The Righteous Choice – Abraham and Lot

Introduction:

The Righteous Choice – Abraham and Lot

We all make choices on a regular basis and every decision we make leads us closer to or further from our God-given destiny. How are your choices and decisions affecting your life today? Are our choices righteous or evil? Are the choices we make furthering us in His Kingdom or leading us to destruction?

I want to bring to you 2 men today. They are from the same family; both of them received the call of God, followed God, and were blessed. However, the world remembers one as a great man of God with good values to adopt, whereas the other is remembered for his failures. The men I want to bring to you today are Abraham and Lot.

See what the Bible says about Abraham:

Romans 4:3 Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.

2 Peter 2:7-8 7And if he rescued Lot,a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8(for that righteous man,living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard).

Some of you may seem a little surprised by that introduction of Lot in the Bible. Lot’s life is not the kind of life from which we receive great inspiration from. No one even names his dog, Lot. It is not a popular name because of the testimony which Lot left behind. However, the Bible describes Lot as a righteous, just man.

How did that come to pass? Now let’s go to the OT and see the story of Abraham and Lot. Genesis 11:27This is the accountof Terah’s family line. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahorand Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. So Terah was Lot’s grandfather. Abram here was Lot’s uncle.

Abram and Lot grew up in a wonderful culture of art & music, rich in heritage and wealth as far as this world is concerned. They lived in the city of Ur which was a very prominent city of the Chaldean empire. It would have been a great city by this world’s standards to grow up in.

The book of Joshua says that Terah was an idol worshipper. Some of the scholars of the Bible believe that Terah was probably the high priest of one of the big temples there.

Genesis 11:31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan.But when they came to Harran,they settled there.

Most people think Terah started the journey to the Promised Land and later he took step back from the Lord and settled in Haran. That is not the case, both in Genesis and Acts it was Abram who received the call.

Acts 7:2 The God of gloryappeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran.

Genesis 12:1 TheLord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s householdto the landI will show you.

So get the picture, here they are in the Ur of the Chaldeans, this pagan family. Here is Abram who has come to know the Lord, left idol worship. One day Abram told his father, “I am going to follow Jehovah God, I am leaving home.”

That must have caused some friction in the family. No family sends a son out without stress and problem to serve the Almighty God. Can you hear the protest of his father Terah? Can you feel the strain within the family but Abram had set his heart to follow God!

Let me pause for a moment. This message is about choices. Abram choose to follow God and here is the young man Lot, looking at all this, seeing his grandfather perhaps so angry with Abram. Lot is feeling all the tension within the family and Abram says, “I have decided to follow God no matter what.”

Terah sees the disgrace that is going to come to his family because of Abram and for prides’ sake, perhaps not to lose his position as the patriarch of the family finally says, “Alright we will all go. I will lead the family out of Ur.” So the Bible says in Genesis 11:31 even though this was between God and Abraham that Terah took his family and set out to go to Canaan.

They travelled about half way until they came to a city called Haran and Terah decides that we will settle down here. The family stay there for several years until Terah dies. Keep in mind Lot is watching whole this time. He sees the testimony of his uncle Abram. He sees the stress within the family. Lot looks on and one day Abram says, “Alright it is time to move on and finish what God called me to do. We are heading into another land. I do not know anything about it but I walk by faith.”

Then we come to Genesis 12:4 So Abram went (this is from Haran now), as theLordhad told him; and Lotwent with him. Abram was seventy-five years oldwhen he set out from Harran.

Lot, who has heard his uncle’s testimony about the true God, sees his uncle continuing to believe God says, “I am going too.” As I look at the life of Lot, I think this was his moment of belief in God. So just like his uncle Abraham, Lot also chose to believe God and so it was counted to him for righteousness.

Everyone comes across 2 choices which are the most important questions in life. The first choice which was posed to Abram and Lot was, “Will you believe God and follow God? Will you trust in God? Are you ready to deny yourself, your family and follow God?” Abraham had believed God and that was counted to him as righteousness. That same question was posed to Lot, probably not in a direct fashion like Abram, but through the testimony and the teaching of Abram.

Genesis 18:19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of theLordby doing what is right and just, so that the Lordwill bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.

So, Abraham did train his household in the ways of God, not just his son Isaac but also his servants. So Abram instructed Lot about God and the question was posed to Lot, “Will you believe God?” This same choice come to every living person on earth. Will you trust Jesus as your Lord? The Bible says that all have come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, not one. You and I are sinners according to the word of God. The wages of sin is death. It is eternal separation from God in the lake of fire forever. That is all of us. But God also tells us that the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus Christ, God himself came to this earth 2000 years ago to pay the penalty for your sin. So he hung on the cross and died, he gave his blood which was the payment for our sin. He rose from the grave. He invites all of those who will trust him for forgiveness of sin through his sacrifice. The Bible says whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

Have you ever asked him to forgive you? Some who do not know Jesus Christ as saviour I would invite you today to believe in God. So that is the first choice that Abram and Lot answered. The Bible teaches that when I believe and accept the Lord Jesus Christ, I have righteousness of Jesus Christ which has been imputed to me. So Lot and Abram believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Abraham and Lot started their faith journey.

Here is the second choice of the Righteous: Will you now live for God instead of this world? Will you live for God instead of living for this world’s gains and pleasures?

Now Abraham and his nephew Lot believed God and journeyed together. As matter of their obedience, God began to bless them. Both of their flocks and servants increased. There were so many animals and shepherds on both sides of the family that arguments began to break out. They began to fight over grass, gazing right, and water sources.

