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Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Lot, Abraham’s nephew, has something relevant to teach us. When Abraham left Ur to go the the land God promised him, Lot wisely chose to go with his uncle. Once there, they grew into a large company of people, livestock and tents. When a famine came Abraham decided they would go to Egypt to wait it out. To protect himself, he told his wife, Sarah to lie to Pharaoh – that she was his sister. She was a beautiful woman and Abraham feared he wold be killed and Pharaoh take her into his harem. (It was a half-lie since she was his half sister – but still a lie.) Not Abraham’s best moment.

When the famine was over they travelled back to Canaan – to Bethel the place of worship.

Abraham and Lot, through his proximity to Abraham, were blessed abundantly. Their flocks and possessions were so large the land could not sustain. Arguments arose between the two camps. Abraham, wisely, told Lot they needed to separate, Abraham, being the elder, had the right to choose where he wanted to live first but he gave Lot that right. Lot looked around and saw the beautiful, lush Jordan Valley,  chose it and moved near Sodom. He chose what looked good to him.

Once he left, God told Abraham,“Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west. I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants* as a permanent possession.  And I will give you so many descendants that, like the dust of the earth, they cannot be counted!  Go and walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you.” (Genesis 13:14-17, NLT) Abraham let God make the choice. The first thing he dis was to build and altar and worship.

Eventually, there was a rebellion between regional kings and Sodom was in the path of destruction. Close to Sodom and no longer with Abraham or under his protection, Lot was captured when Sodom was overrun in the battle. His choice had cost him dearly.

Frankly, at this point, I might have said, “Good riddance. He chose to live in Sodom; he took the best looking land and look where it got him.” But Abraham wasn’t that kind of man. He gathered up 318 armed, trained men and went after Lot. The Bible says, “he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them at Dan. There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer’s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.  Abram recovered all the goods that had been taken, and he brought back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives.” (Gen. 14:14-16, NLT)

It was after this that Abraham was met by the King of Salem, a “priest of God Most High”. There is no mention of Lot – maybe he’s back in Sodom unpacking his things. Lot was a leader in Sodom – or at least a respected figure since he was sitting in the gate, a place honor in Genesis chapter) The King of Salem offered Abraham all the spoils of war but Abraham didn’t want anyone to get the credit for his success except God. Abraham had integrity and put God first in all things.

It’s a very interesting history but several things to take note of: Lot did leave his home with Abraham and as long as he stayed near Abraham, he prospered. Lot chose for himself what looked good to him – Abraham took what God promised him. Lot moved closer to pleasures of Sodom than to Abraham which put himself and his family in physical, moral and spiritual danger.  Though Lot made foolish, selfish choices, Abraham chose to go after him and rescue him. Lot was a prisoner, in many ways, by his own choices. It was Abraham’s grace that motivated his choice to go after his nephew.

In II Peter 2:7, Lot is referred to as a “righteous” man. From what we know about Lot, I wouldn’t call him a righteous man. But it gives me so much hope! You see God sees Lot through the righteousness of Christ. He didn’t see his selfish, foolish, sinful choices. God sees Lot with eyes of love and grace. Lot is washed clean by Christ’s blood. Did he deserve it? No. Nor do I.

As a child of His, God looks at me as He does Lot – through the righteousness of Jesus. That’s my only hope. I am flawed. As sinful or more so, than Lot. I made foolish, selfish, sinful choices but God has forgiven me of all. I stand redeemed in His righteousness.

“You were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (I Corinthians 6:11)

 

 

 

 

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