As Abraham stood with the Lord, looking towards Sodom and Gomorrah, we are given a glimpse into the great mercy of God. In Genesis 18:23-32 we read what was said between Abraham and God. Abraham’s plea went out to God. If only ten righteous be found in these two cities, would God spare them? To this, God replied that he would not destroy them for the sake of ten righteous.
We know from the account of Sodom and Gomorrah that God did not find even ten righteous. The only ones saved from destruction were Lot and his family. They were not saved because of Lot’s righteousness, but, rather, for the sake of Abraham.
And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt. — Genesis 19:29 (KJV)
Let’s look back at how Lot came to his predicament. Lot is Abraham’s nephew. He came along with Abram (Abraham’s original name.) when God called Abram out. What was Abram called out of?
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: — Genesis 12:1 (KJV)
God called Abram out of the world he had known for the first 75 years of his life. It is also with this calling out that God made his covenant with Abram.
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. — Genesis 12:2-3 (KJV)
Lot went with Abram, because he was as a son to Abram. Lot’s father, Abram’s brother, had died. When Abram’s father died, Abram became Lot’s guardian. This worked out well until the day came that Lot was to be on his own. Both Lot and Abram had been blessed with wealth and possessions to the extent that the land would not support them together anymore. It was time for Lot and Abram to separate.
Abram gave Lot first choice. With this opportunity, Lot chose what looked best to him. He chose the plain of Jordan. Abram then dwelt in the land of Canaan and Lot moved on to dwell in the cities of the plain. The future of Lot and Abram would now be quite different.
Lot and Abram had the same manner of living before they separated. We are told that they had cattle. In fact, we are told that Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. Genesis 13:2 (KJV) I believe that Lot was blessed with riches, too. Now that they have separated, Lot has made his choice to live a different life.
Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. — Genesis 13:12-13 (KJV)
Lot moved, based on the appearance of the land. Now he has pitched his tent toward Sodom, a city of sin. It is interesting that, later, in Lot’s life, he is living in Sodom. What started out seemingly so good, is now turning to disaster for Lot. He will lose everything!
Are there times, in your life, when you “pitch your tent” toward Sodom? Think about a tent. The direction a tent is pitched is determined by where the door is located. Every morning when you get up, you come out the door of your tent. What is the first thing you see? Every night when you are ready to retire for the day, you come to the door of your tent. What is the last thing you see, as you turn to close the door?
Pitching a tent is a metaphor for the direction of your life. The whole family is strongly influenced by the direction set by the father. If you were to sit down and chart the direction of your life, where would it be heading? If you were to look back and chart your history, does the path you are on, line up with the path God wants you to be on? Do you see a fork in the road where you turned the wrong way? Is a navigational correction in order?
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. — Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV)
The world always has something new to try. Be certain to examine what you do and where you are going in the light of God’s Word. Look past the initial appearance and seek the truth of the matter. It is best to follow the good way that God has established. God calls this the old paths.
Take care that you are not in the group that says, “We will not walk therein.” Each one of us has the choice to make. It is the enticement of the world, versus, rest for your souls. This choice plays out again and again in the decisions we each make. Ask God to show you the old paths. Be like Abram, and avoid the mistakes of Lot.
God bless, Mike