The Eye of the Beholder

“And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land [making fodder more difficult to obtain]. So Abram said to Lot, Let there be no strife, I beg of you, between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself, I beg of you, from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if you choose the right hand, then I will go to the left. And Lot looked and saw that everywhere the Jordan Valley was well watered. Before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, [it was all] like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as you go to Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley and [he] traveled east. So they separated.” Genesis 13: 7 – 11

Lot had a decision to make.  In many ways it appeared to be an easy choice.  There were not many options that had been laid before him.  Two actually – right or left?  God had blessed both himself and his uncle, Abram.  They each had family, flocks, and cattle.   Each man had herdsmen to watch over their livestock.  In fact, they had accumulated so much between themselves that the land where they were living could no longer meet their needs.  Tension and strife began to rise between the men’s herdsmen.  Because of this, Abram decided that it was best they separate from the other.  He told Lot to choose, right or left, and he would take his possessions and live in the land the other direction.  So, Lot stood and looked to the right and then to the left.

It seems logical that when an individual decides to move their family, that they would want to do basic research about the area they would be living in.  Is it a nice neighborhood?  Are there good schools for the children?  What kind of opportunities are available?  What about the crime rate?  The Bible doesn’t tell us that Lot questioned anything, however.  Actually, the Word tells us in verse 10 of chapter 13 in the book of Genesis that Lot “looked at the land along the Jordan Valley and he could see it was well watered such that it was like the garden of the Lord.”  It was beautiful.  It appeared in looking at the land that it was obviously the “better” choice.  So, verse 11 reads, “Then Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley and he traveled east.”  Verse 11 would mark the point in Lot’s life where all that followed that certain decision would be directly related to that moment.

What led Lot to that choice?  Greed?  Did he see the land and feel that he could profit more than Abram?  The Word doesn’t clarify his intentions but it does specifically note that Lot could see the land and see that it was beautiful.  He didn’t ask any questions about the land…he didn’t travel there and see what the environment was like…Lot based his decision solely on the appearance of the land…and because the land appeared beautiful he moved all of his possessions and family.

When God entrusts individuals lives into our care we should make the absolute best of this opportunity.  I don’t want to be held accountable for another’s failure due to an irresponsible decision on my part.  Appearances are often deceiving.  Lot’s story is a prime example.  The land along the Jordan Valley was indeed beautiful.  It’s appearance would certainly lead the onlooker to feel that everything this land contained would possess beauty as well.  The Word reads in Genesis 13:12, “Lot dwelt in the cities f the Jordan Valley and moved his tend as far as Sodom and dwelt there“.  Lot made his decision and made his and his families residence in Sodom because it appeared beautiful.  But verse 13 reveals the reality of this land.  “But the men of Sodom were wicked and exceedingly great sinners against the Lord.”

Satan has a way of making even the most vile of sin appear beautiful in our sight.  I would hope that had Lot known the reality of the land he was moving his family into, he would have chosen differently.  But he didn’t make a wise decision.  He didn’t research his options.  His decision effected his entire family.  Had he looked past the appearance and sought the reality so much pain could have possibly been avoided.  Though Lot was a good man with a good family, he was still able to be deceived by the beautiful appearance of sin.  He allowed this beautiful appearance to cloud his judgment and he acted on impulse instead of using wisdom.  Through God’s Word, He has allowed us the opportunity to learn from these individuals loves.  Learn to look past the appearance and seek the reality of that which we involve ourselves with.



Author: Britney Wilkes

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Published in: on March 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I was married to a man who was full of pride. I understand how hurtful this can be.

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