Genesis 13:5-13 NIV

[5] Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. [6] But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. [7] And quarreling arose between Abram's herders and Lot's. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. [8] So Abram said to Lot, “Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. [9] Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left.” [10] Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) [11] So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: [12] Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. [13] Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.



In parish ministry, I have officiated 2 funerals where the police actually had to be summoned because the family came to blows.  What was the violent dispute about in both cases?  You guessed it:  money.  As the saying goes: “Where there’s a will there’s a family.”

Money and wealth in themselves are not evil.  In fact, finance can be used for great Kingdom use.  However, money can also have this insidious ability of choking spiritual life and drawing us towards a lifestyle incompatible with following Jesus.

Abram and Lot both become exceedingly rich, but it affects them both very differently.  Abram grows in faith, knowing the source of his blessing: God; and remembering the purpose of his blessing: to be a blessing to others.

Lot, on the other hand, lives by sight and not by faith.  When given the choice of where to reside, we read:

“Lot looked around…” (v. 10)

“[He] saw that the whole plain of the Jordan towards Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt.” (v. 10)

“Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.” (v. 12)

Our eyes and our hearts are so intimately connected.  The eyes focus what the heart most desires.  And the heart is drawn to what we fix our eyes upon.  That’s why the Bible tells us to guard both our eyes and our hearts.  They follow each other everywhere!  Lot’s heart is drawn to possessions and wealth and so as he makes his choice and surveys the land, the only determinant of his destination is the possibility of increased prosperity.  Getting more….wealth, possessions, stuff, power, fame, position, status.  How often we all make decisions, big and small, based on the opportunity to get ‘more’?  And how often do these decisions lead to debt, destruction and the detriment of our spiritual lives?

Nowhere do we read that Lot sought the Lord or that he set up an altar of worship.  Instead he makes his own decisions based on wrong motives and chooses to step right outside of the boundaries of Canaan, the Promised Land.  He decides to live right on the edge of the most evil place on earth.

As we will see, when he does this, things go well for him….for a while at least.  They generally do when we go our own way.  I know.  I’ve been there.  We think to ourselves: “Why didn’t I do this sooner?  I’ve got away with it.  Life is more fun this way.”  And it is…until it’s not. 

When making decisions that will impact your future in any way significantly, make them based on your relationship with God, informed by God’s Word, as you listen to the whisper of the Holy Spirit, and take Godly counsel from other believers.  That way you will find so much more than what this world offers, because no matter how it appears from a distance, when you get up close, the grass is always greener on God’s side of the fence.