With society changing so much over the past several decades, I have often thought about Abraham and Lot. Abraham was living in a valley off away from people, while Lot was living in a bustling urban development. Their stories began very similar, but end up very different.
They left home together, became wealthy, and had so much they had to move away from each other. Abraham let Lot (who was his nephew) pick wherever he wanted to go. Lot chose the most lush, fertile land.
Later, Abraham has lunch with some men traveling through, who he recognized as divine. These individuals had such regard for Abraham’s relationship with God that they felt they had to tell him what God’s plans were. There were two cities which were so wicked that the Lord had no chose but to completely destroy them. Abraham had enough confidence in his relationship, value, and/or position to ask the Lord not to carry out his plans.
Abraham asked the Lord not to destroy these cities if there are any righteous people there. This is the very place where Lot is living. The Lord agrees to Abraham’s request to not destroy the city for even just 10 righteous people living there. Obviously, there were not even 10.
This story has always made me ponder.
Why wouldn’t Lot leave right away? Why did he hesitate? Why would he not go where the angels directed him?
The angels had to grab his hand and rush them to safety. He begged to go to a town instead of the mountains where the Lord had told him to escape. Then a little while later he had to leave the town because he was afraid of the people.
How often do we tell the Lord we don’t want to do it His way?
How often do our own plans not turn out as we had hoped?
Why with all the wonderful things God has done in our lives do we still struggle to trust Him?
How were these two men from the same family and their relationships with God were SO different? Lot struggled while Abraham trusted.
In the New Testament Hebrews 4 says this of Abraham:
18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.
20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
It all boils down to, Abraham trusted God completely and totally, while Lot tried to make things work all on his own.