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Friday, October 28, 2011

Compromising a Lot: Road Trip Gone Wild [3]

Lot is rapidly becoming a man of compromise.

Recap: Things started out pretty good for him. Even though he lost his father, his uncle Abram stepped in and took care of him. His uncle has had direct "conversation" with God about moving away from his home. And, he takes Lot along.

They have both been prosperous to the point that their respective herdsmen are fighting. Abram tries to reach an agreeable solution, so he lets Lot choose where he wants to be. Lot chooses the best land. He moves there, and the dueling kings take him off into captivity. His uncle saves him...

But, Lot still doesn't want to stay with his uncle. He pitches his tent outside of Sodom, and eventually moves into the city.

So, how did Lot lose his way?

The answer is very simple. We see the beginning of it as he speaks to his uncle Abram about the strife between the sheep herders. As Lot gazed over the lush fertile plain of Jordan, he saw the incredible opportunity to improve his place in the world. To improve his way of life. Lot is the perfect example of our human tendency to look out for "NUMBER ONE."

None of us is immune to this tendency, even me. I remember when I was growing up fighting with my cousins over who would get the biggest piece, the best portion, or the most of something! For instance, a single chocolate bar would never be split exactly in half and it was always a given that we would continue to put up a fight about getting the "smaller" half even though the difference was insignificant. One day my aunt thought of a neat idea that I later used with my children. One of us could split the chocolate bar in half, but the other person got first choice of which half to take!

A simple solution to a childish problem. But it isn't really childish, is it? It seems that this characteristic doesn’t truly disappear as we grow older. We just learn to be more civilized, but it is still within our nature as humans to look out for number one.

Lot’s behavior in looking out for number one manifests itself in many ways.

First, he is blind to the dangers of living in Sodom.

When it came to making decisions Lot always seemed to go with what appealed primarily to his earthly appetites and acted as if he were blind to the dangers of Sodom. Lot saw what was best for him in this very moment, without regard to the long term.

When he looked out at the fertile valley of the Jordan plain, Lot saw only how he could potentially increase his possessions in this world instead of the spiritual dangers that were found in the cities of the plain.

It would be naive to think that Lot was not aware of the spiritual depravity in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He and Abram had been in the area for some time and would have had news of the area. Yet, despite this knowledge, Lot still chose to go there.

Perhaps he thought he would be immune to the corruption found in the city. Perhaps he thought he could influence it for good. He would think this because he did so well the last time he moved away from his uncle....NOT!

Instead Lot compromised everything in his life because of his choice.

Lot’s behavior in looking out for number one also has caused him to trust in his own ways rather than God’s ways. Even after seeing how God has directed the life of Abraham, Lot had his own plans and failed to consult God.

After being caught in conflict and being miraculously rescued by his uncle Abraham, one might think that Lot would have wanted to stay closer to his family. No, instead he sells his sheep herder tents and buys a condo in the city.

After a prolonged visit with Abram, now Abraham, several angels head out to destroy Sodom because of its wickedness.

When the angels came into the city, Lot knew who they were. Lot finds himself in a jam when the mob comes to the door demanding that he deliver his guests to be sexually molested.

But, instead of shutting the door in the mobs face and trusting that God would somehow work out a solution, Lot took things into his own hands and diplomatically called the crowd his "friends" and offered them his two daughters instead! What!?

What father in their right mind would do such a thing? Yet, "looking out for number one" meant trusting in his own ways rather than God’s ways.

Even when the angels miraculously delivered Lot from the crowd by making them blind and told Lot God’s plan of destruction for the city, he hesitated when it was time to leave. The angels had to physically grab Lot, his wife (Mrs. Lot), and two daughters to remove them from the city!


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