Summary: By looking out only for himself, Lot suffered the loss of everything.
July 8, 2001 Genesis 13
“Looking out for #1- the story of Lot” part 1
I want to tell you a story this morning. It’s a true story. It’s a story about a man who made bad choices. Every choice that he made was on the basis what he thought was in his best interest. This man had a lot going for him. He had a rich uncle who helped him establish his own modest estate. He didn’t have to worry too much about being attacked by an enemy. Uncle had a well-trained group of fighting men who would quickly go into action if any threat happened to come along. He was part of a family that was blessed by God and enjoyed an intimate relationship with God. He was single [basis for asserting that he was single is that it in vs. 1 of Gn. 13, it mentions that Abram’s wife was present in this entourage, but it doesn’t say anything about Lot’s wife] and rich. He had servants who did all the work for him. Life was good. Or so it would seem to us. But he was not satisfied. There was always something over the hill that he thought could make life a little bit better. In order to get that life-satisfying thing over the hill, our hero made some bad choices that laid the foundation for his eventual destruction and the destruction of his family. His name is Lot. His story begins in Genesis 13.
We’re going to be examining Lot’s story over the next several weeks. We’ll see where the decisions that he made here in Gn 13 eventually take him and his family. As we look at Lot, I want each of you to examine yourself and ask yourself, “How am I making the decisions that will govern the rest of my life? Am I basing them on what I think will be best for me – what’s in my best self-interest, or am I basing them on what God says is right?” Let’s take a look at Lot.
Vs. 1 – Lot had just spent some time in Egypt along with Abram and their whole group. Life had been good in Egypt. The food was plentiful. The entertainment was spectacular. The opportunities for advancement and growth were more than he could have ever hoped for. But because of a lie that uncle Abram told, they got kicked out of Egypt. They had to leave the good life behind. They had to go out into the hill country – the Negev. It was boring out there. Any of you parents had to struggle with kids that are bored with summer vacation yet? Lot had gotten used to the city life. And now, here he was back out in the boring country side. It’s the Green Acres scenario. “New York is where I’d rather stay; I gather ‘llergic smelling hay; I just adore a penthouse view; darling I love you, but give me Park Avenue.” That was Lot, and he lost it because of uncle Abe.
Vs. 5 – While in Egypt and as a result of his relationship with Abram, Lot started to accumulate some level of wealth for himself. But the level which he had reached did not compare with that of his uncle’s. In verse 2, it describes Abram as being “very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.” Lot looked at all that uncle had, and it made him mad. He could have had all that and more if they had been able to stay in Egypt. It made him jealous too. What right did Abram have to possess more than he did? And then, to top it all off, they had to keep moving around in order to find food for the large group of livestock that they had accumulated. Look at vs. 3 – “From the Negev he went from place to place…” Lot hated moving around. He had loved being able to sleep in the same place every night in a nice comfortable bed while they had been in Egypt. But as sparse as the vegetation was out in this wilderness, they had to keep on the move constantly. When they finally did settle down in one place for a while, it wasn’t because there was plenty of vegetation there; it was because Abram wanted to spend time communing with God. Look at vs. 3-4. The place had sentimental value for Abram. It brought back good memories for him. But it did nothing for Lot. When the good fields had been used up there, and even Lot was ready to move on, Abram wouldn’t go because he wanted to spend more time talking with God! What a waste of time! He needed to be more concerned about his livestock and moving the group on to better pastures.