Monday, July 1, 2013

Be Careful Where You Pitch Your Tent!

"Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of Jordan was well watered like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Lot chose for himself the whole plain of Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company...and [Lot] pitched his tents near Sodom." Genesis 13:10-11, 12b

As Abram parted ways with Lot he gave him a choice as to whether he wanted to settle in the east or the west (Abram would settle in the opposite place). As he looked his options over he saw how fruitful Jordan was and noticed the barrenness of Canaan. He decided to go east, making his choice based on wealth and pleasures. Lot, a prophet and a righteous man, probably thought the people of Sodom who were known to be wicked and greatly sinning against the LORD, would listen to him and repent of their ways. The LORD, not being willing that any should perish sends preachers to warn before sending destruction. Lot probably thought that living among them was the best way to reach them, but "sensual choices are sinful choices" and rarely bode well. (Henry) 

Lot's choice, which may have been made in part because of his grief over the wicked state of the Sodomites, led him to grievous situations himself. They molested and persecuted him because he would not do as they did. Shame and grief often becomes the troublesome fate of good men who choose to live among wicked neighbors; it is unfortunately brought upon themselves for making an unadvised choice.

According to Genesis, it is one thing to pass through a wicked place and preach the gospel. It is entirely different to set up house in the midst of it and expect not to be impacted in some way. What a great risk we take in pitching our tents in places where people are sinning  greatly against the LORD. Yes, we live in a sinful world, with sinners all around us, but we don't have to live in the worst part of town among the depraved to be a light. God's Word says, "Bad company corrupts good character." (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Jesus lived among the disciples and did life with them and they sojourned through some dark, hard places to share the good news. Keeping good, godly company while carrying out the great commission therefore should build honorable, principled and upright character in me. I must be diligent in doing both parts however - not just keeping good, godly company and being comfortable, but choosing good, godly company with friends who have a heart and passion for sharing and living out the gospel message, so we can spur one another on to love and good deeds.

Father God, In longing to be more like You, this is one of the things You have been working into my heart lately, a greater desire to be a true disciple: one who makes disciples who make disciples. Help me to choose my company wisely and walk closely with those who share the same passion so we can spur one another on in You. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

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