What Christians can learn from Lot’s (Son of Haran) life? This is a simple question and you might think: there is nothing much to learn from his life. But it is not true; actually, there are plenty of things for us to learn from Lot’s life. If you would like to know more; please read further.
Lot, a righteous man in the eyes of the LORD, is an interesting character in the Bible. Though the scriptures don’t speak much about his life- whatever is written about him is good enough to teach us some very important lessons about our Christian life.
Lot was born in the family of Abraham and he lived with him for a long time. During this period, he prospered under the hands of his uncle and was leading a very blessed life. But on the way, at a certain point in time, he made certain decisions which were not well-thought and the consequences of these spur of the moment decisions brought a lot of miseries in his life.
In the contemporary Christian world too, there are millions of people who sometimes behave like Lot. These people are actually very good believers, they lead a very righteous life but at some point, in their Christian walk, they deviate from the true path and end up in difficulties. This fall and deviation mainly happen in matters related to worldly wealth and power.
When it comes to wealth and riches even very good Christians stumble and make decisions that are unscriptural and unrighteous. The worst side of all this is – they don’t even realize that, they have made a mistake. And at the end, these decisions will cost them dearly both materially and spiritually.
So, in order to avoid this kind of fall in our spiritual walk, we should keep God’s word in front of us. It should be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
All our decisions should be examined in the light of scriptures. Even if a righteous decision costs us dearly materially, we should stick to it, because, at the end you will be rewarded with a double portion of blessings for the sacrifice you made for the sake of obeying the LORD.
When we compare Abraham and Lot, we could see that Abraham was willing to let his nephew choose the best portion of the land, he was ready to bear with a loss for the sake of his nephew.
Lot’s well-being was more important to Abraham than his own. Besides, Abraham also saw with his spiritual eyes that, if he obeys the LORD and do what is just and right in HIS eyes, even if he lives in the desert, his God will turn it into a land flowing with milk and honey. I think, we too should have the same attitude.
Sometimes, in life, we may be forced to give away what we have, for the sake of our brethren. But we should not lose our heart, because; we worship a God who honors those who honor HIM and bless those who are willing to make a sacrifice for the sake of doing what is just and right in HIS eyes.
Now let us examine Lot’s life and see what mistakes he committed and how they affected his life.
Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. (Genesis 11, 31)
From the above verses we come to know that, Lot starts his journey to the land of Canan with his grandfather Terah and uncle Abraham. Terah died and Abraham continued to live with his family and possessions in Haran. And while living there, The LORD appeared to him and asked him to leave for the land of Canan
So, Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. (Genesis 12, 4-5)
As we know from the scriptures, Abraham was a righteous and God-fearing man who always gave utmost importance to the welfare of his loved ones. When the LORD commanded Abraham to leave, he took Lot also with him because he wanted Lot to be with him in the promised land.
So, Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. (Genesis 13, 1-2)
Here we find Abraham returning from Egypt to Negev as a very wealthy man and Lot still with him.
Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. And quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. (Genesis 13, 5-7)
from the above verses we understand that though Lot set off from Ur with an empty hand, he too has become really rich by the time he reached Negev and he also increased in wealth while being under the care of his uncle Abraham.
However, the story takes a different turn at this point. The livestock of both Abraham and Lot increased to such an extent that the land could not support them anymore. So, Abraham decides to separate from Lot.
So, Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” (Genesis 13, 8-9)
Here we see Abraham talking in a very peaceful tone and his heart is full of love for his nephew, he did not want to have any kind of issues with his nephew.
In his eyes, his nephew was more important than wealth. Peace was more important than land. This kind of self-less thinking and attitude is incredible and we seldom find it in the lives of contemporary Christians.
We all have Abraham as our father and are proud of it, but do we follow his way of life? Do we treat our own flesh and blood like Abraham treated Lot?
We talk more than we walk so we end up in making our lives miserable. We claim to be the children of God but live without peace, prosperity and relationships; it’s all because, we love to please our flesh more than the LORD Almighty.
If we look at the reasons for broken relationships among Christians, we could find that, most of them are because of wealth. We are ready to kill and tear each other apart for the sake of money. We drag our own flesh and blood to courts for the sake of money and property.
Abraham was willing to part with a fertile land because he believed in a GOD who could turn deserts into paradises. We are not willing to part with our fertile land because we see the land itself as the source of our blessing, not the GOD who we claim to love and worship.
I think I have deviated a bit from the main topic that I wanted to discuss, anyway it’s better to have some introspection about ourselves while we continue the journey.
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)
Here Lot is looking at the land that lies before him and finds it highly fertile and well-watered. I think he might have thought to himself
“This is a great area, it will produce very good harvest, my livestock will have plenty to eat,” his thoughts at that moment were exactly like our present-day Christians.
In contrast, Abraham chose to move in the opposite direction which was dry and infertile and he didn’t regret his decision; because he knew The LORD is able to bless and multiply him even in a barren land.
This trust and hope in the LORD, was the driving force that made Abraham deliberately choose the barren land. He was willing to suffer loss for the sake of righteousness and love. Do we have this attitude?
Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD. (Genesis 13, 12-13)
Thus, Abraham and Lot parted ways; Abraham moved to the land of Canan and Lot to the cities of the plain which were both prosperous and wicked.
Here we find someone who lived with a man of God (Abraham) chasing himself after prosperity and ending up in a place that is filled with wickedness, a place that is ripe for God’s judgment.
This is not just the story of Lot alone; we could find millions in the contemporary Christian world too. People who lived a good Christian life suddenly changes the course and start running after wealth and prosperity and ending up in Sodom-like places and situations.
Christians often forget the fact that: prosperity and wealth without God is short-lived and bring only misery and destruction in the end.
When we examine Lot’s case that is what we find. If our decisions are not based on the Biblical commandments and values, we will lose everything we have; not just material wealth; and Lot is a classic example of this.
Lot starts living in Sodom; though the land was fertile and the city was prosperous, his life became miserable; the reason: Sodomites were wicked. Their actions created more enemies than friends and Lot who was a righteous man was caught in the middle.
On one occasion, Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar went and attacked Sodom and Lot was taken captive by them.
Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and drew up their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five. Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills. The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. 12They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom. (Genesis 14, 8-12)
Though Lot was not a Sodomite, he was caught in the midst of the rivalry and taken away by the enemies with all his possessions including women and children. What a disastrous situation!
Someone who had nothing to do with the war has become a victim of it. And all this happened because of a spur of the moment decision to choose an area that promised a bright future.
When Abraham hears about the incident he rushes to the rescue of his relative and successfully brings back Lot and all his possessions. When a person is guided by the love and commandments of God, he does the right thing at the right time. His timely interference saves Lot. Here LORD gave success to Abraham.
When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people. (Genesis 14, 14-16)
Lot’s miseries don’t end here; it is only beginning. Though he went through a bitter experience during his stay in Sodom; he decides to continue living in the land, and that leads to further disasters in his life.
The people of Sodom were really wicked and immoral. Their immorality and wickedness were so repulsive that the LORD decides to destroy it. See the verses below.
Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” (Genesis 18, 20-21)
As we know from Genesis chapter 19, the LORD destroys Sodom and Gomorrah but saves Lot and his family. The angel of the LORD takes them out of the city to a safe place before destroying the city.
Here we see Lot leaving Sodom without any of his possessions. He had to leave everything behind to be destroyed by fire. A man who went into that land with great wealth leaves it without anything.
If we follow the LORD with our whole heart; we would live a blessed life, no matter where we are and what we are. The GOD of Abraham will make sure that we are successful in everything we do. And whatever He gives us – the enemy will not be able to steal and the fire would not be able to devour.
Dear saints, sometimes one simple wrong decision will set in motion a chain of wrong decisions and they will drag us from one problem to another. If we don’t fix our eyes on the LORD, we will keep repeating the mistakes and we won’t even realize that we are doing so. That is what happened in Lot’s life.
Let us look at the following verses. The angels brought Lot out of Sodom and led him to a safer place. See, the angels know better than Lot, which is the safest place for him. But instead of following the angels; He becomes hopeless and tries to find his own solutions to save his life. Let us look at the following verses.
But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.” (Genesis 19, 18-20).
When we look at today’s Christian world, we could find millions of people like LOT who do not want to wait and let the LORD complete what He had planned for their lives.
They always think their plans are better than God’s, and their choices are always more beneficial than God’s choices for them. Christians always make their own plans and ask God to execute those plans for them.
Unfortunately, these people always fail and never move to a higher level in both spiritual and physical realm. Before the LORD finishes the task of taking them to the mountains they would say: please stop! “I don’t think this is going to work” Just let me go to the nearest town. And we see them struggling there to survive.
He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.f) By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus, he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19, 21-26)
Let’s continue with Lot. From the verses given above we could see that the angels granted Lot’s request and let him go to the nearest town called Zoar. But another tragedy occurs on the way.
Before he reaches the town, his wife becomes a pillar of salt because she was disobedient to the command of the LORD. The angels told her not to turn back and look but she disobeyed and the result was another tragedy. So now Lot lost his wealth as well as his wife.
Though Lot reached Zoar he did not settle there, because, he was afraid of the natives. Here, again, Lot is in a miserable situation of his own making and start looking for solutions to overcome the difficulty.
Finally, he decides to move to the mountains and settle there. This of course, was an unwise decision because that left his daughters with no chance of finding the right partners to get married and continue the family line. Therefore, Lot’s daughters take matters into their own hands and find a solution to their problem, which was unacceptable in any society.
Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.”
That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I lay with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” So, they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again, he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
So, both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today. (Genesis 19, 30-38)
Thus, in the end we see Lot’s daughters giving birth to his own kids. Later, these two kids grew up and became two nations called Moabites and Ammonites who were a real headache for the Children of Jacob. That is how Lot’s story ends.
From his life we, the contemporary Christians, have a lot to learn, because, we too sometimes steer our lives according to some spur of the moment, carnal decisions and end up living like Lot rather than like Abraham.
Therefore, let us talk and walk according to the word of GOD; So that we can be prosperous and blessed even in a barren land, just like our father Abraham.