Each day we are confronted with making choices. Sometimes these are easy and at other times they are difficult to make. We could make wrong choices and decisions, and as godly people we could alter or change them … but there are times when we make ungodly decisions and choice that we find hard to alter and often they lead to disastrous results.
I want to use an illustration of a man who ought to have known better, yet chose incorrectly and ultimately might have lost his soul. This man’s name is Lot. Let’s first understand his roots and relationship to Abram who becomes Abraham.
Ge 11:27 This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no children.
Terah has three sons named Abram, Nahor and Haran. Haran was the father of Lot. He dies in their home city of Ur in the Chaldeans. Although it is not explicitly stated, it seems as though Haran, the youngest son of Terah fathered Lot, Milcah and Iscah with Terah’s middle son Nahor, marrying Milcah. It might well have been due to Sarai (who become Sarah) not being able to have children, that she and Abram might have “adopted” Abram’s nephew Lot after his father death.
Ge 11:31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
Although this was only halfway to God’s intended location for Abram, they settled in Haran, mostly likely due to an aging or sickly Terah. Note that his grandson Lot, the nephew of Abram went with them. It’s because of this that I feel Lot could well have been “adopted” by Abram in a loose way. We then have the call of Abram in chapter 12, though this call would have been before they left Ur. Genesis 12:4-5 supports the theory that Abram took Lot as a son to raise and care for on behalf of his deceased brother Haran.
Lot’s Economic Status
As Abram travelled, Lot went with him. During this period Abram became very wealthy.
Ge 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.
Most likely through his relationship with Uncle Abram, Lot himself secured wealth:
Ge 13:5 Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.
Lot’s Growth in Wealth Created Problems
Ge 13:5 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.
This was inevitable if they were growing their herds. Flocks and herds wander and mix, and then which of the flock or herd belongs to Abram and which to Lot?
Lot and Abram’s Employees Became Aggressive
Gen 13:7 And quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot.
Because of what I said above, one could expect this to happen. It was very unpleasant as strife between the workers would have caused tensions between Abram and Lot … between uncle and nephew … between blood and blood.
Lot’s Uncle was Very Wise, but also Very Gracious
Ge 13:8 So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. 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.”
They are brothers Abram says … meaning they are blood relatives. Relatives don’t fight. Relatives live in peace and harmony with each other.
So to prevent further unhappiness, Abram requests they separate, with each relocating their flocks and herds so that there would not be any more mixing of the animals. This is where Abram’s selfless, gracious character is seen. Basically, he is saying, “Lot, look how huge the land is … as far as you can see. You choose a section for yourself and your animals and go that way, then I’ll choose space for mine and go there.” Very few businessmen will do such a thing. What Abram was doing was protecting his assets and his family relationship.
Lot Makes His Choice
Ge 13:10 Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (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.
He looked and saw! What did he see? He saw the best grazing land with plenty of water … but he also saw something else … something he was as a nomad, not used to … he saw a city … a city with people and life very different to farming with animals, traveling all the time and living in tents. He chose that part of the land. This was his first wrong decision, because it was the start of a downward spiral into immorality.
We will spend a few days considering Lot and His choices … but think this through … Lot was a man like we are men and women. We also come from families and our families are also dysfunctional in ways and some in the family are exceptional loving and helpful like Abram was. Many of us also moved around a lot. For some this resulted in economic improvement … and for some, growth in wealth. It is possible that as we grow economically and employ family, tensions, jealousy and infighting happens with serious choices and decisions needing to be made. Perhaps the take away today is to think through our choices … are they based upon greed? Lot’s was … and this is where things began to go wrong … no, not immediately … but that decision started the process towards disaster! If you have headaches and hardships … can you trace it back to wrong decisions?
O God, as we reflect upon Lot’s choices, give us wisdom to prevent or correct so we may hold back disaster. Amen.