“Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain…” vs. 12
Last Sunday I put out a challenge to you; Each morning (maybe before you get out of bed or before you eat breakfast, name 3 things you are thankful for. I took the challenge as well.
I did pretty well the first couple of days and even felt pretty good until Thursday. I forgot until about lunch and you know what, I felt Thursday was more a difficult day than the rest. I wasn’t as positive, or happy. So how about you? Did you name 3 things every morning you were thankful for?. Ask for Stories. Follow-up with the difference being thankful adds to our lives.
Today we are starting a new series. This year we are going to spend some time looking at some people in the Bible you might not know or maybe you have heard of them but still don’t know much about them. They are kind of the “B” list of actors or the second string quarterbacks. Today we are going to look at a man named Lot. He is mentioned quite a bit in Genensis. So this morning let’s look at Genesis 13:1-13.
Read Passage – Genesis 13:1-13
1 So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. 2 Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.
3 From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier 4 and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD. 5 Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. 6 But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. 7 And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. 8 So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” 10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.
Who Is This Lot Guy?
As I said, Lot is mentioned quite a few times in the Book of Genesis. He is first mentioned in chapter 11:
“This is the account of Terah’s family line. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot.” Gen. 11:27
So the first time he is mentioned we learn that Lot is Abraham’s nephew. His father passes and he is taken under the wings of his grandfather and uncle Abram. But his grandfather passes too so Abram holds top tradition and makes sure his relatives are cared for and watched after and he and Lot work, travel and live in the same area.
In our text today there is a situation that comes up that really in some ways was a good problem. Lot and his uncle Abram have built for themselves a pretty large estate. They both have “lots” (pun) of cattle, sheep, workers, fortunes, etc. and things are getting crowded. It says in verse 2:
“Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.” vs. 2
In these days there were no banks or treasuries or places to keep your holdings. You carried them around with you. So what you amassed was what you had around you. Now things were good for Lot too. .And with Lot we see in verse 5:
“Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.” vs. 5
Abram had done well in teaching and caring for Lot and Abram’s smarts and business sense were rubbing off on Lot and he was pretty well off too.. But things were just plain getting crowded.
Make A Decision
On top of all that, fights were breaking out between the workers of Abram and the workers of Lot. Of course that means it is up to the leaders to come to some resolution. So Abram takes the lead and confronts Lot with a big decision. Verse 9:
“Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” vs.9
Abram in some ways is taking the higher road. Remember, Abram was a man of faith. Throughout the Bible Abraham is noted for his faith. So he is giving the choice to Lot as to which land he would rather settle in. Remember he is Abram’s nephew and really there should be some amount of respect that Lot should show for Abram and he should probably be giving Abram the choice. There is also a certain amount of confidence that Abram has that he is willing to make a go of it and can be successful in either land so he concedes the decision to Lot.
Insight to Abraham and Lot: Abraham looks to what he can’t see, he see’s beyond the obvious and trusts God in the unseen. Lot only looks at what he can see.
The Wrong Assumption?
I want to caution you here. We assume because God blessed Abram that he cursed Lot. Not so fast. We are not told that. We are only told that Abram was blessed. Because Lot was captured and had to be rescued, because he didn’t seem to prosper as much after, because he falls into trouble with those he is living around, we assume he made a bad choice. Maybe it was just a choice. Maybe in many ways it didn’t matter what he choose.
On the other hand, Lot had a life of trouble and most if it came out of his bad choices. He choose bad friends, bad company, and didn’t really lead his family in the process of making good decisions. And that is the key here; not the material possessions but the decision making process. So what we need to learn from this story is how to handle our decision making. The key to this story doesn’t come in the possessions or land but in the decisionss
When Decisions Come
We make a lot of decisions in our lives, in fact, we live in constant decision making. So let’s look at what can learn about decision making and how we can move ahead with some amount of confidence. And not just the big decisions, any decisions. And what healthy decisions include.
- Consult God and His Plan For You
First and foremost, the biggest thing to learn from this is the importance of consulting God and his plan for your life. So let’s read the verse where Lot consults God. Verse?
“——————————————–“ vs. ——-
Ahhh a trick. There is no verse where Lot consults God. That right there should tell us a lot. We can’t find a verse where Lot consults God on what to do. Think about it this way, who do you consult with your choices? We go to financers for Financial decisions, realtors for home decisions, etc. But God is Lord of all. He knows all and understands all. There is not better place to go, no better advice, no one with more insight than God himself.
We have a promise from God about this very thing. Proverbs 16:3:
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3
Ex. Let me give you a great example of this from a meeting I had this week. I was in a planning meeting with about 10 other people planning an upcoming event. None of us had ever really done anything like this so we were trying to figure it the best way to move forward. One person passed out a 2 page budget for this for the next year. As we began to read it she said; “I wasn’t sure what to write down for the budget because there are so many of these things I have never done. So, I prayed, asked God for His leading and I wrote down what I felt was the best plan I could come up with” I thought that was great. Asll os us looked at that a budget and said looks good to me. We’ll move on this.
We don’t always need to make a huge issue of consulting God as much as we need to make it a priority in our decision making.
- Consider People; You and Others
Second, consider people. Look at verse 11 again:
“So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east.” vs. 11
Lot thought about himself. I want to state that we should consider ourselves. We should think about what we need, want and feel is best for us. That’s good and okay. But throw in a second part, that our decisions effect others as well and we should consider them. We are not told that Lot didn’t consider Abram or anyone else for that matter. In fact, it is quite the opposite in his life. He repeatedly only thinks of himself.
-He is confronted with evil men and they want to have sex with some visiting angels (who they think are me) and he won’t let them but he is willing to give his virgin daughters to these guys to be repeatedly raped throughout the night.
-When the angel tells him to leave Sodom he is reluctant. They have to pull him to safety.
He had an M.O. of making bad decisions and we see that carried on in his children. His daughters get him drunk and sleep with him to have children to carry on the family line. His wife turns to a pillar of salt because she can’t help but want to be back in Sodom. The bad decisions are carried on h=in his family line.
At the very least, Lot should have had some respect for his elder Abram who helped him and taught him and cared for him when he had no one else. People are important and we should give consideration to our decision making when we know it can affect them too. See Hebrews 10:24:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”Heb. 10:24
I think this verse encourages us to consider them and to do it in a way that is beneficial to expressing love.
- Weigh The Circumstances
And third, good decision making means we also weigh the circumstances. Verse 10:
“Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt.” vs. 10
Lot wasn’t a total loser. He looked around and noticed what was there but that was it. He could lonely see things through his own eyes, not God’s. Unfortunately, he wasn’t strong enough o stand up and make the tough choices when he need to. Case in point:
-Once when he was captured by evil kings.
-Once when he was doing business at the gate of Sodom.
-Twice when he was targeted as a victim by the men of Sodom.
-One time he was protecting angel visitors and five times when the angels were protecting him.
-Once when he was pleading for Zoar to be spared.
He had no balance when it came to making decisions because it was always all about himself. Balance comes in seeing beyond the things right in front of you to the long-term consequences of our actions and decisions. Lot was the kind of guy who when you say don’t cross this line would walk up to it and test you on it. He couldn’t live near Sodom and not be influenced. They influenced him. God says to consider His ways. Psalms 119:59
“I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.” Psalm 119:59
Part of healthy decision making is considering God’s ways and trusting His ways.
Always Include God
I guess the main take away from this is to always include God. And maybe you can say you haven’t but it is never too late to do that. No matter where you’re at in life, what circumstances you are in, whatever situation you go through, you can include God. Maybe it means being thankful and starting there.