Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pitching My Tent

It seemed to me that my way was just blessed. Here I was, prospering, doing more that breaking even.

And so, when Abram told me we needed to part ways because our abundance could not be sustained in one area, I naturally chose what looked to me to be the most prosperous way.

I chose those beautiful, green plains. After all, he gave me the choice, right?

I mean, what would you have done in my place?

I headed east with all that I had, my family, my servants, all of my possessions.

I found a place for us to dwell, a place with a great view of city life. That is where I decided we would stay.

And that is where we set up house - we pitched our tent toward the alluring city of Sodom.

I tell you, we were blessed. If you could have seen the abundance we had. It was just overwhelming.

It wasn't long before we had found a place there among those that lived in that great city. I even found that I was someone there, not just the nephew of Abraham (as he is now called), but I was respected, I guess. I even got to sit at the gates to welcome in visitors.

One day we had some visitors show up. I could tell there was something different about them. I knew what kind of wickedness went on in that great city, and I knew these men would not be safe.

I convinced them to come to my house since we had long abandoned our tent outside the city for a nice place within the city walls. And as we arrived home the men of the city surrounded us, demanding I send the men out to them so that they could do wickedness to them. I could not allow that to happen! I even offered the men my daughters if they would just leave the men be!

They would have none of that and tried to take me until the visitors pulled me inside. And all the men became as blind men, yet they still sought those visitors. I could hardly believe it even for the wickedness I already knew them capable of.

The men told me to take my family and flee. They said that the city would be destroyed. I knew they were telling the truth. I tried to plead with my family, but when the next morning came and the men said we must leave, only my wife and my two daughters would go.

We hung around, but the men would have none of it. They grabbed us and drug us out of the city. They told us to run to the mountain, to not look back.

Oh, if my wife would only have listened. But, she did not.

It is hard for me to look back myself, now. I can see things from this distance I could not see before. I know now that I was blessed, not because of who I was, but because of Abraham.

You see, he chose the right path, and that path was where ever the Lord led him.

It is funny to me as I look back how easy it was to allow myself, to allow my family to partake of such wickedness.

In the distance I beheld a beautiful city. I beheld it from afar. Oh, I knew that the things that went on there were not like the things I had learned following in Abraham's shadow.

But after a while, after we had been exposed to them for a time, those things didn't look so bad anymore.

Next thing you know, I am living in the midst of that wickedness, I have my family in the middle of it. And, because it no longer seemed so bad to me I allowed things to happen that, looking back, I cannot even imagine how I did.

But living there among those people, it just didn't seem so wrong anymore.

It just seemed, well, normal.

Imagine that.

I have always been fascinated by the story of Lot. That one verse in Genesis 13 (verse 12) has haunted me for years.

"Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom."

He pitched his tent toward Sodom.

I heard an awesome message today from Bro. Marc Wood. He kind of drew all my wayward thoughts toward Lot together.

I started thinking about what he would say if he could tell his story looking back. What would he have to tell to us?

He had dwelt with the "Father of the Faithful." He had been blessed riding on Abraham's coattails. Abraham walked with God. Lot walked with Abraham, but that didn't mean he walked with God.

This is the part that has always stayed with me. Lot left Abram and he pitched his tent, he step up house looking toward sin.

And, after a time he became desensitized to that sin. He no longer saw it for the sin that it was.

The next thing you know, he is there, raising his family in the middle of Sodom. He is part of that sin-filled community. He is "one of them."

At least he was in his eyes. He was *somebody.*

Those things that years before he would have never imagined, he was partaking of. Oh, maybe not all of it, but by living there, by rubbing elbows with those around him, he was saying, "This is OK by me."

Before you know it, his wife is gone, trapped forever by the allure of sin, he commits incest with his daughters, the very ones he tried to give to the wicked men of Sodom, and he has lost all those riches and possessions he once took for granted.

Sometimes we, as Christians, have to stop and examine our own lives. Have we been too long in the plains of Sodom? Do we find ourselves closer and closer to that city? Maybe, even living inside the gates?

Have we allowed things into our lives that at one time we would have never even allowed to darken our doors?

Lift up your tent flap today. What is your view? Is that Sodom in the distance?

It may be time to relocate. And never look back.

Thanks to Bro. Marc Wood for obeying God. And thanks to my Savior, my precious Friend, my Jesus, for reminding us again.

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