Daily Word

Good decisions, bad choices | Genesis 13:8-13

8 So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left.”

10 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. 11 So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other. 12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the Lord.

Genesis 13:8-13 (NASB) 

Good decisions

Yesterday we read how Abram (and Lot) arrive back in Canaan and that the place they camp is too small to support both of them and their herds. Strife arises between their two groups and needs to be settled. Rather than let things “run their course” and a feud develop, Abram takes action to solve the problem before it gets out of control. This is a good decision. 

Abram knew God’s promise and call to Canaan so he needed to stay there. “Abram was evidently suggesting that he and Lot partition the Promised Land into two halves.” (planobiblechapel.org)  But rather than just tell Lot where to go, he gave Lot the choice. It seems this was a step of faith for Abram to see God work in the decision.

Bad choices

They were situated between Ai and Bethel (toward the top of the map). Lot chose the valley, just outside of Canaan – which looked best. It was the “well-watered” area – which would be good for raising livestock (the red circle on the map is where Sodom and Gomorrah were). It was, “like the garden of the Lord” (probably referring to the Garden of Eden).

Yet that turned out to be a bad choice – as we’ll see in a few days. The words, “lifted up his eyes and saw”, reminds me of “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes” in 1 John 2:16. “It wasn’t Lot’s choice that led his heart astray. His heart was already astray, and it was demonstrated by his choice.” (enduringword.com)

Lot was given a decision. Rather than trust the Lord, he trusted his flesh. He made a bad choice. Though Lot is called righteous (2 Peter 2:7-8), he surely was as sinful as the rest of us.  


  • God allows strife in our relationships. It’s for a purpose. He wants to shape us through that strife. The other person is not our enemy, but God’s tool to accomplish His good work in us – to make us like Christ; to bring glory to Himself; to bless us.
  • Lot lived by the flesh and suffered the consequences. Are you following his pattern right now? Will you walk by the flesh or the Spirit? (Galatians 5:16) The choice is ours.
Lush valley. Image from Pxfuel.com

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