February 12

Does God Care Where I Live? Part 1

Gen. 13:8-13  So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me… for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.” And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord…. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord.

This poor choice from Lot offers two lessons, both connected to his ungodly method of choosing a place to live. His uncle Abram offered him the first choice of where he could live. But note the process: “Lot lifted his eyes and saw…that it was well watered, etc.” Out of context, that doesn’t seem like a problem. But first, note that he ended up in Sodom, from which he later had to be rescued by Abraham, and ultimately dragged from by God before Sodom’s destruction. Read Genesis 19 for the gory details. (It seems Lot had a continued problem figuring out where to live. Later in that same chapter, he decides against living in the hills, settles in Zoar, then ends up back in the hills, where more sin ensued.) He was surrounded by wickedness, which vexed and affected him.

But perhaps even more striking than looking where Lot ended up is the difference between how he judged where to live and what Abraham did: “The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, ‘Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are…’” Lot lifted up his own eyes, which tells us that he judged based on his own perspectives and observations. Though he ended up being “successful” in Sodom (the rescuing angels found him at the gate of Sodom, a place of authority and respect), he was a failure in most other ways, especially in regard to his daughters (Genesis 19:8, 30-38).

By contrast, Abram responded to God’s instruction to “lift up [his] eyes (Genesis 13:14), which meant that he gave the choice to God about where he would live. Of course the bigger life lesson is not to determine our path based on what seems good to us and what we can make work, as Lot’s life shows us in many ways. We need to let the Lord direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6), as Abram allowed. Abram had his struggles, but he received many great blessings from God, which we all benefit from today. Lot’s life was difficult and sinful, and resulted in challenges that have affected us all (end of Genesis 19).

How are you making choices about your life? Do you base decisions on what looks or seems good? Does God figure into the equation? Do you want Him to take your hand as you move forward with your life, or do you want to take His and let Him take you where He wants to go with you?

Prayer: Lord, please wean me from poor decision-making, something that is based on what seems good to me at the time. I realize that I am limited in what I can foresee, and that you are the great Planner. You know all the details of what is ahead, and I can only anticipate a few. Help me to receive your direction as I move forward. I commit my way to you. Please direct my paths.

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