Check out Genesis 13:5-18.

Lot is a selfish freeloader. Abram was supposed to leave his family behind when God called him to leave Haran (Genesis 12:1). The Bible makes a point of telling us that Abram took Lot anyway (Genesis 12:4). You’ll see that Lot turns out to be nothing but trouble for Abram and Sarah.

They have returned from Egypt much wealthier than when they left, thanks to Sarah’s “services” in Pharaoh’s palace. And now the herdsmen of Abram and Lot are arguing over pasture land. So, to avoid family strife with his nephew, Abram makes a very generous offer to Lot. He says, essentially, “you pick the land you want for yourself and your herdsmen, and I will take the land you don’t want.” Lot should have just told his herdsmen that Abram was his Uncle and the head of the family – and to let his herds graze wherever they wanted to. Remember that Lot is only here because Abram brought him, and that Lot owes all his wealth to Uncle Abram. So what does Lot do? He does exactly what you would expect of an ungrateful, freeloading nephew. He takes the most fertile land, which also happens to be nearest to Sin City (Sodom). Before long, Lot will be living in Sodom. He has seen a little bit of worldly pleasure in Egypt, and now he can’t leave it behind.

Abram is able to be generous to Lot (even when Lot doesn’t deserve it) because he knows that God has been and will be generous to him. Again in this passage, the Lord promises Abram a great lineage (“I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth…”). And, again, Abram is worshipping the Lord (“and there he built an altar to the Lord.”) Lot is being selfish and greedy. (And note this foreshadowing of things to come: “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.”)

I don’t think I am reading too much into this text to put it this way: Abram and Lot both walked in sin and disobedience when they were in Egypt. But Abram came back, repented, and worshipped God, while Lot came back and immediately sought more sinful pleasures. Abram will fall more before we’re finished with his story, but each time he will come back to God. The trajectory of Abram’s life is towards the Lord. Lot’s trajectory is towards sin, selfishness and rebellion.

I pray that the trajectory of my life will be more like Abram’s. I fear that all too often, it is more like Lot’s.

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