When Abram and Lot had conflict arise because God blessed them with so much, Abram initiated the separation of the two. He gave Lot the choice of the land to select. He basically said, “You go one way, and I’ll go the other.” Verse 9 notes that Abram said, “Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left” (ESV).
The narrative tells us that Lot made a choice. He “looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered.” Seeing the great land, he made his selection. While choosing the Jordan Valley, he disregarding what was happening in the area. He was taking residence in the area of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sadly, we all know these choices. We see what looks amazing, but it’s too good to be true.
We often make Jordan Valley Choices. We sacrifice for the sake of temporary pleasure. We choose to participate in things that get us close to crossing the line. We spend time near those who will cause us to move in the wrong direction. We pick what looks good from what we see on the outside, thereby missing the better choice. Today, focus on the choices you are making. Are you trying to select what you think would be most rewarding to you, no matter where it leads? Well-watered land isn’t always the most refreshing.
“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.)” – Genesis 13:10 [NIV]
People often tell me that it does not matter who they spend time with because they will be who they will be whether or not they are hanging around with people doing bad things. They have control. They are their own person. I have heard it again and again. And yes, some people have more self-control than others and some people do not follow the crowd as much as others; however, the people you spend time with ALWAYS matters.
If you spend time with someone who talks a lot about politics, you will likely hear and learn a lot about politics. You might even become more political. If you spend time with a group of people who are all Christians, you should be able to see a difference between them and the rest of the world. You may partake in more theological discussions, do more studying of God’s Word and pray more. When you interact a lot with those who listen to a particular type of music or talk a certain way or do certain things, you will be soaking in those things. Your dialect could change a bit while you are with them. You might be listening to different music than usual and start humming songs you never thought would come out of your mouth.
Some of the truths of life that I learned came from hanging out with wise people. Spending time with pastors, with ministry laypeople, with strong Christians, has taught me a great deal and has challenged me, helped me to grow, encouraged me, and guided me to who I am today. I remember a time when I was hanging out with those who many would deem “fools” and I can attest that part of my life was falling to pieces. So remember this Proverb. Remember this choice. Remember the importance of who you walk with in life. Wise walking will help you to grow and get where God wants you to be in life. Foolish walking is walking backwards. God has so much more for you. Believe me. Or better yet, believe Him.
“Become wise by walking with the wise;
hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.”
-Proverbs 13:20 [MSG]
My daughter always gets me laughing. One day we went to get some ice cream from the local Dairy Queen and I barely could leave the drive thru area. My daughter read the cup and it said, “Flip over.” This was some sort of marketing thing Dairy Queen did where they flip over the cup for a moment to show that the Blizzard is made properly.
My daughter took the ice cream and turned it upside down. My son found it hilarious and took out his phone to take a quick photo and my daughter; oblivious to what could happen, she posed for the photo, continuing to hold the ice cream upside down. The drive thru attendant stared puzzled. I was concerned that the ice cream I just purchased was going to spill all over the interior of the car. What was she doing?
My son soon told my daughter that she misunderstood what “flip over” meant, that you aren’t supposed to just hold it like that so long. The workers do a quick flip over. We all had a good laugh. It took awhile to leave the area because I couldn’t stop laughing. It provided a good laugh but also a warning of caution. It is so easy to read something and take it one way, when it is meant to be taken another way. This is true for many things including God’s Word. It is important to read Scripture in context and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You may find yourself flipping over a cup, when you should simply turn it around.
“But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14 [NLT]
Many people can remember Lot’s wife getting turned into a pillar of salt in Genesis 19, as God was destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. We cannot only consider Lot’s wife looking back, showing that she could not leave her sin behind. We also need to note the hesitation of Lot. He was commanded to leave with his daughters, but verse 16 notes that he hesitated, causing the angels to grab him.
Lot was not jumping for joy to leave Sodom—the angels grabbed him and took him from Sodom. He hesitated. He considered what he would be losing by leaving Sodom. He considered if he should go or stay. We do the same thing at times when we are living in sin. We consider if we really need to give up certain sin. We hesitate.
Today if there is something that God is trying to weed out of your life, don’t turn around, don’t hesitate. God knows what is best for you. Trust Him and walk forward with confidence.
“Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” – Romans 6:16 [NLT]
When Abraham and Lot decided to part ways, Lot was given first pick of the land. Having first choice gave him the option of selecting the better land. Lot selected the better land, but that did not mean it was the best choice. The better land was located near Sodom, which meant that in selecting this prime land, he was choosing to live near a very sinful area. This would create a great temptation for Lot.
We later learn that Lot did not do so well with selecting the better land. King Kedorlaomer captured Lot and the others after a battle. Abraham then went out to rescue Lot but Sodom was so evil that God had to destroy the land and the people of Sodom. Lot never considered the people of Sodom as a problem—he based his choice of land on what was better from his vantage point.
Good choices are God choices. Good choices are those made considering God, His character, His Word, His will. Today as you are faced with many decisions, aim to make God choices.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 [NIV]