“And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord , like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” Genesis 13:10-13
One of the greatest, yet most costly gifts given to man is his free-will. On numerous occasions we see this truth played out in scripture when man is given the opportunity to “choose.” This is true of a nation, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). This is true of individuals, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). It is not the opportunity of choice, but rather the object of choice that determines whether the gift is great or most costly! Before us is one such opportunity in which the object chosen proved to be very costly. While it is something he probably would have change, if given the opportunity, Lot would discover the ramifications of a single choice; “Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left” (Genesis 13:9). Lot’s choice would ultimately weaken his faith and magnify his failure!
(I) Lot Failed His Sovereign
Lot failed to be a witness for Jehovah God, the True and Living God. Worship and fellowship with Jehovah was not strange to Lot and his family. On at least two occasions just previous to Lot’s decision to turn toward Sodom, his uncle built an altar and worshipped. This worship was not hidden from others in Abraham’s party, but an activity that they most likely participated in. Yet when Lot turned toward Sodom, he turned away from the Sovereign.
(II) Lot Failed His Spouse
Lot’s wife died a premature death when God’s judgment was poured out upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot’s choice lead her toward a love for the pleasures of the world, a devotion that would create a divided heart. Pulled by a need for deliverance and a love for the lifestyle of Sodom, she disregarded God’s Word and cast a backward glance and turned into a pillar of salt.
(III) Lot Failed His Seed
Lot failed his children. When judgment was pronounced upon the city and there was adequate time to escape, Lot circulated the news among family members. The warning was met with mockery! While we are not told if Lot’s daughters were believers, we do know that they married men of Sodom, worshipers of false gods. They too, would die premature deaths. The two daughters that did escape the judgment were so morally corrupt that they committed incest and bore children of their father. Children that would become the enemies of God’s chosen people, Israel.
(IV) Lot Failed His Society
Lot failed the society he helped to govern. Lot didn’t change Sodom, Sodom changed him. Just pause for a moment and consider this truth; if Lot had made any positive effect upon Sodom, God wouldn’t have destroyed it. If there had been ten righteous souls in Sodom, God told Abraham that he would not destroy the city. The blood of the city would rest upon the hands of Lot.
(V) Lot Failed His Self
Ultimately, Lot failed himself. All the temporal things that Lot pursued and longed for, he ultimately lost. Even more disturbing is the fact that Sodom never really brought him happiness and contentment; “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” (II Peter 2:7-8).
Each day we are given the glorious opportunity to exercise our free-will; an opportunity that can prove to be a blessing or a curse. May we pay close attention to the Biblical example of Lot who discovered the ramifications of a single choice! May we learn to choose wisely.