented with a monumental decision, we ought to pray for God’s guidance. Our eyes should be lifted up to the Lord from where our help comes (Psalm 121:1-2). Choices have impact; let God be the foundation beneath them.
Second, Lot had the enormous advantage of living with Abram—to learn and glean godly wisdom from his uncle. Yet, the choices he made reveal a fool. A teachable spirit and keeping godly company helps keep us on the best path (Proverbs 10:17).
This leads us to the third lesson: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them” (1 John 2:15 NIV). Selfish ambition leaves no room for God, and we, like Lot, separate ourselves from Him. But remember . . . nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:39).
DIG: Why do you think Abram allowed Lot to choose the land he wanted? What does Abram’s offer and Lot’s choice say about these two men?
DISCOVER: Lot “moved his tents as far as Sodom.” Read Psalm 1 and Proverbs 13:20 and see what connection you find.
DO: We all have to check ourselves once in a while to ensure our eyes are on Jesus. Why not do that now?
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.