CHOICES AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES

Scripture Reading: Genesis 13:5-18

“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.” (Genesis 13:10,11)

Both Abram and Lot had many possession (Genesis 13:1-5). This presented a problem. The land could not sustain both men and their possessions while dwelling together. Strive developed between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. They fought over who would have the choice pastures and who would be first at the wells (vs. 5-7).

Abram took the lead in resolving the conflict (vs. 8,9). He gave Lot the first choice for his dwelling place. Keeping a good relationship with Lot was more important to Abram than choosing where he would live. Abram was the older man and the leader. He had the first right to choose. Yet, he yielded his right to Lot. It is amazing how many families are split apart because of conflicts over things! Abram did not want that to happen to his family.

Lor chose what seemed to be the choicest land (vs. 10,11). Possession were more important to Lot than relationships. Lot’s selfish choice had disastrous consequences later. Lot made a series of compromises that eventually led to disaster. This is the way it usually works — we make one compromise that leads to another that, in turn, leads to more compromises.

We must remember that our choices always have consequences. Lot’s selfish choice of what seemed to be the better land led to more selfish choices. Lot eventually moved his tents toward Sodom (13:12). Later he actually lived in Sodom (14:12). These choices cost Lot dearly. Remember how wicked Sodom and Gomorrah were — “Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord” (v. 13).

Nowhere in this passage do we see Lot seeking God’s directions. His decision was based on his human perception of what would profit him most. We need to be very careful when we are faced with choices. Our first action should be to seek God’s direction and will in the matter. Then we must be wise and consider all the factors before making the choice. Sometimes looks can deceive. What may seem best according to our human perspective may not be the better choice. Choices always have consequences.

Lord God, forgive me for the bad choices I have made when I failed to seek Your wisdom and will before making them. Let me be wise when making choices and consider all the facts before I make them. I admit that I often act too quickly. Give me the ability to discern what is best and what is in accord with Your perfect will.

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