We often choose where we live based on the general neighborhood, price, and view from the window. But sometimes you do not really know a town until you start to live in it. And Abraham and Lot found that out the hard way.
Lot chose a place to live that was fertile, lush, and thriving. But Sodom did not turn out to be the ideal family location. According to Genesis 19, it was so corrupt that God decided to clean the slate. Angels came to evacuate Lot’s family and told him,
“13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”
Even today, “sodomite” is an offensive description of a lifestyle encouraged in this town. They had so much, and they were not satisfied. They grasped for more and more. And Lot, living in the middle of it, could not escape all the bad influences on him or his family. A town may be beautiful, but choosing good neighbors is vital.
Abraham, on the other hand, assumed that a local king, Abimelech, was out to get him. He (again) called Sarah his sister, and she was again taken into a harem (at age 90!). God had to step in with a dream for Abimelech to clean up the situation. Genesis 20 records their exchange:
“9 Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.” 10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” 11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, ‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’””
It sounds pretty weak to me. The neighborhood king shows up the man whom God is leading to found a nation. How are you representing God to those around you? You may be surprised how they actually view Him. In the end, the best location is where your heart responds to God.
God, where is my heart in relation to Yours? I can live in a beautiful city with good pay and great neighbors and still be in the wrong place if I am not seeking You. Thank You for how You work through the people around us. Please help me to show them Your love, and for Your work to be obvious in my life. Thank You for planting me right here, right now. Amen.