What have you chosen for yourself? A job, a significant other, an alternate lifestyle, or life in a certain city? Are you chasing a dream that you believe is for you and you are striving to reach out and take hold of it? What if what you want is not the best for you? Many people choose a life that sets them on a path of destruction. How do you know if this life and these choices are the right ones?
11 So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Genesis 13:11 ESV
Lot is the nephew follower of Abraham the father of faith. When God called Abraham to leave his family land Lot also left home and followed Abraham to wherever he was headed. Over time both Lot and Abraham grow their own households to the point that there is conflict over resources. So, Abraham gives Lot the choice of what lands to spread out in. It is interesting that Abraham the older would give Lot such a choice. Maybe that is just the way Abraham was or maybe Abraham liked Lot that much that he would do such a thing. What we do know is that Lot chose the direction that looked most promising in worldly wealth.
10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt Genesis 13:10 ESV
This land he chooses looks like what he might have imagined the Garden of Eden looked like. It held the potential of Egypt that he had seen with his own eyes. Lot effectively chose for himself a land in the direction of wealth and power. Lot was not alone in seeing this land as a land of potential. There were already several cities in the land two of which Sodom and Gomora live in infamy even today.
Lot could have turned to the hills, offered Abraham the first choice, or even asked to stay with Abraham, but he “chose for himself” what he wanted. Abraham accepted the choice and something interesting happened.
14 The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. Genesis 13:14-15 ESV
God chose for Abraham and tells him to “Lift up your eyes” to see the land he would receive. God once again promises the land to Abraham that this land would be blessed by God and it would be the land of his offspring. We do not know what Abraham would have chosen for himself because he set all that aside to submit to what God had chosen for him. Henry Morris writes the following about Lot after he choose the wealth and power of this world. “Lot first pitched his tent toward Sodom, but soon he dwelt in Sodom (Genesis 14:12), and finally [Lot] sat in the gate of Sodom (Genesis 19:1) as one of its business leaders. Thus began the tragedy which would ultimately destroy him and his family” (Morris, 304).
Lot operating the orbit of Abraham receives blessing and growth but when he leaves to seek his own desire and his own piece of the world, he declines and must be rescued by Abraham. It is an unrecognized paradox that when we seek our best and when we seek what we want we lose in what really matters.
39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39 ESV
Jesus speaking to the crowds tells them of this paradox. If you want to choose a life for yourself you will lose the eternal life that is found only in Jesus. If you give to Jesus your life, he will in turn give you a life that never could have been imagined. Abraham yielded his life to God and trusted him. Lot choose for himself and trusted in himself.
Christ calls and ask that we lay our lives, our dreams, our passions at his feet. In return he will give us lives, dreams, and passions that will glorify God both now and in eternity. Lives that are greater than anything we could have secured for ourselves.
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 3:20 ESV