Now remember this is a righteous family. Even righteous family has fights, every family has problems or issues sometimes and there has to be a peacemaker in the family. Someone has to stand up and say, “Look we are a family. It is not right to let material things come in between us.” Finally, Abraham the peacemaker in the family said, “Lot, here is what I propose. It is time to part ways. You take your flocks and your shepherds and if you choose and if you go north I will go south.”

Now, we see the choice of two righteous men. Genesis 13:10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plainof the Jordan. Lot chose the fertile land in the plains of Jordan. It was well watered and had everything you need to succeed. It was in the direction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Abram waited for God’s direction. Genesis 13:14 TheLordsaid to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west.

Lot saw and left on his own. Abram waited for God to speak. Abram walked by faith. It left Abraham with rocks, deserts, and mountains. Yet God blessed Abraham because God said, “Blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed is the one who trust in the Lord.”

Lot began to move in a direction which would eventually be the worst decision he would ever make in his life. Lot pitched his tent towards the wicked city of Sodom. He is a righteous man but he has made a wrong choice. Instead of living in the light of eternity, he now has his eyes on the beautiful glitz and glitter of this world and he wants more of it.

I wonder how many of God’s people make choices and decisions just by evaluating how they can get ahead in this life without considering God.

Life’s choices are to be made with eternity in mind. When you are making major life choices concerning you and your family don’t decide weighing financial rewards only. You do not make decisions based upon what you can see on the natural only. But you will have to filter major decisions about your family asking – Is this the will of God? How will this affect me and my family for eternity? That was the question that lot failed to ask.

Lot saw and moved. Anywhere you eyes go, your body will follow. He began to move his family little by little from the fields to the outskirts of the city into the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah and now they are living and have taken on the lifestyle of a wicked place.

We are to walk by faith. We lose when we walk by sight, but profit when we walk by faith.

1. Lot lost his safety.

The cities of that region were invaded by foreign powers. Lot and his family and all of their goods were taken captive. God in his mercy used Abraham and delivered lot, rescued him and his family. Now that Lot is rescued, he again had a choice but he went back to Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot had lost his spiritual sensitivity. Instead of taking stock from that, he moved right back into Sodom.

2. Lot lost his fellowship with God.

Genesis 18:1-2 1The Lord appeared to Abrahamnear the great trees of Mamrewhile he was sitting at the entrance to his tentin the heat of the day.2Abraham looked upand saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

Here in Genesis 18, the Lord himself came down with 2 angels to fellowship with Abraham. He entered the house, ate bread and meat, brought a godly present (a child will be born).

Genesis 19:1-2 1The two angelsarrived at Sodomin the evening, and Lotwas sitting in the gateway of the city.When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2“My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feetand spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”  The Lord went back and sent only the angels. They gave a message of warning and destruction. Even the angles were not willing to enter Lot’s house.

So we find God in fellowship with righteous Abram and his family but righteous lot is vexing his soul in wickedness.

3. Lot lost his testimony.

The two angels on Lot’s insistence went to his house. The men of the city encompassed the house and wanted to have intimacy with the angels. Lot was trying to protect the two angles and asked the men to sleep with his two daughters. Lot just lost his testimony. In the morning, the angels told Lot to flee the city with his family. Lot went to his to be sons-in-laws and tried to get them flee the city with him. His sons in law mocked him. He is just an old religious man. What does he think he is saying that God is going to destroy this city? Lot lost his testimony and good name.

4. Lot lost his family

Genesis 19:15-17  15With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept awaywhen the city is punished.” 16When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.17As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives!Don’t look back,and don’t stop anywhere in the plain!Flee to the mountainsor you will be swept away!”

It is at this moment when they are at the outskirts of the city that Lot’s wife turns around and looks back and she is changed into a pillar of salt. Don’t ever forget the danger of turning around when God brings you out, when God delivers your life, when he sets your life in a new direction don’t look back, don’t go back, don’t turn back. Don’t even allow a fleeting glance of looking back. When you are saved out of this world, when God has delivered you from sin, don’t look back. That is why Jesus said in Luke 17:32 Remember Lot’s wife. She did and she was turned into a pillar of salt. There is a high price for low living. Lot lost his family.

5. Lot lost his purity.

The story does not end there and it gets even more complex. When that mother was turned into a pillar of salt, the two daughters of Lot had a fear that their family lineage was over. All the inhabitants of the city were destroyed. So in desperation they got their father drunk and the Bible records one of the most horrible sins in the scripture. That night there was sexual immorality between the daughters and the father and the daughters become pregnant and gave birth to the Moabites and Ammonites, the greatest enemies of Israel in the OT.

Righteous Lot lost everything – Safety, fellowship with God, testimony, family, purity, his own self-respect, his clear conscious just because he made wrong choices based on sight.

See what the Bible says about righteous Abraham. Genesis 24:1 Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way.

What could Lot have gained had he made a different choice, had he answered that second question differently? He could have been respected alongside Abraham in the scriptures. He could have gained a name for which we would name our sons after him. He could have a gained a good testimony for God.

We all have that capacity and that inclination of Lot from time to time. There are many sitting here who at this time have made that wrong choice. You have answered that second question the wrong way and the Holy Spirit is touching your heart and telling you that you are going to lose, it is a losing proposition. Remember God has not left you. He is still willing to work in and through you. It is time to ask forgiveness and return back to God.

Sermon Notes:

a. Live by faith, not by sight.

b. Trust God, not our surrounding.

c. Live a Christ-centered life.

d. Answer life’s questions based on eternity.

e. Your choices determine your future.