Summary: Most of the time what seems a good choice in the sight of the world is not necessarily the right and good choice in the sight of God. Things might seem very good on the surface but for the end result and eternity sake they just don’t level up. And what is
Opening illustration: The teenager expressed the view of many. Speaking of the wild parties he attended, the 16-year-old declared, “Without these parties, my life wouldn’t have any purpose.” Attitudes like this result from a string of bad choices that multiply until life loses its meaning. Examples of this “bad-choice string” can be seen all around us.
Take the couple whose first bad choice is to be sexually active without being married. They soon follow that practice with other poor decisions that lead to spiritual, economic, and social problems. Or consider the business person who takes money from petty cash to line his pockets, only to follow that bad choice with many others just to cover it up.
Let us turn to Genesis 13 and check how two men made completely different choices in life and what consequences followed them …
Introduction: Abraham had a nephew by the name of Lot. The two of them reached a place where each of them had to make a choice, but it didn’t matter that much to Abraham! Why? He had obeyed. A sense of destiny was upon him, which is what kept him going. He knew that everything was not to be understood in terms of material things. Sadly, do you know what it says about Lot? He made a bad choice.
Sometimes there is something you can do about this matter of living conditions. Your living conditions may be what they are because of a bad choice. As to how you know whether you should be doing something about changing your living conditions instead of just putting up with them, the answer is twofold. First, has God unmistakably put you where you are? If so, you should stay there for the time being. He has a purpose in it for you. Second, if your being where you are is because of a hasty decision - and you have had no peace since - I would suggest God has a better plan for you. Pray that God will move you without you "jumping out of the frying pan into the fire."
Could it be that God brought you to this place of crisis at this moment? Things can change. You may be living with the consequences of a bad choice, but it is a new day, and I would not write like this if there were no hope. Your life may not have to stay as it is. Something can happen in your heart before God, and you can say, "I am sorry!" and know that God loves you as much as He loved Lot and Abraham.
(A) How to make poor choices?
1. Desire of the eyes (v. 10a)
"The desire of the eyes" is the desire for anything beautiful or attractive that can be exalted in place of God. It may be as neutral an object as a tree (Genesis 3: 6).
Information and data comes into our minds by way of the eyes and what one allows in by the eyes may become sin to him. Consider the example of Lot who looked to the plain of Jordan and lusted after it. He knew of the city of Sodom was there as well and just pitched his tent "toward Sodom" where he could see it. But then, a few verses later, he is living in Sodom with his family and he is sitting at the gate, which means that he had become a sort of town "justice of the peace" or judge for the city so that he would judge matters as a city official. What came into the eyes trapped him and then condemned his family. His sons ignored his plea to come with him as the city was to be destroyed. He lingered, and the angels had to take them by the hand and set them outside. They warned them not to look back but Lots wife could not resist giving in to the lust of the eyes and she looked back and became a pillar of salt.
The main types of sin have not changed since sin invaded the garden. Lust of the eyes was there in Eden with our first two parents. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate ...” (Genesis 3: 6) There was the fruit hanging on the tree... and a thought given by Satan. A promise of some glory that they didn’t experience in the life given them by God. They saw, they lusted, they sinned. No, sin doesn’t change, but times sure have.
The writer of Proverbs tells us "he who hates covetousness will prolong his days" (Proverbs 28: 16). Jesus admonishes us to "take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses" (Luke 12: 15). The parable of the rich fool shows how dangerous a covetous attitude can be (Luke 12: 16-20).