Sunday, May 30, 2010


By Lisa Karon Richardson
“Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” Genesis 13:12
This scripture is sort of sandwiched in the story of Abram and Lot. Conflict had arisen between uncle and nephew, and so Abram decided it was best for them to split up. He gave Lot his choice of property.
Lot chose the fertile plain of Jordan where it would be easy to water his flocks and gather food. Lot’s story did not end happily. We get lots of clues as to what went wrong with Lot. So let’s gather the evidence.

First was his desire for supremacy. His men fought with Abram’s over the rights to certain water supplies.
Then, when given the option, Lot chose what he thought would be the easy life in the plains of Jordan.
Finally there is the verse above, specifically this phrase: “and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” To me this is all the evidence we need to know that something was wrong in Lot’s life.
He wanted to walk the fence. His heart was attracted to the evil city of Sodom even though he knew he should avoid the place, so he pitched his tent toward it. He could always claim he wasn’t a part of the problem—he was just sort of near it.
God knows our motivations though. He understands our hearts and no amount of hoop jumping self-justification will work on Him.

You see it wasn’t very long before Lot wasn’t just living near the city, but he was drawn into the city. He was living in the city when it was scheduled for destruction and it fell to Abram to intercede on his behalf. His property was destroyed, his wife turned into a pillar of salt, and his daughters were deluded into plying him with drink and having incestuous affairs in order to continue his bloodline.
Sadly, fence sitters usually come down on the wrong side of the fence. It’s better to be sold out to God. Why live your life on the border, wondering how much you could get away with?
Everything that brings real joy, everything that is pure and wholesome, everything that is just and right, is open to us. God has no desire to suck the fun out of our lives. He wants us to have all the best things.
So what evidence do our actions reveal?


  1. Lots of food for thought, Lisa. I hope I'm not a fence sitter. I try not to be. But I'm sure there are times when my motivations are less than pure and I've tried to justify things. I don't like to even think that, but I know it's true. Hopefully, if I'm ever in a situation where I find myself trying to justify my actions, God will use that moment to convict me of what is right.

    Thanks, Lisa, for a great devotional.

  2. Motivations are so complicated, aren't they Susie? As complex as people. They're a big ball of experience and desire all knotted and tangled sometime, like Christmas lights. So that we can't make heads or tails of it ourselves until we sit down and take the time to work out the knots.

    God's got the answers though and He's there to help us know not only Him, but ourselves so much better. Please God heat me up. I don't want to be lukewarm!

  3. Wow, Lisa, lots to think about today. I will say that I've learned this: there's no point in trying to hide our real motivations from God. We can deny them, but he already knows. So I think it's better to be honest with God about areas that we struggle with and invite him into those areas.

  4. This was a great post. I agree with Suzie Johnson, that is a lot of food for thought.

  5. Amen! I became familiar with this story during Beth Moore's bible study, The Patriarchs. God knows our hearts, as you said, we can even try to fool our Christian community that we are still on God's side of the fence but He knows whether or not we really are.

    And Lot's daughters? That story gives me the heebie jeebies ... gag!

  6. Oh Lisa,
    This is deep. I know without a doubt that I was more Lot than Abram at one time in my life. Now, I think it's the other way around. I hope so. I frequently pray for wisdom in everything about my life and I think that helps me remain sold out for Jesus. I don't think there's really any other way for me.

  7. Sometimes it takes some painful experiences before we realize that God's blessings on us when we walk in His light are much more amazing than what might look like enjoyment on the other side. Good lessons, because so few of us learn without facing repercussions of our actions.

    I never thought of that "pitched his tent toward Sodom" that way before.

    thanks, Lisa! I appreciate this.

    Also it's great to see Bex again. Thanks for commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed my photoshop fun yesterday.

    and GREAT TO SEE JILLIAN KENT! Hope you're feeling much better today, Jill

  8. Dina you're right. God sees through the tangle right to our essence and there's no trying to keep anything hidden. It's just no use. Though it might be painful to open up to the light of his gaze at first. Soon we realize that his gaze refines us and burns away the dross. We are lighter and freer.

  9. Thanks, adge. Great to see you here today!

  10. Bex, heebie jeebies is right!

    Jilly, I've been there too. It's so easy to let ourselves drift. But when we do that the flesh is in charge and we will drift 'toward' Sodom. So glad to see you're up and about enough to comment. Hope you're all better soon.

    Deb, you're right. This is the sort of thing everyone struggles with. Probably because it's hard to be ever vigilant. But I've come to recognize some of my 'tells.' Those little thoughts that creep in when I'm not doing right. The habits. All so easy to slip into and so hard to get out of. Like a bean bag chair!

  11. Great word, Lisa. It's so easy to give just a little bit, here and there, and one day you wake up and realize you've crossed a line you thought you'd never get close to! I've been there before and I never want to do it again. Thanks for the reminder :+}

  12. You're right, Jen. I hadn't thought of it before, but I guess the fence can be wherever a stinky attitude pops up. We're right there and have the choice to cross the line or not.


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