SELFISHNESS NEVER PAYS
Memory Verse: Leviticus 27:30
Further Study: Genesis 11:27-32; 12-14 Patriarchs and Prophets 125-136; The Bible Story, vol. 1, pp. 133-155
Genesis 11 through 14 is jam-packed with Bible truth. These chapters include lessons about stepping out in faith, honoring aging parents, witnessing, the adverse effects of lying, the consequences of selfish choices, and tithing. Wow! So, which morsel do we choose as the one take-away when the entire banquet is so inviting?
It would seem the best place to settle is with Lot. Or is it? He wasn’t a bad person, but Lot’s long range vision wasn’t what it could be. In that, many of us may be like him. We make life choices without considering the long view. When we drive, we don’t look at the front of the car, we look far ahead. Why? Because if we drove the car simply looking at the front of the car, we’d end up in a ditch or someone else’s backseat. Life is also like that, or it should be. Lot chose what he could see directly in front of him—the more favorable land. It looked better; the grass was greener; life was easier.
It looked better; the grass was greener; life was easier.
Notice that in the space of a few chapters, Lot moves toward Sodom, then he’s near Sodom, then he’s in Sodom, and finally, we find him sitting at the gate with the leaders. One seemingly innocent choice ended Lot in a place where he was not only surrounded by wickedness, but he learned to be comfortable with “Sodom” thinking. How do we know? Because when confronted by a wicked mob demanding evil things, Lot’s compromise was to give them his daughters instead! Later, his daughters thought of an even worse example of “Sodom thinking.”
Are we, like Lot, content with “Sodom” thinking? Satan is cunning. He knows that if he puts evil right in front of us, we’d reject it immediately. However, if allowed to be exposed gradually in what we wear, eat, entertainment, friends, and more, is it possible to slowly drift toward “Sodom” not recognizing that we’ve actually moved? Is it also possible that while we might recognize the shift, we’ve become so comfortable that we don’t see as we once did, but with new lenses?
Where we place our tent, where we choose to settle, completely dictates our decisions.
Where we place our tent, where we choose to settle, completely dictates our decisions. Choose to camp with God, even if it isn’t in the best territory with the best view. Let us pitch our tents, tie down our stakes, and brace ourselves against all that might blow against us. We are not alone, but with God. Remember to look heavenward, count the stars, and be renewed.
When Lot chose to move toward Sodom, he moved towards the east. This is the fourth time moving toward the east is characterized as moving away from God (Genesis 3:24, 4:16, 11:2). Adam and Eve move east of the garden, Cain moves east to the valley, descendants of Noah move east to the plain, and now Lot moves east toward Sodom. It should also be noted that Lot’s choice moved him away from Canaan, the land that God now gives Abraham.
Making it Real
These chapters are primarily about Abraham and his journey with God. Abraham is asked by God to go where God leads. That’s it. No specifics. No definite destination. And Abraham goes. We recognize this as a strong step in faith. It would be many years before Abraham understood all God intended. And he never saw the descendants that would be as numerous as the stars.
Review your life up to this point. In what ways can you see God leading in your life? What is your faith story?
Respond & Share
What ways have you found to strengthen your faith? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.
Coming next week:
“ANGELS RESCUE LOT”
Based on Hebrews 13:2, Genesis 15-18; 19:1-30;
PP 136-144; 156-170; SR 75-79; BS, vol. 1, pp. 156-167
Growing up in the church, and even leaving for a time, one thing I’ve always known as truth is that God’s hand leads. Although I believed it more for others than myself for most of my life. I remember once I had my “conversion” experience a few years back, how at that point I could more clearly see that God’s hand was leading me. For me, I saw how God was there with me along the way and how he loved me in spite of all the bad choices I had made up to that point. He showed me that I mattered and I wasn’t just 1 in millions of people on this earth. I am someone to God. The thing that has helped me strengthen my faith is actually looking back on my life and seeing even the messy parts of my life I wouldn’t want different. The events, both good and bad, have led me to the arms of Jesus. The only safe place. Knowing that no matter what happens in life God is able to use it to His glory. So when I start to doubt or feel overwhelmed, all I have to do is look to the past to remind me that it’s going to be okay even if I can’t see how.