Today’s Bible reading is Genesis 13 and 2 Thessalonians 2.
Genesis 13 describes the separation of Abram and his nephew Lot. “Their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together” according to Genesis 13:6. Abram asked Lot, “Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” Notice especially what we’re told next:
And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD. (Gen 13:10-13)
What an opportunity to live in “paradise”! But at what cost? If you know the rest of Lot’s story, you know just how great that cost was. Maybe this first day of the workweek is a good time to think: what could my ambitions really cost me?
- If we moved to that geographical location, what sort of influences are already there?
- If I take that job, what temptations could come with the package?
- If I accept this new position, will I still be able to maintain and nurture what matters most?
- If I choose that college, what impact might my choice have on my faith?
- If we uproot our family, will the process of replanting ourselves help us grow closer to God?
Without a doubt, wherever disciples of Jesus live, there will be challenges. This world is not our real home when our citizenship is in heaven. We’ve been clearly called to be in the world without following the lead of the world. But choices have consequences. Lot moved to “paradise” and “paradise” was a package-deal that included a wicked environment with influential pull “against the LORD.”
Choices continue to have consequences. May we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness this week, making our choices carefully, and praying for wisdom from above every step of the way.