“And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdman of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, ‘Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.’”
Genesis 13: 7-9
King James Version
“It’s All in Your Choice”
“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”
How have my choices affected my life?
“Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance.”
C. S. Lewis
“And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest into Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.”
Genesis 13: 10-12
King James Version
Mr. Lot: “Honey, I had that talk we discussed with Uncle Abram today. And guess what? Your dream has come true.”
Mrs. Lot: “What do you mean dear? You know how I loved the green valleys of Egypt. This dry area doesn’t fit me. Are we going back to Egypt?”
Mr. Lot: “No! Something better! Uncle Abram gave me first choice as to where we would like to live, and dear, I know how you like the city life and the fertile valleys – so I took all the Jordan plain and Uncle Abram said it was fine with him. We’ll move right away. What an opportunity! I know I can greatly expand our financial holdings and you’ll love the shopping and city life. This will give our children opportunities beyond our wildest dreams.”
And so, the “Abraham Family” divided themselves – or as the Bible states, “separated themselves.” Abraham stayed put and Lot moved to the valley.
This wasn’t a separation that had to occur. It was something Lot and his wife wanted to happen. It was a move based on a longing that developed in Egypt, a longing that yearned for more and more. It was a craving for the “good life.” And when presented with a choice – Lot took the fertile valley and pitched his tent toward Sodom. Or as the Hebrew states, he “conspicuously” set his tent “permanently” toward Sodom.
Just imagine people coming into the lush Jordan valley and the first thing they saw was a grouping of tents outside Sodom – but “facing” Sodom. Facing a city that the Bible tells us was filled with wickedness.
The first thing everyone in Lot’s household – his wife, his children, and his servants saw each day as they arose and left their tents was – Sodom. And soon a longing developed. A longing to be closer to the city that would bring heartbreak and ruin into their lives.
It was Lot’s choice. A choice to live on the best land. A choice to live in the valley. And a choice to plant his family facing Sodom. What a terrible choice it was! Perhaps it seemed like a small thing, but Lot’s choice changed his family forever. Wanting more and wanting what he thought was the best ,set Lot’s family on the road to ruin. As Thomas Fuller so eloquently penned: “He is not poor that hath not much, but he that craves much.”
May the lesson of Lot’s choices teach us today that John White was correct when he wrote: “The god of greed is a cheat. His delights have the power to dazzle and excite but they can satisfy nobody.”
“Covetousness is a self-destructive passion,
a craving which is never satisfied,
even when what has been craved
is now possessed.”
“O my Saviour,
let me not fall by little and little,
or think myself able to bear
the indulgence of any known sin
because it seems so insignificant.
Keep me from sinful beginnings,
lest they lead me on
to sorrowful endings.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus