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Genesis 14:13 “…he was living in Sodom.”

Observation: Abram and his nephew Lot had come to an amicable parting once it was apparent that their holdings were too vast for them to live near one another. Large herds needed expansive lands, so Lot had chosen to occupy the fertile, well-watered Jordan plain. Thus he “pitched his tent near Sodom”. (v. 13:12) Later, when the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah and three other local kings lost a battle, they and their armies fled to the hills, leaving their cities to be looted of “all their goods” and “all their food”. (v. 11) The victors “also carried off Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.”

Application: See what has been Lot’s progression? He was carried off as a spoil of war because he was living in Sodom, while just a few verses earlier he had pitched his tents “near” Sodom.

When Abram had generously allowed Lot to have the pick of choice spots in which to settle, Lot saw that the Jordan plain was “like the garden of the Lord.” (v. 13:10), and like the land of Egypt. Wow…imagery evocative of both the garden of Eden and the fertile Nile river valley. Can Lot be blamed for choosing flesh’s best? “Aha”, he may have thought, “this is my chance to become as prosperous as Uncle Abram”! So he pitched his tents near Sodom.

The next verse makes clear that Sodom’s spiritual condition was already infamous: “Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.”

What passed through Lot’s mind as he camped tantalizingly close to such debauchery? He has already shown himself greedy by not yielding dibs to Abram, his elder. I wonder if he fooled himself into actually believing he had the moral strength to resist Sodom’s siren song. Perhaps. But it is more likely he purposely put himself in harm’s way. Like the food addict who saunters near the bakery, or the pornographer who chooses the magazine aisle as a shortcut to the milk cooler, Lot’s flesh was likely in the driver’s seat. Seeking neither God’s counsel nor Abram’s, he purposely settled in a high-risk neighborhood. I should not be surprised that soon he had made one more move, this time to dwell inside Sodom’s walls. I wonder: how have I acted similarly?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, it seems that You constantly drill deeper into my heart to reveal what is there. I tend so often to yield to worldly tugs rather than to Your best. Forgive me, Lord, for my embrace of Lot’s decision paradigm.

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