Flirting With Disaster

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Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar.  – Genesis 13:10

The story begins in Genesis 13: 5-7 with a conflict. And ends with disaster.

“Lot who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks, and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together. And quarreling arose between Abram and Lot’s herdsmen.”

Abram regarded Lot as a brother (possibly like the son he did not have after Lot’s father died), and to avoid the quarreling that was taking place among their herdsmen. gives Lot first choice on where to dwell. Lot considering the well watered plain of Jordan toward Zoar* chooses the whole area to the east and living among the cities of the plain pitchs his tents near Sodom. On the basis of what was best for Lot’s business his choice was the obvious one to make.

A well watered spacious plain in an area where water and grass could be scarce , in close proximity to cities where a demand for Lot’s herds could be found.

But on closer examination we find two clues that tell us that what was good for the herd and business was not going to be good for Lot. One is found in verse 10

“This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah”

And in verse 14

“Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly before the LORD”.

We next find Lot sitting in the city gates of Sodom. (Genesis 19:1)

*unaware that the men he is speaking to are in fact angels sent by God to access and destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.

*unaware of the evil going on around him.

*oblivious to the danger.

When the men of the city demand that Lot turn over his guests to them he offers his daughters in their place.

When dawn comes and the angels urge Lot to hurry, to take his wife and daughters and escape Lot hesitates and has to be “grasped” by the hand and led to safety. Lot requests to find refuge in the city of Zoar*

My pastor recently said

“The cosmos, the world is not our enemy, what is in the world is our enemy”.

The plains of Jordan, the prime grazing and watering spots for the herd were not evil.

The cities, the buildings that were built on the real estate that were the location of Sodom and Gomorrah were not evil.

But the things, the lust, the corruption, the disregard for what is right and good, that captured the hearts of the inhabitants of those cities, the things in that’s  world were and are evil.

And they had captured Lot.

When we allow those things in the world to capture our attention, no matter how good our intentions might be  we begin flirting with disaster, that over time  can lead to a relationship, that can destroy us and damage those around us.

How does it happen?

When we covet those things that cause us to overlook what God has given us.

When we overlook all we have been given to possess one thing.

When we allow ourselves to be conformed to the world’s way of doing things

When we become so comfortable with the corruption we make excuses for it.

In the end we lose more than just the livestock.

 

* identified in the book “Death at the Dead Sea” by Konstantinos Politis , Zoar or Zoora is  located at the lowest spot on earth, and shelters what is possibly the ancient world’s largest cemetery)

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