And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord (Genesis 13:10-13, parenthetical item in orig.).
Isaac Errett has noted that there were many ways in which Lot’s was a foolish decision.1 Lot’s decision-making also mirrors the foolish decision-making of many people today. Notice:
- Lot chose without consulting God. Prayer is totally absent from Lot’s thinking prior to his momentous decision. We must ask for God’s providential guidance throughout life’s challenges and opportunities (1 Thessalonians 5:17; cf. Acts 6:6; James 1:5).
- Lot chose with no consideration of his wise, generous elder. Lot had no thought for Abram or his herdsmen. Our choices must be made without selfishness (Philippians 2:3), and with kind regard to our forbears (Leviticus 19:32; Lamentations 4:16; 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:1; 1 Peter 5:5).
- Lot chose based on selfishness. Apparently Lot’s only criterion for choosing a new location was his own financial prosperity. When we make decisions, the primary concern must be spiritual prosperity (James 2:5; 4:13-17). One would think that had Lot been concerned with spiritual prosperity, he would have made every effort to stay close to Abram.
- Lot chose to isolate himself from God’s people. We should choose faithful children of God to be our closest associates, those who influence us most (2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:21).
- Lot chose to go near Sodom. Before long, Lot lived in Sodom (Genesis 14:12). Shortly thereafter, he was so entrenched in Sodom that the angels of the Lord would have to force him out (see Genesis 19). He astonishingly offered his daughters to the men of Sodom (Genesis 19:8). Even Lot’s wife could not leave without looking back (Genesis 19:26; Luke 17:32). From this we learn that our ability to make righteous choices must be carefully protected from the love of the world (1 John 2:15-17).
May we learn from Lot’s example to make godly choices (see Joshua 24:15).
Evenings With the Bible, 3 vols. (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1956), 1:107-110. ↩