January 4, 2017

January 4, 2017


Focus Verse: “Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar.

Genesis 13:10

“But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, “I made Abram rich.”’”

Genesis 14:22-23

The difference between Lot and Abram is spelled out perfectly in these two verses. Lot’s choice bears a striking resemblance to Genesis 3:6, when Eve sees that the forbidden fruit looks good to eat and is pleasing to the eye. I am very curious to know whether or not Lot knew much about Sodom and the lifestyle of the people there. There is one thing that is clear from Abram’s response, the Lord told him about what was going on in Sodom and made sure to warn Abram not to be involved in anything near that city. So whether Lot knew or not, this one thing is clear, Lot was not listening to the Lord when he chose which land to settle in and instead chose based on appearance.

Abram on the other hand, wasn’t just ignoring appearances of things, he was actually turning down physical wealth in order to keep himself free from unrighteousness. Now let’s note, Abram wasn’t a jerk to the king of Sodom. He didn’t lay out a five point sermon for the king on all of the reasons why he was an awful human being and deserving of eternal judgment (well, maybe he did, but the Bible didn’t find it important enough to tell us of this detail). He doesn’t condemn the king at all. He just says I can’t accept your goods because God told me never to be in debt to you.

Abram’s response is remarkably similar to a response we see in Matthew 4 where Satan offers Jesus everything He could ever want if He just denies God and bows before Satan. And what is Jesus’ response? Jesus doesn’t just turn down Satan’s offer…there is something even more subtle going on here.

When Satan offers Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” he is offering Jesus something that already belongs to God. Satan’s offer isn’t just for all the kingdoms; his offer is to obtain all of those things without going through the cross. So Jesus doesn’t just tell Satan that He doesn’t want anything he has to offer; Jesus is telling Satan, “I would rather go to the cross and carry out my Father’s will than accept anything you could possibly give to me.”

Wow! Is God’s will that high on your priority list? Does your life reflect that? Or do you need to walk away from something you chose because it looked “pleasing to the eye” and focus in on what God is telling you.

Good news: Jesus chose the cross. That means that no matter where you are, it’s never too late for you to choose it too.

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