“But Lot lived in the cities of the valley and set his tent near Sodom.” Genesis 13:12.
In one of the most famous passages of Genesis, we see a conflict between two family members. Abram, whom God had called to live in Canaan, and his nephew, Lot, have a dispute over where their herds should graze. Lot and his servants do not believe the place where they were all currently encamped could support all the animals of both herds. Abram, wanting to resolve this conflict peacefully and quickly, offers Lot a proposition–the two men will part ways, and Lot can choose for himself where to go to support his herds. Abram believed that this separation was unnecessary and that God would provide; Lot’s faith was not so deep. When Lot surveyed the valley before him, he chose the most fertile land for himself–not because of its fertility, but because of its proximity to the city of Sodom. Lot and Abram separate, and Lot placed his tent facing Sodom, an idiom that represents where Lot’s heart was.
Sodom is famous for its wickedness and debauchery–it also represents the spiritual state of the world–and this is where Lot chose to be. Lot determined for himself that he’d had enough of being out in the wilderness and having to depend on God; he wanted to be in the city where a person could get whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it. Lot’s heart had wandered away from God, and he had become distracted by the lure and luster of the city. He was caught up by the bright lights and fast-paced lifestyle, so to speak. Eventually, Lot’s choice would catch up with him and the choice to live in the city instead of with Abram would ruin his life.
So often our hearts wander and we allow our tents to be placed facing Sodom. We allow our spiritual walk to atrophy because we’ve fallen sway to the vices and depravity of the world around us. We must not allow ourselves to be as spiritually brain-dead as Lot; we must not pitch our tents near Sodom. We must remain in the place where we must depend upon God daily.