A Man of His Own Choice - Genesis 13, 14, 17, 18 and 19.

Meaning of Lot : Concealed, dark, covering, the word is used in Isa.25:7 “the covering which is spread over all nations”

Lot was the father of Ammon and Moab about 2000 BC.  He was a man of God, a righteous man.  He came down from Ur to Canaan led by his uncle, Abram.

As the name describes him, Lot was not able to see clearly in his future life.  The word ‘dark’ or ‘darkness’ in the Bible, is associated with sin or wickedness.  With these thoughts in mind, let us make a brief study of Lot’s life as one darkened at times.

Lot was a faithful man of God.  He was blessed with wealth similar to Abram.  When a dispute arose between Abram’s herdmen and Lot’s herdmen, it was Abram, the older man, who went down to younger Lot, found a way out and brought peace: “Abram said to Lot, ‘ Let’s not have any quarrelling between you and me or between your herdmen and mine, for we are brothers.  Is not the whole land before you?  Let’s part company.  If you go to the left, I will go to the right.  If you go to the right, I will go to the left.’  Lot looked up and saw the whole plain of Jordan was well watered like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, towards Zoar.  So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out towards the east.  The two men parted company: Abram in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom (a place of lime).  Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord” (Gen 13:8-13).

We can all learn some good lessons from these verses.  Brothers and Sisters, all that our eyes admire may not be safe.  Think of Eve in the Garden of Eden: “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat and gave also unto her husband with her and he did eat” (Gen 3:6). The eyes of Eve deceived her, asdid also the serpent, and she ate the forbidden fruit and sinned against God. Lot chose this place to stay by the sight of his eyes.

Abram lived in the land God promised him and his seed for ever. Lot was first to choose for himselfBut God chose for Abram.  We are told Lot chose for himself the whole plain of Jordan and set out towards the EASTIn the Old Testament, the word ‘east’ in many cases is negative, destructive and a direction of no hope.  For example, the garden of Eden was in the east of Eden, where sin started (Gen 2:8).  The garden never prospered, for even when man was banished, the cherubim and flaming sword were placed at the east of the garden. Cain, after killing his brother Abel, was driven by God out of His presence and lived in the land of Nod (‘wandering,’ ‘no settlement’) east of Eden. So Cain never settled. These are only a few of the references in Genesis about ‘east’, but there are many more in the O.T. that seem to talk of ‘east’ as not good, eg the east wind.

So Lot chose to go eastwards as Adam did and Cain also (Gen13:11).  Verse 12 tells us exactly where Lot and Abram chose to live: Lot near Sodom and Abram in Canaan where God wanted him to stay.  Verse 13 tells us that where Lot lived men were wicked and were sinning greatly against God.  Choosing the east was not safe for Lot. There are two severe, bad instances that befell Lot:

First: Four kings invaded the territories including Sodom and Gomorrah:“Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of them fell into them and the rest fled to the tar hills.  The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food, then they went away.  They also carried off Abram’s nephew, Lot, and his possessions since he was living in Sodom …During the night, Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.  He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with their women and other people”, (ch14:10-16).  The fate that befell these wicked men of Sodom and Gomorrah also befell Lot and his family because he was part of them, although he was a man of God.  We should always learn never to be yoked with unbelievers: “Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?  and what communion has light with darkness? …” (2 Corinthians 6:14).  We believe that any man or woman of God should watch carefully how to lead his or her life, not to freely mix our lives with wickedness.  Once more Lot is back in Sodom.  Why did he not follow Abram, his uncle and brother?  Why did he hate to live in Canaan?  Why did he decide to go back (east) and not west (Canaan)?  Hadn’t he learnt his lesson?  We, too, like Lot, sometimes go back to our old lives after baptism.  We need to learn the same lesson.

Second: In Gen 19 we see that Lot was still in Sodom when two angels arrived.  Lot welcomed the angels and gave them food.  Read the deadly story for yourself and see how sinful  these people were.  After all the drama, the angels said to Lot, “Hurry!  Take your wife and your two daughters who are here or you will be swept away when the city is punished”(v15). The angels wanted to rescue his family.  Lot hesitated until the angels grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.  Lot still hesitated and did not see the hand of the Lord around him.  Instead he saw and admired the beauty of the city.  It was the mercy of the angels that saved them because they were led so that they could not stop.  Lot was told to flee for his life, to flee to the mountains and not to stop or look back.  Lot made another choice because he did not want to go to the mountains but pleaded instead to go to a little town, Zoar.  Later, Lot changed his mind again and in the mountain was drunk with wine and slept with his two daughters.  They bore Ammon and Moab and the descendants, who were later given possessions.

A. The main message about Lot is that our lives are no better than his.  The lesson warns us that although we are free to choose for ourselves, we need to ask God to choose for us that which is the best.

B.  Whoever we are or whatever we do or wherever we are, we should not be yoked together with unbelievers (wicked people): “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah 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).

C.  Compare Lot and his uncle Abram and how each led his life.  Abram depended entirely on God’s provision and choice, but Lot depended on his own choice – our days are exactly like their days.  So let us all ask God to choose for us that which is for the best.

Bro. Joshua and Sis. Rosemary Kisuya (Chwele, Kenya)

previous chapter previous page table of contents next page