The eyes are useless when the mind is blind. Finding these words made me think hard, this is so true: if you can’t see beyond what your actual eyes see, you are worse than a blind person. Having a dream and vision is such an important aspect of life. That is the thing that should drive us forward and motivate us more to achieve many in this life.
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Many of us want to have a good and healthy life and to become successful, nobody wants to fail. But are we really dare to dream? To achieve these things, we need to focus well. We can’t just day-dreaming, cause there are a lot of efforts and hard work to make a dream comes true. When we talk about focus, I would say that Lot is a better example than his uncle, Abraham.
Who is LOT?
Genesis 12:4-5. “So Abram (Abraham) departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him… And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son.” Lot was only the son of Abram’s brother, Haran (Genesis 11:31), not Abram’s own son. He was not called by God, but Abram was. Still, Abram took him along. Most likely it was because Abram thought instead of letting him stay alone in the city of Haran, it would be better for Lot to come with him to the new promised land. His father had passed away before they came to Haran (Genesis 11:28), and his grandpa was just recently died (Genesis 11:32). So, Lot followed Abram from Haran (Genesis 12) to the Land of Canaan.
But wasn’t God said to Abram to leave his country and to leave his kindred, his family behind? Genesis 12:1. God didn’t want Abram to take Lot, He foreknew Lot was nothing but trouble for him. Furthermore, Abram was the one God called and not Lot. Well, probably like most of us, the fathers, we would not leave behind anyone when we are going somewhere for good. Especially when they were still young and inexperienced. Yes, Abram made a mistake here but Lot then became somebody who got an opportunity to follow the footsteps of a man of God, his own uncle, into a journey to answer God’s calling.
According to 2 Peter 2:7-8, Lot was called the righteous man which lived among the wicked. This is the only verse in the Bible that mentioned Lot as a righteous man. Interestingly enough when the Bible called someone righteous, it means the man is righteous before the eyes of the Lord. That was likely the reason why God sent the 2 angels to save Lot and his family before He destroyed Sodom, He is a faithful God. Genesis 19:1.
Lot LEVELED UP his uncle, Abram
But Lot was not just an ordinary nephew. He was a fine young man with a high potential to achieve many and be successful in life. He had a good business sense with a strong ambition to go to the top. The story in Genesis 13 was not just a little dispute between the shepherds of Lot and the shepherds of Abram. Verse 7 said there was an argument between the shepherds of Abram and the shepherds of Lot which quickly escalated into big trouble. The reason is shown in verse 6, the land was not big enough for the two together. Well, what was going on here? Weren’t they supposedly a family that united together and all the land belongs to them together? This is what had occurred: Lot had grown so big on his own (verse 5) separately from his uncle, Abram. In other words, he matched Abram in his own wealth, leveled up his uncle in possession. Could you imagine having a nephew that would still live in your house and eat from the same table but able to make the same amount of money as you or even more? That nephew should be on his own, right?!
So Abram as a good uncle gave him an offering of peace. In verses 8 and 9, Abram gave him the first chance to choose for himself what he wanted from the land that was promised to Abram only. Lot without hesitation chose directly for himself the best part of that promised land: verse 10. He chose the valley of Jordan, a well-watered land from every corner, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. Remember this, they had just come back from Egypt. Lot was there with Abram when they were escaping the famine in Genesis 12:10. (Another thought here:) He probably regretted his uncle’s decision to return to the land of Canaan. As he remembered, Canaan was only a drought land, produced nothing but hunger and suffering while called God’s promise land. Genesis 12:6-9. Yes for someone who doesn’t have the calling of God in their life, would not be able to see in faith the fulfillment of God’s promise. Furthermore, they were just returning from Egypt. His eyes saw the abundance and comfort in Egypt and got distracted because of it. Why do we have to return to Canaan?! Lot thought, Genesis 13:1. His ambition blinded him to the promise of God. Now, when he saw the valley of Jordan, he thought this is the answer he was looking for, this is just like the garden of God. Yes, if we are not careful, our eyes would only see what we want to see, not the truth. Moreover, to them who like to set their eyes on Egypt (which is the world) would be easily deceit to think the material possession is the blessing of God.
Lot MOVED to Jordan Valley
Genesis 13:10-11, Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plains of Jordan… then Lot chose him all the plains of Jordan… He lifted up his eyes to look, he made the choice based on what he had seen. Verse 12, he pitched his tent toward Sodom. Lot was really focused on what he wanted. He saw the opportunity, seized it right away. When the Bible said that he pitched his tent (facing, KJV) toward Sodom, it literally means Sodom would be the first thing he would see every time he got up in the morning. And would be the last thing he saw before he entered his tent to end his day. He is so focused!
