2 Corinthians 9
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” —Galatians 6:1
Every day we face choices, and sometimes, we make the wrong choice. When Abram, Sarai and Lot returned from Egypt and began to settle in the land that the LORD called Abram to go, conflict started to arise. Abram and Lot both became prosperous and accumulated such possessions that the land could not support them while they stayed together. Abram turned to Lot and said, “Let’s not have any quarrelling between you and me….Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left” (Genesis 13:8-9). According to Abram’s culture, as the elder, he should have made the decision, but he deferred that decision to Lot.
Genesis 13:10-11 tells us, “Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan towards Zoar was well watered…like the land of Egypt….So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out towards the east.” According to his culture, Lot should have chosen the less desirable land because Abram was his elder. Instead, Lot’s choice was based on three things: (1) what appeared most appealing, (2) what gave him an advantage and (3) what seemed to appear like Egypt.
Lot left and pitched his tent near Sodom. Even though Sodom was economically prosperous, it was morally poverty-stricken. Genesis 13:13 tells us, “Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.” After some time, four kings attacked five kings, and the four kings prevailed. They seized all the goods from Sodom and “carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom’’ (Genesis 14:12). Did we notice the subtle shift in the verse? No longer was Lot’s tent pitched near Sodom; he was living in Sodom.
One of the men escaped and told Abram what happened to Lot, but Abram did not respond with condescension like, “It serves Lot right for picking to live in Sodom, to get sucked into the city life. He made some bad choices and now he has to suffer the just consequences.” Rather, Abram took 318 of his men against the four kings and saved Lot, along with his family and possessions.
We can learn a lot about Abram’s character from his actions. Too often in the Christian community, when brothers and sisters are suffering the consequences of their bad choices and are captive to sin, the Christian community would rather shoot its own wounded, letting those people suffer the consequences of their bad choices without fighting for their brothers and sisters. May we gently restore those we know who are caught in sin and be watchful of ourselves, too.
PRAYER: Gracious and compassionate God, thank You for the example of Abram who did not give up on Lot when he made the wrong choice, just like how You have never given up on me.