Lot the Fool (Genesis 13:11)

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When Abraham gave Lot the option to pick whatever land he wanted in order to keep the peace between their two parties, Lot did his research.

First, he looked at the land of Canaan. We will eventually know it as the “land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8), but apparently at this point, it didn’t look that appealing to him.

Instead, he chose the “well-watered plains of Jordan” and decided to take that for himself (Genesis 13:10).

This wouldn’t have been a problem, except for what it was close to…

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Why Did Lot Choose Jordan?

Let’s not make any bones about the fact that Lot chose what he chose because of the financial benefits it afforded him. The land — in his eyes — was better and it provided easier access to water for his flocks, which can be a challenge in that climate.

There’s also a healthy argument to be made for the fact that Lot chose that area because of the proximity to Sodom and Gomorrah, rather than in spite of it.

After all, he could have set his tent anywhere in that entire plain, but he pitches his tent curiously close to Sodom (Genesis 13:12). 

Later, when the angels come to visit, he’s actually inside the city, sitting in the gate where the city elders usually sit (Genesis 19:1). He’s still seen as an outsider (Genesis 19:9), despite his best efforts to blend in.

How Do We Choose Where to Live?

In today’s world, people make choices to live based on all sorts of otherwise-good data. We may like the school system, the city infrastructure, proximity to family friends, or job opportunities.

But how will that benefit your spiritual life? Are you close to a church that teaches the Bible? Have you surrounded yourself with people that love God? Will your new job take you away from your family and church home for days or weeks at a time?

These are all things to consider. Lot fixated on the physical benefits of his eventual home. We should take that lesson and learn from it.