Abraham or Lot
By Nathele Graham
Choices are a part of life. God didn’t create people to be robots, but gave free will because He loves us. Love isn’t really love unless there’s a choice and we can either reject Him or accept Him. We make many choices each day, but no choice is as important as whether we follow God or the world. The smarter choice is to follow God but so many times we make a wrong choice. Such was the case with Abraham and Lot. God had called Abraham out from a life of worshipping pagan gods and sent him on a journey of faith to become the father of the Jewish nation. Abraham wasn’t quick to obey, but when he eventually chose to follow God’s directions he took his nephew Lot with him. As always happens when we obey God, life is better. Both Abraham and Lot prospered as they travelled together, but this also caused a problem. They each had servants and herds of sheep, and it had become difficult to keep them separate. This caused strife between Abraham’s servants and Lot’s. To keep the peace Abraham presented a solution to Lot, and that was to go their separate ways. Lot was given the choice as to which way he would go. “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” Genesis 13:10-12. The temptation of this beautiful land took hold of Lot and he made his choice.
The problem with Lot’s choice was that he didn’t consider anything except the apparent beauty of the place. There was one big drawback that Lot hadn’t considered. “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” Genesis 13:13. He was moving his family to an exceedingly wicked place and the influence of that culture would be a problem. In choosing which way to go or what to do it’s important to look at all aspects of the choice. What seems like a perfect choice may have plenty wrong with it under closer inspection. God will always know the best way for you to go. Lot’s choice took him to a place where wickedness thrived and it would cost him dearly. Abraham didn’t always make the best choices either, but the Lord was there to bless him after Lot moved away. “And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.” Genesis 13:14-15. Notice God said “for ever”. Today we see politicians attempting to divide Israel and evil people want to destroy God’s chosen nation, but when God says “for ever” He means “for ever”.
As time passed Lot became comfortable with his life in Sodom. He sat at the gate of the city, indicating some authority, but the wicked way of life was clear to him. The sin of that city, and those surrounding it, was very grievous to the LORD and it had to be stopped. There comes a point when God has to take action against out of control evil and Sodom and Gomorrah had reached that point. God sent two angels to bring about the judgment and when they arrived in Sodom Lot was at the gate. Instead of being in the field with his herd he was now in the city. He hadn’t lost his sense of right and wrong because when he saw the angels he knew that the men of Sodom would want to rape them. For their own protection Lot asked them to come to his home for the night. Lot did what he could, but the men of Sodom decided to attack “But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” Genesis 19:4-5. Such evil and such wickedness. The sin of homosexuality is still very grievous to God, He will soon judge this sin as well as all other wickedness.
The time had come and the judgment was at hand. The angels warned Lot to immediately gather his family and leave. Lot believed them and told his sons-in-law to get out because the judgment was imminent. Did they believe him? “…but he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” Genesis 19:14b. If Lot had chosen his way more wisely, his daughters could have found better men. As it was they had not respect for Lot’s words of warning. The urgency for Lot and his family to get out of harm’s way was great. The sons-in-law chose to make Sodom their life, but the angels took the hands of Lot, his wife, and his two daughters and set them outside the city. The angels urged them to hasten away. “Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.” Genesis 19:22. The angel warned them to leave as fast as they could and not look back. Lot and his family had escaped God’s wrath, but his wife just couldn’t let go of the life there. “The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:23-26. There’s a lesson for us there. When God has saved you from the choices you make and the wickedness around you, don’t look back.
That morning Abraham saw the smoke from the destruction. Abraham chose to stay away from the sin-filled life of Sodom, but he never lost his love or concern for his nephew Lot; Abraham had intervened for him when the LORD had told him that Sodom and Gomorrah were to be destroyed. Today we find ourselves in the same situation as Abraham and Lot. If we make the choice to eschew the wickedness around us and follow Christ we have the promise of eternal life with Him forever. That’s not to say that, like Abraham, we won’t make some bad decisions and need to repent, but our eternity is secure. If we make our choice based on the lure of worldly ways we’ll end up like Lot in the midst of wickedness. We learn from Peter that Lot was a righteous man. “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” 2 Peter 2:6-8. You see, Lot lived among the very wicked men of Sodom, but he wasn’t a part of their lifestyle and was vexed by it. The wickedness there and God’s destruction of it is an example to us that God won’t ignore the wickedness in this world for much longer. Lot was called a righteous man and he escaped God’s wrath. Our righteousness doesn’t come from living a perfect life, but it only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Because Christians are righteous through our faith in the shed blood of Jesus to take our sin away we will also escape God’s wrath. The angels couldn’t allow the destruction until Lot had been taken away, just as Christians will be taken away before God’s final judgment comes upon the wickedness of this world. Do people mock you when you talk of Jesus and the Rapture? Remember that Lot tried to get his sons-in-law to leave but they wouldn’t listen and they perished. Whether or not our friends and family believe us, we need to talk to them about accepting Jesus for salvation before the Rapture. The signs of the times are all making headline news today. Nations are lining up to come against Israel and prophecy is being fulfilled rapidly. The Rapture is on the very near horizon.
We still have time to witness to people, or do we? We don’t know when the Rapture will happen but we can see from the signs that God’s judgment is near. God put so much prophecy in the Bible so we can know that time is short. Since God’s judgment is near we can be certain that the Rapture is even nearer. It could happen before you finish reading this commentary or it may be 10 years away. The point is, are you like Abraham who chose to follow God, or are you like Lot who chose the lure of the world? Certainly don’t be like Lot’s wife who looked back. She couldn’t quite let go of the wickedness. Jesus used her as a warning. “Remember Lot’s wife.” Luke 17:32.
The Promised Land or Sodom? The choice is yours. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9. Abraham or Lot? The choice is yours.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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