Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar. So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other (Genesis 13:10-11).
He fixed his gaze on the beautiful Jordan valley. Its beautiful green evidenced the presence of the plentiful waters of the Jordan for irrigation. The parched hills and dusty ground beyond were of little interest. There was scarcely any water there.
Literally, this Jordan valley was a paradise. It was just like that ‘garden of the Lord’ (13:13). It, too, seems to have been provided for by irrigation, rather than rain (Genesis 2:6, 10ff.). The Jordan valley was also like the land of Egypt. One did not have to live by faith in such a place where water was abundant, and one did not have to look to God for rain.
And so Lot’s choice was made, clearly the shrewd decision, and seemingly the choice that gave him the decided edge in the competition between himself and Abram. It was, in my mind, a selfish decision—one that took all of the best and left Abram with that which seemed worthless.
The simplest and fairest separation would have been to make the Jordan river the boundary between the two men. What would have been more fair than to have chosen one side of the river to dwell in and to leave the other to Abram? But Lot chose ‘all the valley of the Jordan’ (verse 11). He was looking out for number one. He could have written a book on that subject.
Abram and Lot have now separated. Abram dwelt in Canaan, while Lot edged more and more closely to Sodom.
Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom (Genesis 13:12).
Lot had considered very carefully the economic factors of his decision, but he totally neglected the spiritual dimensions. God had promised to bless Abram, and others through him as they blessed Abram (Genesis 12:3). As Lot went his way, I believe he patted himself on the back for putting one over on old Abe. He must have been soft in the head to give such an advantage to Lot, and Lot was just sharp enough to cash in on it. But in the process, Lot did not bless Abram, but belittled him. That brought cursing and not blessing (Genesis 12:3).
Furthermore, Lot had not considered the consequences of living in the cities of the valley. While the soil was fertile and water was plentiful, the men in those cities were wicked. Much like any major metropolitan city in America today. Usually run under liberal philosophical control. The inner cities are sewers of evil. And they are all spiritually blind. They think “they know better than God” of what it takes to be blessed. They think more governmental control means more blessings. Jesus warned us there would be some fools who say, “Let me take that speck out of your eye, while ignoring the log sticking out of your own eye.” We see that all across America today, especially in democrat strongholds. But, I digress…
The spiritual cost of Lot’s decision was great. And, in the final analysis, the material benefits all become losses, too. Just like in American cities today…