Today’s Passage – Genesis 13 – 16
“And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.” (Genesis 13:10)
“But the men of Sodom were wicked before the Lord exceedingly” (Genesis 13:13)
The story of Lot is really a sad one. Lot came from the same stock as Abraham, lived in the same places, seemingly had the same training and influences; yet Lot had dreams and desires that were diametrically opposite to those of Abraham. In the account given us here in Genesis 13, we see Abraham and Lot both returning from a time of sojourning in Egypt. Egypt was certainly a busy place: people on top of people; culture; education; and pleasures: more pleasure than Lot had ever seen. Abraham had his fill of the big city. He wanted to get back to place in Canaan where he built an altar for the Lord: the place where God promised to bless him. You see, Abraham finally realized that he didn’t need all of the excitement of the big city: he just needed God.
Not long after they returned to Canaan, the land of promise, it seems that Lot and Abraham began to fuss about the size of land their cattle were grazing on, whether or not it was big enough to provide for both of their herds. These men were both already very wealthy, yet it seems that Lot wanted more. Maybe he was tired of living under the shadow of Uncle Abraham. Maybe he didn’t like all of those righteous rules that Abraham governed his home by. Lot missed Egypt: he missed the exhilaration of the city life. Abraham senses Lot’s frustration and offers to let Lot separate from him. I am sure he divided up the livestock, and sent Lot away with plenty. He also gives Lot the pick of the surrounding land. He told Lot that if he chose east, he would go west. You see, Abraham didn’t need what this earth could offer him: he only needed God. It seems that he had learned much from the error of his previous move into Egypt.
Lot, however, decides that Sodom is the place he ought to raise his family. I believe that there were three attractions that lured Lot to Sodom:
1 There were lots of people in Sodom. Now there is nothing wrong with people. I love people and, more importantly, God loves people. Jesus died to save people. However, it seems that whenever you get a lot of people grouped together in one place, wickedness just pours right in. Verse 13 tells us that Sodom was an exceedingly wicked place. Lot should have been repulsed by it, yet instead he was enamored by it. By the way, his attraction to this large number of people was clearly not for the purpose of evangelizing them. We will learn later in chapter 19 that Lot influences no one in the city for God.
2 There was a lot of pleasure in Sodom. He said it reminded him of Egypt. The Bible tells us that there is pleasure in sin for a season; but the wages of that kind of pleasure is death. Lot was attracted to the fast life.
3 Thirdly, we see that Sodom was a place of wealth and prosperity. There was plenty of money in Sodom. It was well watered. The livestock would do well there. Lot saw the chance to make some good money: maybe even a little more than ole Uncle Abe. Again, there is nothing wrong with money. I like what money can buy; but the love of money is the root of all evil. Lot wasn’t really concerned with the wickedness because all he could see was the dollars.
Through the years, I have seen a lot of saved people (remember, the Bible calls him “just Lot”) make the same mistake that Lot made. They leave the place of blessing where God is protecting them and providing for them, only to trade it in for a place where they think the grass is “well-watered” My pastor in Bible College used to say that the grass may look greener, but it just might be artificial turf. Be very careful that you stay inside the perfect will of God. Don’t trade in the spiritual, eternal blessings for the temporary pleasures of this world.
Posted in Devotions, Thoughts from Genesis by Phil Erickson with 3 comments.