Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. (Genesis 13:11-12)
There’s an old saying: “All that glitters is not gold.” Lot looked toward the cities of the plain and saw, from a distance, that it was well watered “like the garden of the LORD” (Gen. 13:10). What he could not see from that distance was the wicked things going on within the cities of the plain. The Bible says that, “the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord” (Gen. 13:13).
The Hebrew phrase ויסע לוט מקדם v’yisai Lot mi’kedem is translated as “Lot journeyed east,” or more literally, “from the east.” To travel “from the east” is often used as an euphemism for “away from God.” This suggests that Lot was following his lusts and self-interests, not God. Lot chose the rich soil, the beautiful land and, perhaps unwittingly, the corrupt culture. Once there, he obviously decided to stay; a decision that would cost him dearly.
It is interesting that the most beautiful places in the world tend to attract those with the most vile behavior. Think of some of the areas in the US known for its wickedness and then consider the natural setting — San Francisco for example. That’s what happened in this once beautiful area around Sodom. Its climate and beauty attracted the most wicked of men. Yet Lot — also drawn to this place by its beauty — didn’t hesitate to live among them. Maybe he was seduced into thinking he could enjoy benefits of the plain without being affected by the people of the plain.
This kind of thinking is what usually brings upon us our troubles and trials. Sometimes God’s people are tempted to think that we can flirt with the world without becoming enamored with the world. It almost never works out that we pull them up to where we are; they almost always pull us down with them. Lot pitched his tent in Sodom and it cost him most of his family. What had been so attractive to him in the beginning turned out to be one of the worst decisions he could have made.
Let us, therefore, learn from Lot to avoid making decisions on what seems to be the most attractive situation. We should never disregard our surroundings and the influences we might subject ourselves and our family to in deference to beauty and opportunity. May all of our choices be based on what is pleasing to our Father in Heaven and His purpose for us.
Blessings and Shalom,