“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

The Power of Choices

So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set 
out toward the east. The two men parted company. Genesis 13:11 NIV

Choices are a part of life. Some of the choices we make are pretty minor. My clothing choices this morning likely will not have a huge impact on the rest of my life, for example.

Other decisions, however, can be much more life-changing. Sometimes-perhaps even often-we have no idea how much of an impact a decision may have on our perspective, our future, our lives.

 One of these life-changing choices was made by the Old Testament character Lot, nephew to Abraham. Abraham had decided that the two of them, who had been living together, needed to part company and settle in different parts of the land. Abraham had given his nephew first choice. I'd wager Lot had no idea of the repercussions this one decision would bring.
 Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Genesis 13:10-12 
It probably didn't look like that important of a decision at the time. In hindsight, however, we know the results were disastrous.
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Lot was looking for "the good life" - he saw the well-watered plain, and knew his existence would be much easier if he set down his roots there. His sheep would be more satisfied, his men would be more satisfied, and life would generally be less painless. Or so he thought.

He forgot to consider his neighbors. Did you notice the very end of the 13th verse? "He pitched his tents near Sodom." Now, you might think that this is a case of hindsight being 20/20. (I know I don't have to tell you the problems with Sodom) But, that is not indicated in the text. The very next verse informs us that the men of Sodom "were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord."

So, perhaps we give Lot a cheer for not settling in the city. But that doesn't last long. By the time God's judgment is about to be meted on it, Lot is a resident of the city-and possibly even an official. And the damage has been done. Though Lot continues to follow God (he is, after all in the Hebrews 12 "hall of faith"), he and his family meet much disaster.
  • He stooped low enough to offer his daughters as sexual playthings 
  • His wife turned to a pillar of salt 
  • He had to leave a home, no matter how debased, that he wanted to stay in 
  • His daughters had incestuous relationships with him, birthing two nations that would eventually be Israel's enemies. 
What a bunch of tragedy from one choice. Have you made a choice like this? Did you consider your potential "neighbors?"

Seek the Lord: not the easy life. With Him behind each choice, you can't help but be in His will.

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the freedom to make our own choices. Help us, though, Lord, to make the decisions that You know are best for us. Help us to make Your priorities ours, so we will receive Your blessings and not the curses of the world around us. Help us to seek You in every choice we make. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen 


We're discussing this here, and at Living By Grace today. Won't you join me?

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

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