If you had to describe your approach to making decisions what would you say? Are you the type of person that goes with your gut? Do you like to plan everything out ahead of time? Do you follow the method of listing pros and cons? Decision-making often comes down to emotion and evidence. Depending on your personality you may lean one way or the other but most of us like to make decisions that are emotionally true to our hearts and also true to the evidence, to some degree at least.
Now, as tricky as the question above is to answer, here’s an even tougher one. What role does God play in your decisions? The answer may seem easy on the surface. Obviously, to the believer, God is important. But, is that actually the way you make your decisions or do you just say that? Is God the first one you turn to in moments of doubt, or do you consult a friend? Do you care more about what God says in His Word or what is posted on the internet or what comes from the talking heads on the TV? The thing is, if God is important to your decision-making process, you have to actually listen to what He says.
What most people seem to do is follow Lot’s folly? What do I mean? It comes from Genesis 13:10-13 –
Lot looked out and saw that the entire Jordan Valley as far as Zoar was well watered everywhere like the LORD’s garden and the land of Egypt. This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. 11 So Lot chose the entire Jordan Valley for himself. Then Lot journeyed eastward, and they separated from each other. 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, but Lot lived in the cities of the valley and set up his tent near Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom were evil, sinning greatly against the LORD.
Lot’s folly was that he blatantly ignored God when he made his decisions. He trusted himself. He gravitated toward what he wanted. He sought what was most prosperous by the world’s standards. And… he paid dearly for it. In the next chapter Lot was taken captive by a group of foreign kings. He ignored the chaotic nature of Sodom, with its rampant wickedness, and figured he’d be okay. He thought he could control the situation. In reality, it was far beyond Lot’s control and he was swept up in it. Once Abram rescued him you’d think Lot would have learned his lesson. You’d be wrong.
Lot returned to Sodom and continued to block out the Lord’s warning signs. Finally, God’s judgment could not be held back any longer and He sent two angels to get Lot out of the city (Genesis 19). What happened? The men of Sodom wanted to rape the angels and Lot offered his virgin daughters in their stead. How could one end up making such poor decisions? Answer: leave God out of it. Lot was spared that day, but his deliverance came at a cost as his wife perished in the process by disobeying the Lord’s command. Lot’s life held great promise. He had tremendous opportunities before him. It all changed the moment he chose Sodom, because their wickedness was great and they sinned against the LORD.
How does Lot’s folly continue today? It happens all the time, in many ways; whenever people think they can control situations that God warns about. A young person leaves church because they finally have freedom from their parent’s rules and they are ready to explore the world. A husband surfs around the internet trying to ignore daily stress and he is drawn to pornography, which promises excitement and acceptance. Netflix subscriptions, smart phone contracts, designer labels, food cravings, and more all make the annual budget, but offerings to church continue to decline. Consciences are acquitted by simply filling the pew yet ignored completely when it comes to loving those in need. Outcry for ivory tusks and eagles’ eggs resonates across the globe while the helpless plea of the unborn continues to fall on deaf ears. How easy is it to take God out of the decision-making process? Extremely. It happens all the time and in each case, Lot’s folly is repeated.
What are the consequences? Only time will tell for each person. But, even today we feel the weight. As Good Friday and Easter rapidly approach, we stand in unobstructed clarity at the horror of our sinful decisions; of every moment we have ignored God and bowed to our control of the situation instead.
Ye who think of sin but lightly, nor suppose the evil great.
Here may view its nature rightly, here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed, See who bears the awful load.
‘Tis the WORD, the LORD’S ANOINTED, Son of Man and Son of God (TLH 153 v.3).
Let Lot’s folly be a reminder for you – both of the importance in truly making God part of your decision-making process, and the great consequence borne by Christ because we so often don’t. You will rejoice this Easter, and into the future, with real, living joy because you have a God and Savior who does care about you.