[notice]A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.[/notice]
Ask any husband and father what they want for their families and the answer most times will be: “I want the best for my family”. No man wants to see his beloved family suffer and in pain.
The best can take many forms — best education, home, car; they want their families to be provided for and to be comfortable. If that father grew up poor he will not want his children “to go through what I had to go through when I was growing up”. That is why his love for his wife and children makes him work hard no matter what the job.
Some men find themselves doing things that they never thought they would do all because of their love for their family. They find themselves staying in jobs they hate; willing to put up with all the taxing demands of the job. They does all that because they need the money to look after their families.
When you consider this reality that is the same all over the world you will understand Lot’s choice when he chose land that looked good in Genesis 13. He wanted the very best for his family.
The story of Lot and his wife teach us powerful lessons about the power of choice and decision. Their family story is only told because of their association with one of the fathers of the faith –Abraham. So many people are after what is beautiful; what is glamorous even for their families. When Lot chose to stay next to Sodom he knew about Sodom’s reputation as a wicked city but like many a Christian who has found himself in this reality he thought “I will not let the culture change me I will change my surroundings”. He pitched his tent near Sodom.
God looks at the heart
The place where Lot pitched his tent looked as if it was a place that would yield great returns. It looked beautiful. That is what happens in most situations. We choose the one that looks beautiful When a young man is looking for a wife he will look for a beautiful girl to marry. Human beings look to the outside. The Bible says in Samuel that man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. When Samuel was sent to the house of Jesse to anoint Israel’s king Jesse brought Samuel his tallest most striking sons. None of them were good enough for the Lord to make the future king of Israel. He chose a young man who was out in the field looking after sheep. David eventually became Israel’s most beloved king. God’s choice was not based on looks but whether David was devoted to the Almighty.
When Lot chose to stay near Sodom he never saw the future. Nobody could have guessed God’s intentions of destroying the city of Lot’s choice. He pitched his tent near Sodom because the land looked good. He did not mean any harm. His choice which looked good on the outside turned out to be what would be his family’s downfall. It would eventually turn out to be the very place that left him without a wife. How many of us go after jobs because the opportunity is too big. “I will earn twice what I am earning now”. How many spouses only got married because the wife or the husband is good looking? Do we involve God in our decision process? Is He the one who does the leading instead of relying to what you can see and what you can hear? Rely on the one who is Alpha and Omega who can see the end from the beginning.
Lot is similar to so many Christians who go to church and are around anointed men and women of God but never really seek to go deeper in the things of God for themselves. They progress sometimes because of their association with anointed individuals but never learn to hear God for themselves. This lazy carefree attitude to go with the flow has led many individuals to choices that were not destined by God. Choices such as spouses that were not chosen by God, businesses that God did not breathe on to command it to go now.
Be careful what you think about
In Luke 17: 26 Jesus reminded his disciples — Remember Lot’s wife. It is tragic what happened to Lot’s wife. She was turned into a pillar of salt. Being in a company of believers does not save you; it is what you do for the master and obeying what He says that will ultimately save you. One thing in her favour is that she raised obedient daughters. The daughters obeyed the command from the messengers to leave and not to look back. What lessons and advice do we give our children that will be the very thing that will kill us? A father who cheats on his wife and abuses her but teaches his children to respect their mother will kill his family by his very act. Those daughters of Lot were left without a mother to guide them, eventually thinking the unthinkable — let us sleep with our father so we can have children. If their mother was there this family would have had a different outcome. Your thoughts determine your actions. Be very careful what you think. Bring every thought to the submission of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Whatever is noble, whatever is of good report, think on these things. Lot’s wife’s decision to disobey cost her life. Only her family was being rushed to a place of safety.
Lot’s wife’s disobedience speaks of people in our day who hear the truth about salvation but have a difficult time to completely “leave”. Leaving the life they have always known and accept what the Lord gives; being taken by the hand to be led out to a place of safety. Their fears of the unknown get the better of them and they want to remain.
Noah’s family was saved because of Noah. Rahab’s family was saved because of her obedience to the instruction of the spies. Lot’s wife died because she did not listen to the instruction. Rahab would have also died together with her people if she did not do exactly as per the instruction. Adam and Eve brought about their own death and all deaths of human beings when they did not listen to the instruction of God not to eat of the tree of good and evil.
Do not look back; do not argue. Do what the Lord say when He says it and you will save many people and save your family in the process. How many of God’s children who have always been surrounded by the presence of God since birth end up abandoning the faith! How many who were born again 20 years ago are no longer living for God. Job’s wife was like that. Being surrounded by anointing and grace and not really changed by it.
It won’t matter that you were raised in a Christian home. “My father is a pastor”. “My parents are missionaries and my mother is an evangelist”. It is about your decision that you make for the Master that is important. When He says leave, leave!!!!!!! So many of us argue and hang on to the things of the past. We cannot completely separate ourselves completely with the thing of the world. We cannot completely be found to be going with Christ.
Lot’s wife was with a godly man; she was in the company of Abraham who was willing to even sacrifice his own son because God said so…her being in their company did not mean that she was the same as them. Your life, your mind, your thoughts, your decisions, your actions determine your destiny and the outcome of your family. Because of her decision the family was left without a mother. Two daughters were left without a mother. Lot was left without a wife. This family was affected by a decision. In an instant death arrives. No sooner had she looked back, longing for the life that she had lived in Sodom that she is turned into a pillar of salt.
I’M MOVING FORWARD NO MORE TURNING BACK!
Isaiah 43:18-19 — “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 — Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
The concept of forgetting the former things and of moving forward is illustrated all over the Bible especially by the life of Lot’s wife. We would do well to learn from the decisions of this couple. Let us take after Abraham and let God guide us in our journey. God is able to take our families from glory to glory only when we obey and let God guide and lead.
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