3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: I know people who want to mix the world with worship, but when Jesus said "You are the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13), He certainly wasn't referring to what happened to Lot's wife.

Part 2 - Genesis13:1-13 - DOUBLE AGENT CHRISTIANITY? - Double-mindedness

Sydney! Market place of business opportunities, bright lights, wall to wall people. In the Whitsundays I could wait for 6 weeks to get something done by a tradesman if he had to wait for parts from Sydney. But Sydney is a place of now, of movement and momentum. Of perpetual motion, except at the traffic lights. Everything is available when you need it. It's all here! It will cost you but it's here. Shops open all hours. Attractive to a businessman who wants it done now. All the perks and pleasures, as well as the perversities and self-centred indulgences that you can imagine and I can imagine Lot would have loved living in Sydney for much the same reasons that he was attracted to living in Sodom. We are called to be in the world but not of the world.

Here's what happened. The land is not able to sustain Abram and his nephew Lot, because they have a lot of livestock and "many tents". I guess that indicates lots of servants. I keep forgetting that these two men have quite an entourage following them, because since leaving Haran in the first place, they have been wealthy men - servants, livestock - the lot. Abram and Lot don't travel with just backpacks as they move towards the promised land.

Disputes start breaking out between the herdsmen so Abram gets Lot aside and says, "Here's the deal. You choose where you want to go and I'll go the other direction. There's plenty of land. We don't have to be living in each others pockets if it's going to cause friction. We're family." That's my translation, but the principle is best expressed in Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT), "Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."

GOD IS CALLING ME TOWARDS LIVING UNSELFISHLY AND TOWARDS GENEROSITY. It's all through the bible. Jesus had the same kind of attitude. 2 Corinthians 8:9 (NLT) says, "You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty He could make you rich."

LOT THINKS THIS IS A GOOD DEAL. He takes his opportunity before Abram changes his mind and chooses "the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley towards Zoar. Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere-this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah-like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar."

Notice that the land reminds him of EGYPT AND EDEN. There it is again - EGYPT. All through the Bible Egypt is a PICTURE OF THE WORLD who has rejected God.

The land of the Jordan Valley also reminds Lot of the garden of EDEN, although he has never seen it. It seems to have disappeared after the flood. But the fact that Eden is mentioned seems to me that they have access to written and verbal history and Lot is acquainted with the story of Adam and Eve. Eden stands for a place where Adam tilled the garden and walked in relationship with God.

EGYPT AND EDEN. Even in his thinking of the land, LOT HAS A DIVIDED HEART. James 1:8 (NIV) speaks about this kind of thinking and says "he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does". How is Lot's heart divided? IT'S EITHER WICKEDNESS OR WORSHIP THAT WILL CHARACTERISE HIS LIFE and Lot is not exactly calling on the name of the Lord before He makes his decision to set up camp at the doors of Sodom and Gomorrah. Nowhere do you hear him praying "Lord, please keep me from evil." Far from it.

Lot takes A STEP FURTHER TOWARDS WICKEDNESS and mixes with the wrong crowd. He "moved his tents to a place near Sodom and settled among the cities of the plain. But the people of this area were extremely wicked and constantly sinned against the Lord." (Genesis 13:13). His heart is divided. HE HAS AN EDEN AND EGYPT HEART. HE WANTS THE THINGS OF THE LORD MIXED WITH THE WICKEDNESS OF THE WORLD. IT NEVER WORKS. This time the friction is not with the herdsmen. It is spiritual and it's outright warfare - a spiritual battle that would one day take Sodom and Gomorrah out as they were judged by God. I know people who want to mix the world with worship, but when Jesus said "You are the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13), He certainly wasn't referring to what happened to Lot's wife.

You know the journey of Lot. First he moves his tents to a place near Sodom and settles among the cities of the plain (Genesis 13:12) but soon he is living in Sodom (Genesis 14:12 and actually becomes one of the business leaders of the city. Abram travels to the Oaks of Mamre and builds an altar.

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