Lot was a good businessman that would not miss an opportunity to expand and needed a big city such as Sodom to accommodate his hunger for success and wealth. He did not care if Sodom was a very sinful city even when he was warned about it (verse 10). He was very focused on what he wanted for himself. He didn’t mind getting rid of his uncle so he could grow in his wealth by taking away the best part of the promised land in order to expand his territory. Very quickly, he accelerated his life in the pursuit of blessing and wealth!
In fact, not long after, just another chapter, we found out that Lot was now in Sodom already. Genesis 14:12, and they took Lot.., who dwelt in Sodom. He would not only journey east toward Sodom (Genesis 13:11-12) and stayed (camped) there but now he had already moved inside Sodom. Genesis 14 was a story of a war between the 4 kings of Chedorlaomer (verse 1, the origins of Babylon Kingdom) against 5 kings of Sodom (verse 2) and Lot was caught in the middle. Abram came to save Lot and defeated the 4 kings to take everything back to Sodom.
Now Lot was one of the leaders of Sodom
Genesis 19 was the story where God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. When He sent the two angels to save Lot and his family, after He met with Abram in chapter 18, Lot was the one who met these two angels on their way coming into Sodom. Genesis 19:1, The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth. He was sitting at the gate of Sodom when the angels were approaching. What would he be doing there? Sitting like men at this time? To drink coffee or tea and have some conversation with each other while smoking some cigarettes? No, the people who were sitting by the gate in times of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were the people who governed the city. As they would be the ones who would decide the fate of that city they watched over. If they allowed bad things to come into the city, the city will become a bad city. If they allowed good things to come into the city, the city will become a good city. This group of people was the one called ekklēsia, a Greek word which has a meaning of the ‘called-out ones to sit at the gate’ (to govern the city) which later translated to the word church nowadays. Lot was there sitting at the gate of Sodom. It means now he was one of the leaders of Sodom. Not just only a wealthy and successful businessman he had become but also one of the influential men in the city: a leader. If you would notice this trend, it is happening everywhere: when a man has been become very successful in making a lot of money then the next thing he would pursue is power, the position of influence, especially in politics. This trend is not a new thing, it had been there since the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
But it was on Lot’s leadership that Sodom got its end!
Lot hesitated to leave Sodom
Genesis 19:1, And there came two angels to Sodom … God sent the two angels to save Lot from the apocalypse of Sodom. The two angels had one simple mission: to save Lot and his family. God knew that only four persons worth saving from all the people of Sodom that should be saved. But in verse 16, “and while he (Lot) lingered…” the word simply means he hesitated. Why? Didn’t he understand that God was about to destroy the city he lived in, the place he resided in? He got the two angels with him now ready to save him. But why did he hesitate to leave the city? A (material) blessed person always got too much to leave behind.
Have we ever pondered that often we are also like Lot. We are busy working to make money to become rich, even our prayer & worship often has the goal of (only) becoming rich. We worship and serve Him to be blessed, to be rich. We pray to be kept away from disasters, to stay healthy, and be blessed in all things. And what we always mean by being blessed is to have an abundance of money. Lot had it all, very quickly he got it all. But that was the one that made him hesitated to go out from Sodom. Maybe they thought, why did God send only two angels, didn’t He know that there was so much to bring out? Isn’t He who blesses, He will also protect? We only interpret the blessing as money, material, and worldly wealth. Now we can’t see that He has sent help. God had sent His angels to save the lives of Lot and his family, but their hearts were only attached to their wealth. Yes, what we pray for often has become the very main thing that hinders us from His help.
God called the rich to be perfect in Matthew 19:21 by coming after Him but he must first sell all his wealth and possession then give it all to the poor. The young rich man left sadly, verse 22. Yes, God’s call is a call to leave the world and everything behind, not the other way around. And in Lot’s case, his salvation meant his life in exchange for his possessions. Often, like Lot, we love our money and possessions more than we love ourselves. Our attitude of being thrifty often comes not as a way to save money but more because we love the money more than ourselves. Money is a good servant, but when it has become a master, it is a very cruel master. Many times it would never let us enjoy it.
And at the end, Lot did not only lose everything but also lost his wife which turned to become a pillar of salt (verse 26). In the original Hebrew translation, verse 26 shows how she would not only keep looking back but she literally lingered behind when they ran out. Just as she would not run because she got so much left behind in the city. If you are focus only on making money, do not blame your wife when she becomes so materialistic. As the head of a family, the man should be an example to his spouse and children in seeking the Lord, to be the priest and not only the provider. Then, his daughters could not marry as they couldn’t find any men (verse 31) when they ran to Zoar. They got this idea later to get their father drunk so they could take turns to sleep with him in order to carry their next generation. But in the end, they gave birth to 2 nemeses of Israel: Moab and Amon.
Lot must have missed something
What was going on here? Lot seemed to have missed something here. He accomplished so much and had been a very successful man to the extent of being a leader in the city that had helped him grew his wealth. He had reached a very high position, to become a powerful rich man. But everything came to an end in all of a sudden. He must have missed something big!