(5) And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. (6) And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. (7) And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. (8) And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. (9) Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. (10) And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. (11) Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. (12) Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. (13) But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
The record of Lot is a sad and tragic account of a righteous man’s departure from God to follow after the things of this world. It is an account of the downward path that leads to sorrow and shame. In this chapter, we follow the footsteps of Lot to determine what led to his downfall, and also determine how we may avoid his example of unbelief. Looking at the example of Lot, we note the following:
- “Lot lifted up his eyes” (v.10), with his own self interests in mind. He looked upon the “plain of Jordan” and he saw that it was a fertile land and “well watered every where.” He saw this would be a profitable venture for his flocks and herds, but he did not consider the will of God. Instead he chose to follow the desire of his own heart (1John 2:15-17).
- Lot “choose him all the plain of Jordan” (v.11). The flesh will never be satisfied. It desires the wealth of this world, even at the expense of others. It is not content with waiting upon God to supply needs, but seeks to exalt the “good life.”
- Lot “journeyed east” (v.11). The direction was away from God, away from the fellowship of godly Abram and toward the wicked cities of the plain. From the “plain of Mamre” and its association with godly men, it is down hill to the plain of Jordan and fellowship with sinners.
- Lot dwelt in the “cities of the plain” (v.12). Living in these cities gave Lot access to all the latest achievements of human civilization, but it also gave him and his followers great encouragement to continue in their rebellion against God.
- Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom” (v.12). The natural inclination of the heart is always towards evil, and if left unchecked it will lead us into wickedness.
- Lot “dwelt in Sodom” (ch14:12). Once our hearts are conditioned to tolerate evil, it is only a short period of time before we find ourselves walking in the “counsel of the ungodly.”
What are the lessons we learn from Lot? First, we learn we cannot trust our own hearts, or place our confidence in outward appearances. Second, we learn the importance of lifting up our eyes unto the Lord as we determine in our hearts to do His will. Remember the example of Lot, lest you also find yourself out of the way of truth and “vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked” (II Pet. 2:7).