And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.
Competition for suitable grazing land resulted in sustained conflict between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. Suggesting they separate, Abram gave his nephew first choice of land available.
Lot’s choice demonstrates the stark contrast between his character and that of his uncle, Abram.
From their vantage point, Lot saw the lush Jordan Valley and seized the opportunity to better his circumstances. He exhibited little concern for Abram who had not only cared for him since the death of his father, but had also allowed Lot to travel with him since leaving Haran.
The verdant valley looked lush like the Garden of Eden and the area around Zoar (near the southern tip of the modern day Dead Sea) must have reminded Lot of Egypt. The parenthetical statement, “before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah,” hints that what appealed to Lot would be short-lived.
Lot made his decision, packed his belongings and moved east to the Jordan Valley. In spite of the fact that the extent of the Jordan Valley stretched 75 miles north to the Sea of Galilee, Lot settled near Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities described as, “exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord” (v. 13).
Unlike his uncle, Lot was self-centered, self-seeking and self-gratifying. His choice was indicative of his character and it would lead to his downfall (Gen. 19).
Abram walked by faith, trusted the One-true God to fulfill His promises and continued to enjoy the fullness of God’s blessing—even in a less desirable location.
1) Bible opened to Isaiah. By, Ken Horn, [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Abram gives Lot first choice, c. 1887. Bible Pictures with brief descriptions by Charles Foster, [PD-US], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author.
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