October 11, 2022
“The four kings took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food and went on. They also took Abraham’s nephew Lot and his possessions for he was living in Sodom...”
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“Abram lived in the land of Canaan, but Lot lived in the cities of the valley and set up his tent near Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were evil, sinning greatly against the Lord.” Genesis 13:12-13
“The four kings took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food and went on. They also took Abraham’s nephew Lot and his possessions for he was living in Sodom, and they went on.” Genesis 14:11-12
Here is a familiar scenario. A well-intended believer unplugs from Godly community and sets out on his own. I confess there was a time in my life when I was “a lot like Lot.” Some call it youthful pride or a strong-willed, independent nature. God calls it compromise and sin.
Soon after leaving Egypt, burdened by their collective abundance, it became apparent to Abram that he and Lot must separate. Lot chose the well-watered plain and camped in all the cities “near” Sodom. Eventually, Lot settled in Sodom. Sodom “absorbed” Lot, as it were. Let this be a warning to all who desire to affiliate with worldliness. You will eventually become so worldly-minded that you are no Heavenly good! Consider this pattern from Scripture:
“Happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of the mockers!” Psalm 1:1
That’s Lot’s inevitable story, but let’s take a closer look at his back story. An orphan seeking a father figure, he settles on Uncle Abram. Abram receives the call of God, and Lot tags along. So far, so good. Where did Lot go astray? I believe some of the blame rests on Abram.
Everything seemed fine until Abram led the whole troop into a lying compromise in Egypt. The moral injustice of Abram’s having profited from a lie (Sarah is my “sister”) must have profoundly impacted Lot. Furthermore, the “abundance” gained from Abram’s sin is the exact source of Lot’s and his conflict. Sin led to unjust gain, which led to unnecessary conflict and the eventual break-up of the extended family. It is also possible that Abram’s bailout of Lot was (at least partially) motivated by guilt over how things turned out as a result of Abram’s deception in Egypt. Lot was simply expanding on what he had observed Abram do: Operating out of fear, compromise, and half-truths.
Let this be a sober warning for all who seek to lead: When we turn away from the Lord’s path, those who follow us turn right along with us.
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