Monday, August 31, 2015

To choose or not to choose?

Biblical reference is Genesis chapters 13 through 19.

Abram and Lot were traveling together. Both have been prosperous. The land could not support their livestock which caused their quarreling. Abram suggested they’d separate to opposite directions. Abram yielded and allowed his nephew Lot to choose which direction he preferred. 13:10 mentions that Lot looked up at the land. It looked good to him which was the basis for his decision. They parted company. Then God told Abram to look up at the land in verse 14. God promised the whole land to Abram.

Lot chose based upon appearance and he reaped. He chose to be associated with Sodom and Gomorrah. He chose to be part of an established city with walls as protection. The very next chapter a war breaks out against Sodom and Gomorrah because they rebelled against the king they were subjects to. Lot and everything of his were carried off. Abram rescues him, all of his household, and belongings. Six chapters later Sodom and Gomorrah are burned to the ground. Lot and his two daughters are rescued. His wife turned into a pillar of salt for looking back and longing for Sodom and Gomorrah. There was no mention of his possessions which were the subject of contention back in chapter 13. He lost everything. So Lot and his daughters were taken out of Sodom, but Sodom was not taken out of his daughters. They each bore a child by Lot when he was drunk because of a thought the eldest had; Genesis 19:30-38.

Abram chose passively and he reaped. He chose to be associated with God. He lived in tents. Yet no harm came to him. He was not subject to any king or land. He rescued Lot from the hands of four kings and their armies by a mere 318 trained men born in his household; Genesis 14:14. He didn’t need to rent out an army. God made a covenant with him that still lives on today. He is the father of all Israelites / Jews through his son Isaac. He is the father of all Muslims through his son Ishmael. He is the father of all believers / Christians through his faith in God and His promises; Romans 4:16-17. God visited Abram and told him what he planned to do in Sodom and Gomorrah. Fearing for his nephew Lot, Abram pleaded for the righteous. God answered his prayer by rescuing Lot.      

What can we learn from their choices and consequences? There are many lessons; only a few will be mentioned. First: to make an actual choice is the same as letting another choose for you. They both reap consequences and not making a choice is a choice in itself. Although Abram did not choose, a choice was made for him. And he reaped the consequences. Second: choosing based upon appearance alone will have a negative impact on self and those associated with the choice. Lot found himself in a lot of trouble. Abram was troubled as well for he had to rescue Lot more than once. Third: associations have the potential of being a blessing or a curse. When Lot was with Abram, he thrived. When he associated with Sodom and Gomorrah, he lost everything.

Why did Sodom and Gomorrah reap war and fire? They rebelled against the king they were subjects to. They also adhered to a different lifestyle. God created Adam and Eve. He does not make mistakes. He did not change his mind after creating them. A man and a woman were created in God’s image. One without the other cannot bear children. When a thought is dwelt upon in a person’s mind whether truth or otherwise, it takes root. From this root, behaviors arise. I can believe myself to be a goat. Then I will start to act like a goat. I may even start to look like a goat. Am I a goat? Did God create me to be a goat? When I walk away from God, I am susceptible to many lies. Lot walked away from God and Abram. He did not succumb to the lies of the towns he lived in. But his daughters did.

Dear Reader, life is full of choice making. Some are easy and require no second thoughts. Some require much thought. One of these is eternity. Some claim there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no satan. Some claim all of them exist in one form or another. If people want to have a better future, they go back to college and earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and / or a doctorate’s degrees. All of this just so they can have a better future which may last 40, 50, or 60 years. What about eternity? There is no time limit for it. It goes on and on and on. Isn’t it worth the effort to know the truth? Seek the truth and it will be found by you. Think for yourself.