Genesis 13:9 “Is not the whole land before you?”
Decisions and Opportunity
You most likely know the story. Abram had been told to leave his family and family home and go to a new place, a place of promise. Abram made a mistake in choosing to take his nephew, Lot, with him instead of leaving his whole family behind.
But now, in the land of promise, Lot’s people and produce were at odds with Abram’s people and produce. The land could not support them both, so they needed to part ways.
So, Abram says v8, “let’s not have any quarreling between you and me … for we are brothers. v9 … Let’s part company. If you go to the left, i will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.”
So … it is often true for us … a decision is before us, but what we do will have far reaching consequences for us, as well as those close to us. What did Lot do?
v10 “Lot looked up and saw … the plain of the Jordan was well watered …(like Eden)”
v11 Lot chose for himself … and set out …”
v12 “Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tent near Sodom”
Have you ever been there?
Lot looked … but he didn’t examine, because v13 says “the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.”
You know the old saying “you can’t judge a book …” Well, when we simply go by what we see, we often get in trouble. Sometimes we miss the good, but sometimes we miss the bad and make poor choices.
Lot saw the land, but didn’t pay attention to the environment. He didn’t take into account the spiritual climate. He had a young family, and the choice affected them all.
When Abram left his family to go to a pagan land, he did so FOLLOWING God. He went LISTENING to God’s voice. God said “Go … to a place I will show you.” We don’t always know where God is going when he says “Go”, but if he is leading, then go, eyes on God. But that is not what Lot did … no …
v11 Lot chose for himself … and set out toward the east
again v9 Abram said “is not the whole land before you?”
Oh, we have the world in front of us. We have a world of opportunity, a world of decisions. But, Lot didn’t ask God! Lot CHOSE for himself. He made the decisions that HE wanted. He made the decision that he thought would best serve himself. Oh, but if he had just asked God.
Why did Abram and Lot have to part ways? v6 the land couldn’t support them … for their possessions were so great …” THEIR possessions were so great. Why? It is because God was blessing Abram for his obedience, and Lot was getting the overflow. God blesses obedience.
God doesn’t do as man does. he has wisdom that is beyond ours.
What if Lot had asked God? Do you think God would have told him about the spiritual environment in Sodom? Do you think maybe Lot would have been living in a different place instead of having to flee a place that was going to be wiped off the face of the earth, and erased from the sands of time?
Sodom was wicked, and worse yet, Sodom was on God’s timetable for judgment. I believe that was already set, but Lot, with the whole land before him, didn’t ask, didn’t investigate, didn’t listen, didn’t follow. Instead he looked, saw, and chose for himself.
The only choice for ourselves should be, “God, YOU are my God and earnestly I seek you.”
What might God have done for Lot if he would just ask and obey?
What did God do for Abram? v14 The Lord said to Abram, after Lot departed, “… Lift up your eyes from where you are and look, north, south, east, and west … all the land you see I will give you …”
v17 “Go, walk … for I am giving it to you …”
Would God have given all to Lot as he did to Abram? Probably Not. But the best place to be is where God says “Go”. Look up from where you are, and be committed to being where God is. Trust him. Abram didn’t decide to pick first. He was trusting in God, and not in what he could see or decide.
One square meter in the desert, in God’s plan, is better than a vast lush plain outside his plan.
Where you go, I will go
Where you stay, I will stay
For YOU are God.