There had been some strife between Abraham's herdsmen and Lot's herdsmen. Their flocks and herds were growing and there was competition for pasture. Abraham generously told Lot to choose the area where he wished to live; there was plenty of room for both of them and their livestock.
"And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other" (Gen. 13:10-11 NKJV).
It was a fateful choice that had lasting consequences for Lot and his family. Lot had been. living in a tent, a pilgrim and a sojourner. He ended up living in a house in Sodom, a fearfully wicked city which in time turned the hearts of his wife and children away from the things of the Lord. Peter describes him as "righteous Lot" grieved "with the filthy conduct of the wicked" (2 Peter 2:7).There was no joy in the Lord in that setting. In the end he is seen leaving the city as it burns, all his material possessions going up in smoke. He loses his wife, who looks back because her heart is still in Sodom. The character of his daughters has been destroyed and they commit incest with their drunken father. It was all the result of wrong choices.
Where did Lot go wrong? First of all, there was no looking to the Lord for guidance. It does not say that Lot prayed for wisdom and guidance in making his choice. He made his decision by himself. How important it is in the decisions of life that we pray and cry to God for wisdom to do what is right! "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5).
Secondly, Lot did not consult with other believers. Abraham was his dear, godly uncle, wise in the ways of the Lord. It would have been the part of wisdom to ask his advice. But Lot made the decision on his own. "Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established" (Prov. 15:22). It would be wise for believers today when making important decisions to ask the advice of their elders.
Thirdly, his decision was based completely on material values. It looked as if he could prosper financially in that well watered plain and living conditions seemed pleasant. Today it is still a mistake to move simply for financial advancement or for climate and recreational opportunities. The believer is to have higher values than this.
Finally, Lot chose to move away from believers who could strengthen and encourage his faith. He may have thought he could do well spiritually on his own. But his family drifted into the worldly culture around them and adopted their morals. Lot increasingly became a compromiser.
When Christians move they need to consider the spiritual fellowship they will have where they are going. Is it an assembly of believers where you can be happy and whole hearted? Is it a fellowship which will be healthy and supportive for your family? Will you be close enough to be very active in the work? "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (Heb. 10:24-25).
We are told to remember Lot's wife. We should also remember Lot's choice. When we make choices is God first in our thinking? Are spiritual values most important? Second, do we consider the impact this will have on our families? Our jobs should not come before God and family. May God help us to make wise choices.