But Lot protested, “No, masters, you can’t mean it! I know that you’ve taken a liking to me and have done me an immense favor in saving my life, but I can’t run for the mountains—who knows what terrible thing might happen to me in the mountains and leave me for dead. Look over there—that town is close enough to get to. It’s a small town, hardly anything to it. Let me escape there and save my life—it’s a mere wide place in the road.” Genesis 19:18-20 MSG
I listened to this passage this morning and thought about the stark contrast of what happened between Lot and Abraham. It wasn’t that Lot was disobedient, he just asked for something different. How many times do I settle for less than God has for me because I want things my own way?
Lot ended up in the mountains shortly after living in a cave afraid to be in the town he had fled to. His wife was turned into a pillar of salt for her disobedience. Eventually his daughters got Lot drunk and slept with him so they could have children. There are always consequences when we want something our way, and generally they are far-reaching. This decision created the Ammonites and Moabites, both fought against Israel.
When I think about the consequences of Lot having things his own way, and compare that to Abraham’s complete obedience, I am left wondering why I ever try to do things my own way.
The angel of God spoke from Heaven a second time to Abraham: “I swear— God ’s sure word!—because you have gone through with this, and have not refused to give me your son, your dear, dear son, I’ll bless you—oh, how I’ll bless you! And I’ll make sure that your children flourish—like stars in the sky! like sand on the beaches! And your descendants will defeat their enemies. All nations on Earth will find themselves blessed through your descendants because you obeyed me.” Genesis 22:15-18 MSG
Abraham asked to flee for his safety to the mountains, he was being asked to sacrifice his only son of promise. Abraham had tried his own way, and got Ishmael. But Abraham was not asked to sacrifice Ishmael, but Isaac. If there was a time to ask God for concessions to His way, I think sacrificing my child would be the time, but then maybe Abraham realized what happens when he does things his or his wife’s way. Abraham was obedient. It was at the point that Abraham raised his knife to kill his son who was laid on the altar that God said “Okay. You’re good. Kill the ram over there instead.” It was a relief I am sure to Abraham and Isaac.
God blessed Abraham’s obedience. He had already made a promise, but he expanded on it. Not only would he be made a great nation, all nations would be blessed through him because of His obedience.
I admit I am doubtful that nations would be blessed through me, nor has God promised me that. However, I am left to wonder what blessing I left on God’s table because I insisted on my own way. I question how many others are paying a price because God let me do it my way. And I am hopeful that I will keep this in mind going forward so I can be blessed and be a blessing to others!