Lot would never forget the day when they left their hometown. His grandfather Terah took him and his uncle Abram with his wife Sarai, and together they set out from Ur located in modern day Iraq to travel 700 miles west to Canaan, a region bordering the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. It was at Haran (near modern day Baghdad) that old Terah died, at the age of 205. The family mourned him and buried him there. But as soon as the monsoon rains were finished, early in the New Year, it was to his uncle Abraham that God spoke now (Genesis 12:1):
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”
Abram was visibly thrilled that God had spoken to him, and he promptly followed God’s lead. The very next morning his uncle packed up his camels and was ready to go. His enthusiasm was contagious. Caught up in the excitement, Lot decided to go along for the ride. Together they set out for the land of Canaan. And after a long and treacherous journey, they finally arrived there and settled down.
Meanwhile, their livestock had grown exponentially. Conflict arose when their flocks and herds outgrew their pastures and the land could no longer support all of them. Abram and Lot met to discuss the problem, and his uncle made a very sensible suggestion (Genesis 13:8-9):
“So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? 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.”
His uncle seemed profoundly sad while Lot was excited about the prospect of separating. He has had his eye on the region near the Jordan River for a while. It looked very promising – the perfect location for his flocks and herds. Best of all: two thriving cities were close by. He could settle there, build business relationships and become a wealthy man. So he told his uncle what he wanted, and the deal was sealed.
It was a windy day when Lot took his wife and children and moved to the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley near Sodom and Gomorrah. As it turned out later, his moving location was on the brink of disaster. Lot’s greed had clouded his judgment and affected an important life decision.
The Holy Spirit wants to guide our lives, but we often think we know better, and for various reasons we fight that inner voice. We need to realize that God does not work against us. His plans for us are simply bigger than all of our hopes and dreams combined – and certainly bigger than Lot’s agenda way back then. However, if we want God’s plans to materialize we need to trust His leadership. Our lives will become inspired as we follow the still small voice of His Spirit.
Unforeseen life events can throw us off in a moment’s notice. One door closes, another one opens, and we are grieving over the closed door while uncertain where the open door leads. God is a wonderful change agent; He is going to be with us every step of the way.
Embarking on a journey into the unknown, God will guide us through the mystery into our destiny.