Lot, who was traveling with Abram, was also rich in sheep and cattle and tents. But the land couldn’t support both of them; they had too many possessions. They couldn’t both live there—quarrels broke out between Abram’s shepherds and Lot’s shepherds. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living on the land at the time. Abram said to Lot, ‘Let’s not have fighting between us, between your shepherds and my shepherds. After all, we’re family. Look around. Isn’t there plenty of land out there? Let’s separate. If you go left, I’ll go right; if you go right, I’ll go left.’ Lot looked. He saw the whole plain of the Jordan spread out, well watered (this was before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah), like God’s garden, like Egypt, and stretching all the way to Zoar. Lot took the whole plain of the Jordan. Lot set out to the east. That’s how they came to part company, uncle and nephew. Abram settled in Canaan; Lot settled in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent near Sodom. The people of Sodom were evil—flagrant sinners against God. After Lot separated from him, God said to Abram, ‘Open your eyes, look around. Look north, south, east, and west. Everything you see, the whole land spread out before you, I will give to you and your children forever. I’ll make your descendants like dust—counting your descendants will be as impossible as counting the dust of the Earth. So—on your feet, get moving! Walk through the country, its length and breadth; I’m giving it all to you.’ Abram moved his tent. He went and settled by the Oaks of Mamre in Hebron. There he built an altar to God.” Genesis 13:5-18 (MSG)


At different moments in life, we face decisions that will impact us down the road. At the moment when you are deciding on your major in college, it is hard to really understand how that decision will affect your future career. When you are deciding to marry someone, it can be difficult to realize how that one decision will impact your kids, grandkids, and generations to come. Even when you are comtemplating a job change or a move across the country, each of those decisions will have a ripple effect, impacting not only yourself, but your family and your future.

When Abram left his homeland of Haran to follow God, his nephew, Lot, went with him. As God blessed Abram, his possessions and wealth grew as well. It came to the point that the level of abundance for both Abram and Lot created tension. Out of wisdom, Abram decided to logically settle the dispute. In order to preserve the family relationship, he suggested that they part ways. Abram allowed Lot to make the decision. Which way would he go? Lot was facing a crossroad decision that he might not have even realized. As Lot looked at the landscape, he saw the plain of the Jordan and the area of Sodom and Gomorrah, and it looked good. Based on the appearance, Lot made his decision. Little did he know that the decision would eventually negatively affect his family and result in the loss of his wife. Even more signifcant than the physical landscape was the spiritual temperature of the people living in Sodom. Their hearts were not set on seeking God. The close proximity to these people would eventually impact his family. When Lot stood at the crossroads, he could have chosen either direction. But the contrast between Lot’s direction and Abram’s direction impacted their families for generations. When you are standing at a crossroad decision, what do you do? Many times, it can be tempting to make our decisions based on what looks good, instead of what is good. Proverbs 16:2 (MSG) says, “Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good.” The natural human tendency is to take things at face value. Only God can give us the wisdom and discernment to look past the surface of our circumstances and enable us to make decisions that will bring blessing into our lives in the future. As you are facing decisions at crossroad moments in life, God’s message is to not make destiny-defining decisions solely based on appearance. One of the ways that we can avoid this is by seeking God in our everyday life decisions. So before you “pitch your tent” in a new land, look to God for His direction and wisdom.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.