In our journey of faith, often God’s will for our lives is revealed gradually, and the most difficult part of obedience can be our seeking His wisdom and waiting on Him for direction.
And the general rule is, after all things have been considered, that you follow your peace.
In the following Scriptures we can learn from Lot’s mistakes, as he chose poorly in the direction he took his family.
7 Arguments erupted between Abram’s and Lot’s livestock herders as they tried to graze their flocks side-by-side.
(During this time, the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living on this land too.)
Abram (to Lot): 8 Let’s not fight. I don’t want there to be any animosity between you and me, or between our herders.
After all, we’re family.
9 A vast land is out there and available to you. It is time for us to go our separate ways.
You choose your land. If you choose east, I’ll go west.
If you choose west, I’ll go east—it’s your call.
[Abram is an exemplary man of faith. Being older than Lot, he by custom has first choice of the property, but he waives his right and grants Lot the first choice.
Given their recent experiences in the famine, it is no wonder that Lot chooses the lush, fertile soils of the Jordan Valley for his new home.
But as Lot moves his family east, he moves farther from Abram and closer to danger.]
10 Lot looked around, and he noticed the grassy plains in the Jordan Valley looked well watered and fertile, just as he imagined the Eternal One’s gardens might be or as he knew the land of Egypt in the direction of Zoar to be.
(This all happened before the Eternal destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
11 So Lot chose to settle his family on the plains of the Jordan Valley, and he journeyed eastward.
This is how Abram and Lot separated from each other and established two different households.
To start with, in verse 11 we’re told that, “Lot chose to settle his family on the plains of the Jordan Valley, and the text says he “journeyed eastward,” which leads us to an interesting observation that we can glean from the Bible.
Generally speaking, in every case in the Bible when the individual is headed in an Easterly direction he’s headed away from the Lord, and when he heads in a Westerly direction he’s headed towards the Lord.
Here is something you probably haven’t heard talked about before, regarding the significance of the direction “East” in the Scriptures
We can find this pattern is repeated throughout the Scriptures.
The direction East has great spiritual significance and is always associated with HOLINESS.
[Note that the Garden of Eden was planted in the eastern part of Eden.
This should also tell you that the Garden of Eden is NOT the same thing as the Land of Eden.]
The Garden of Eden was a separate piece of landscape with defined boundaries located inside the Land of Eden.
So whenever you encounter the direction East in the Scriptures your antennas should go on high alert because the direction East is almost always connected with holiness.
Here are some interesting examples.
1) As we just mentioned, the garden was planted in the east of Eden
2) Cherubim (celestial beings) were stationed on the east side of the Garden of Eden (this happened after Adam and Eve were kicked out)
3) Parts of the burnt offering were to be thrown to the east side of the altar (see the Book of Leviticus 1:15-16).
4) The tabernacles’s entrance faces east
Here’s another super interesting point.
Look at the statements below and see if you can decipher a logical pattern.
1) In Ezekiel’s vision God’s glory comes from the east and enters the temple from the east
2) The same temple faces east with a river flowing east from it
3) The Messiah is prophesied to come from the east
4) Cain was exiled to the east after murdering Abel.
5) People traveled to the east to build the Tower of Babel.
6) When Abraham and Lot separated from each other, Lot traveled east to the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
7) The Tribe of Judah was exiled to Babylon in the east.
Did you notice the pattern?
The scriptural pattern is this:
Positive, Godly things come FROM the east.
But traveling to the east is a bad thing.
Or another way to put it is, “Going west is positive while going east is negative.“
So starting in Genesis 13:7, we find the children of Israel surrounded by hostile neighbors, the herdsmen of Abram and Lot should have pulled together.
Instead, they let petty jealousy tear them apart.
Similar situations exist today.
Christians often bicker while Satan is at work all around them.
Rivalries, arguments, and disagreements among believers can be destructive in three ways:
(1) They damage goodwill, trust, and peace—the foundations of good human relations;
(2) They hamper progress toward important goals;
(3) They make us self-centered rather than love-centered.
Jesus understood how destructive arguments among brothers could be.
In his prayer on the night he was betrayed and arrested, Jesus asked God that his followers be “one” (John 17:21).
Lot’s character is revealed by his choices.
He took the best share of the land even though it meant living near Sodom, a city known for its sin.
He was greedy, wanting the best for himself, without thinking about his uncle Abram’s needs or what was fair.
Life presents a series of choices.
We, too, can choose the best while ignoring the needs and feelings of others.
But this kind of choice, as Lot’s life shows, leads to problems.
When we stop making choices in God’s direction, our only option is to make choices in the wrong direction.
Good pasture and available water seemed like a wise choice to Lot at first.
But he failed to recognize that wicked Sodom could provide temptations strong enough to destroy his family.
Have you chosen to live or work in a “Sodom?”
Even though you may be strong enough to resist the temptations, other members of your family may not.
While God commands us to reach people in the “Sodom” near us, we must be careful not to become like the very people we are trying to reach.
Tuesday, April 5
The Winning Walk
by Dr Ed Young
MAKING WISE CHOICES
When the time came for Abram and Lot to part company, Abram gave Lot his choice of land in which to dwell.
He gave Lot “first pick” so there would be no animosity between them.
But Lot did not choose well. He decided to homestead in a place called Sodom…a place that would become synonymous with sin and disaster.
How could Lot have made such a poor choice?
Easy. Lot looked with his eyes. He saw a lovely, well-watered valley.
He saw prosperity and riches and ease. Because generally speaking, we see what we love.
When I go to another town, I see churches. I look at their steeples, their grounds, their doors and windows.
That’s my love. I love the church. I have a good friend who sees cleaning businesses because that is his love.
He’ll drive through a small town and say, “Gosh, look at that, they’ve got a dry- cleaning operation.”
I wouldn’t see it…but he does.
Lot loved the easy life…and he saw a glimpse of it in Sodom. So he chose the valley. But in so choosing, he lost everything.
When we choose with only ourselves in mind, we mix together the deep drink of selfishness and godlessness with disregard for future consequences.
And the combination-as Lot discovered-can be deadly.
“So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed eastward…”
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