In the early chapters of the book of Genesis, Lot and his family were kidnapped by conquering kings. When Abram got word about what happened, he and his men devised a plan to attack the conquerors at night. They successfully brought back Lot and his family.
Genesis 14:16 reminds us to be alert and prepared to fight the enemy. We have to be aggressive, rather than passive, on a daily basis. We have to take back what the devil stole from us. In order to take things back, or to avoid them being taken in the first place, we have to be able to identify the weaknesses in ourselves that even allow the devil a way in.
Is the grass really greener?
Lot and Abram had decided to split their camps and go separate ways. Abram offered Lot the first choice. In Genesis 13:10, Lot looked across the plains of the Jordan. He saw how well-watered it was, "like the garden of the Lord." So, Lot decided to go east.
Lot made a mistake that we make so often. His decision was very shallow. He focused only on appearances. It reminds us of the popular saying that the grass is greener on the other side. We, too, frequently make rash decisions because something looks good. We don't dig any deeper to see what other potential problems may lay beyond the surface.
We do this with the simple choices in life, such as deciding what to eat. For example, we may choose to pick up fast food because it is convenient and easy. However, it is a bad choice from a nutrition standpoint, especially if done frequently. It can also be hard on the budget.
We also do this with more complicated choices that we face. We make important, life-altering decisions with the same thought that we give to what we should wear today.
We should be much more evaluative in our decision-making processes. For most of us, the decision not only affects us. Our decisions impact our families, our children. It doesn't stop with one generation. Our decisions also impact our future generations. Momentary happiness should not trump the lifelong well-being of our loved ones.
The next time we are faced with making an important decision, let's challenge ourselves to look beyond the fact that "the plain is well-watered." Let's dig deeper to more carefully evaluate how that decision will impact us and our family later on.
What company are you keeping?
Lot's next mistake came in Genesis 13:12. He pitched his tents near Sodom. Genesis 13:13 tells us that "the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord." (NIV)
Lot intentionally put himself in a difficult situation. He chose to surround himself with negativity. He chose to live around people who not only would not encourage him to live a God-fearing life, but who also would deliberately sin against God.
Without even speaking, Lot misguided his own children. He was not teaching them about the importance of living right.
As we can see in Genesis 19:14, Lot did not teach his daughters about the importance of being equally yoked. They were both engaged to men of Sodom. In Genesis 19:30-38, we see that Lot did not teach his girls to trust God and to wait patiently for Him.
Will we change our ways?
Lot had a great family member in Abram. As soon as Abram got word of the trouble, he wasted no time going after Lot. God also sends people to our rescue when the enemy comes after us.
Whether through a message on Sunday morning, an encouraging word from a friend, a thought-provoking Bible study lesson, or any of a number of other methods, God finds ways to get our attention. Are we too busy to notice? Do we love God enough to make the necessary changes in our lives?
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah when they refused to change their sinful ways. Let's pray that we are open to recognizing when God tries to get our attention before it leads to our destruction. Let's also pray for the strength to make the changes that we know are in our best interest.