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Monday, May 20, 2013

Lot: From Homeowner to Cave Man

The parallels and contrasts in Scripture are always fascinating. Take Abraham and Lot, for example.

Abraham left Ur at God’s call. From then on, he lived a nomadic life, carrying his tent and a whole tent village worth of people from place to place. He never had a house in the Promised Land.

Lot left with his uncle Abraham and lived in tents with him. When Lot separated and went to live in Sodom, he had a house. When he had to flee for his life from God’s judgment of Sodom, he and his daughters sheltered in a cave.

Abraham went from house to tent. Lot went from house to tent to house to cave.

Read what the Bible says about Abraham’s housing:
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. . . . But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city (Hebrews 11:8-10, 16).

Here on earth, Abraham lived in tents, but his focus was on eternal values—on heaven.

In contrast, Lot was looking for material gain. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom (Genesis 13:10-12).

Lot’s decision was the start of his downfall. He moved closer and closer to Sodom, lived there (in a house), and God rescued him and part of his family immediately before its destruction. Later, he lived in a cave with his two daughters. Everything went bad for Lot. He lost his wealth, his home, his wife, some of his children, and then we lose track of him. We see him last in a cave in Zoar, living with his daughters and his sons born of drunken incest with his daughters. (Interesting: their children were Moab and Ammon—whose descendants gave Israel problems ever afterwards.)

The Bible gives us a different perspective from the world.
  • The world says, Go. Do. Get.
  • The Bible says there are things that are worth living and dying for. They’re not gotten . . . yet. 

Hebrews 11, the chapter about the heroes of the faith, says: These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country (11:13-14).

The Puritan writer, Thomas Watson (1600s) said, "A believer is in the world, but not of the world. We are here in a pilgrim condition, out of our own country. Therefore, we must not look for the respect and acclamations of the world. It is sufficient that we shall have honour in our own country. It is dangerous to be the world's favorite."

Some practical applications:
  • Am I more like Abraham or Lot?
  • Where are my values?
  • If I have made some bad choices in life, am I willing to change, turn around, and start over, pleasing God?
  • If my sights are firmly on heaven and on obeying God’s call, am I surprised when those around me don’t understand?
  • Do I have a “pilgrim complex”? Do I feel sad, discouraged, misfit, and lonely because I don’t live like others around me?
  • Do I live a victorious life, laying up treasures in heaven? 

Lot had the wrong values, a wrong lifestyle, and he blew it with his family. He ended up in a cave.

A study of Abraham will inspire us to follow God all our lives. Oh yes, he had his faults, but he always pressed on in the right direction. When he failed, he repented and went on. He didn’t live in defeat. He also didn’t expect those around him to understand. He obeyed God, and God honored his faith.

Let’s be like Abraham!
Abraham was generous, caring, obedient, and dedicated to God’s call.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country.


  1. Muy buen post, hemos de ser mas como Abraham y menos como Lot poniendo toda situación y acción delante de el Señor e intentar no hacer lo que a nosotros nos parece bien.


  2. I love this. You obviously have a love for studying the word. I do too. I have never studied the concept though of going from house to tent... or tent to house... in regards to Abraham and Lot. I am intrigued! I must look harder into it. I think there is a lot to learn from this perspective. Thanks Lou Ann!

    1. Thank you, Kari. I always love what God teaches us about where our true values should be. :o) Enjoy your study!


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