Have you ever realised, long after you are in an agreement, that you didn't ask enough questions beforehand?
Genesis 13 tells the story of the separation of Abram and Lot. Their herds and flocks were too big for the land they were jointly using, and their shepherds were already fighting each other.
Abram gave Lot the option of choosing wherever he wanted to raise his herds, flocks, and family. Lot chose the lush land of Sodom.
Verses 10-11 put it this way. " 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."
When given that choice, Lot used his human eyes to make his decision, which concealed the spiritual risks. He looked at the plain of Jordan and began thinking of the wonderful life he would live and the riches he would enjoy. Subliminally, he also possibly dreamed of getting away from the oversight of Abram, of living in his shadow of "Mr Perfect" and under his rules, of the new maturity he would enjoy. Lot saw freedom and success for himself and his family in the wrong light.
It may not have been different from how we visualise some things. With not much reality. Little did he realise he was choosing to move away from the promised land, not toward it. Kind of, further from his heritage, if you like.
One of the deceptions in seeing a property for sale is that we never know who lives next door. Lot's trouble was, that he was literally moving in beside the neighbours from hell.
He didn't appear to ask the questions to establish the impact on his spiritual life. His first priority. That would have established how their filth would affect the faith of himself and his family. The large sweeping meadows outside the city of Sodom belied the luring satanic fields within.
That small decision while wearing rose-coloured glasses found Lot gambling away his family’s spiritual prosperity. It became one of the most noted and disappointing histories in the Bible.
By asking a few right questions Lot may have reaped a different outcome. One which wouldn't have drawn his wife and children away to a state of lukewarm belief. In fact, maybe Lot would have discovered a third option, another place to peg his claim, as so often happens when we stop and think.
Our affluence is not made up of what we see with human eyes, but what we believe by faith. When our selections are based on God's vision for us, we choose what suits Him. We always seem to be drawn to the temporal pastures of human desires. But the Lord prefers us to rise above that, to shun the attractions that enticed Lot, and make decisions that draw us closer to our spiritual heritage.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, every time I read about Lot I get something else from the story. Another layer. As a human being, I don't see Lot as being different from me. I can be attracted to the wrong decisions, not seeing the risks ahead. Please help me to step back and align my choices to suit your Kingdom.
Photo by Simone Secci