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March 2, 2022 12:00 pm
You don't 1987 produced some great movies but I wonder if you know which one of them was the highest grossing film of the year.
Let me tell you what some of your choices are the Untouchables Wall Street Princess bride Moonstruck Robocop lethal weapon predator with Arnold and good morning Vietnam which one you think was the highest grossing movie.
None of none of actually the highest grossing movie of 1987, more than doubling the movie there was in second place was the movie fatal attraction now because I just want to say for the record because of the nature of that movie. I never actually went to see it and maybe none of you did either.
Some of you maybe didn't.
But we all kind of know the plot of that movie are nice average guy with a loving wife and and child I have not had a one night stand with a new woman at work, but it was a horrible decision and as soon as he did it. He knew it was a horrible decision.
So he went to this woman and he told her was a bad decision and that that that that he didn't want to do you know it was all over was gone, but one quite that simple. Because this one night stand turned into a psychotic obsession on the part of this woman that only ended when the man's wife shot her dead in their bathtub bad decisions.
Hey Olmedo, that's what we want to talk about today we want to talk about bad decisions and how not to make them and were going to look back in the Old Testament in Genesis 13 as we returned to our study of the book of Genesis were going to look at a fellow name lots and a really bad decision that he made and they were going to bring all that forward and talk about well, how can you and I learn from that and do better today so are you ready okay but you know it's been a while since we've been in the book of Genesis, so maybe a little bit of review would be good member in Genesis chapter 12 there was a terrible famine that hit the promised land.
And so as a result, Abraham's wife Sarah and his nephew Lot left the promised land and went to Egypt looking for food. And because Sarah was so beautiful Abraham was afraid that the Egyptians would kill him in order to take his wife so he convinced her to lie and say I'm Abraham's sister. Well, Genesis 1216 and Pharaoh treated Abraham well for her. Say, and Pharaoh gave him she and oxen and donkeys in male and female servants, and camels. But before Pharaoh could defile Sarah sexually God sent a horrible plague on Pharaoh and his household which caused Pharaoh to discover the real truth about Sarah and when he did he banished her and Abraham and Lot and threw them out of Egypt.
Okay so that's where we been now, let's pick up the story.
Genesis 13 verse one. The Bible says so Abraham went up from Egypt to the negative and he and his wife and all that belonged to him and Lot went with it now. The negative is the southern portion of modern-day Israel verse two and Abraham was very wealthy in livestock and in silver and in goal. By the way where do you think Abraham got all this livestock, silver and gold were member Pharaoh gave it to remember and obviously Pharaoh let them leave Egypt and taken with him. Verse three and from the negative Abraham, when from place to place. Remember we saw in Genesis chapter 12, that archaeology has shown that at the time of Abraham, 2100 BC, give or take the promised land was full of semi-nomads better would like people living in tents and roaming freely precisely the way the Bible says that Abraham live in.
So this brings us to our mantra, which I want us all to say together here we go, say it with me.
The more they dig out of the ground the more the Bible proves to be right now. I would give you about a C+ on that but I got good news for you were going to give you one more chance to do it before the sermons over so get ready we can improve. Overstreet and from the negative. Abraham went from place to place until he came to Bethel to the place where he had lived earlier when he entered the land of Canaan verse four.
This was the place Bethel where he had built an altar to the Lord previously Genesis 12 eight and there.
Abraham called on the name of the Lord.
Okay so far so good right right okay but there's trouble brewing your ego verse five now lots, who was moving around with Abraham. Also had flocks and herds and tents. Apparently, Pharaoh had been very good to Lot also because of pharisaic, but the land could not sustain them both while they were staying together. Abraham and Lot for their possessions were so great, so strife arose between Abraham's herdsman and the herdsman of lots now the Canaanites and the parasites living in the land at that time you save up up up up some longline were with the Bible mentioned that means what importance could possibly have for us to know that the Canaanites and the parasites were living in the land of Canaan. Why mention it well to very important reasons actually number one God wants us to understand that Abraham and Lot did not have unrestricted access to all the land of Canaan. There were other people living in the promised land. People who had flocks and herds that needed grass and water, just like Abraham and lots herds did.
The point is Abraham and Lot couldn't fix the problem they were facing.
Just by spreading out and taking more land. There were other people in the land who were using the land so that wasn't a solution.
The second reason it's important for us to know all these people were there is so that we understand the people were watching Abraham they knew who he was.
The newly built and altered Bethel. They knew that he claimed to worship the one true God of the universe and he had a testimony to protect in a big fight between him and Lot was not exactly what you would call a great testimony so Abraham had to fix this. There were people watching. Okay on we go per se that Abraham said the lots please let there be no strife between you and me between my herdsman and your herdsman for we are brothers is not the whole land before you please. Abraham said let's separate lot. If you go to the left.
Then I'll go to the right and if you go to the right, then I'll go to the left. What an incredibly gracious man. Abraham gives lots. The first choice of where he wants to go now. Think about it for a moment. Abraham was the man whom God had called Abraham was the man with whom God had made a covenant, lots was just a hitchhiker. Lot was just a barn or coal on Abraham's bow understand what I'm saying. And yet, in amazing amazing graciousness and humility. Abraham says okay Lot tell you what, I'll give you first choice you pick whatever part of the land you want and I'll take what's left over, so Lot had a decision to make.
What you decide.
Let's look and see verse 10. So Lot looked around and saw the valley of the Jordan River that it was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the Garden of Eden.
Like it was like Egypt, like where they just come from and Moses say (this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, which was down in this area. Lot looked around and decided to go to the southern end of the Jordan Valley and use a long I've been to this area with you when we going to Israel are seen pictures of this area. This area is complete wasteland. It's a complete arid desert.
There's not even anybody that lives there today. Why in the world would Lot have chosen to go down there. Well, the answer is because that's not the way it was for thousand years ago. The Bible says 4000 years ago that this area was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord. It was green and luscious and verdant, just like it'd been in Egypt when they had been there a few months before. Now this statement by the Bible that this area was green and lush and and wealthy has been used for centuries to prove that the Bible is inaccurate, that the Bible is wrong, that the Bible is on trustworthy because you saw what this area looks like today. So people say you know the Bible completely inaccurate.
However, 1932 between the years 1932 in 1947 the very famous archaeologist and Jewish Rabbi Nelson bleak actually did excavations during those years down in this area around ancient Sodom and Gomorrah and what he found is the remains of more than 70 cities that were there at the time of Abraham and Lot and what's more, he also found in this mutable prove that at the time of Abraham, the southern Jordan Valley around Sodom and Gomorrah was green and luscious and wealthy exactly the way the book of Genesis says so it's time for our mantra again. Are you ready, here we go. Come on, the more they dig out of the ground the more the Bible proves to be dry much better. Verse 11 so Lot chose for himself the valley of the Jordan and journeyed eastward.
Thus, the two men separated from each other. Thus Abraham settled in the land of Canaan. While lots lived among the cities of the valley and Lot moved his tents as far as Sodom verse 13.
Now the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and were sitting greatly against the Lord that the stars were going to go today in our verse by verse treatment of Genesis 13, but before we leave the chapter, I want to point out to us three reasons why Lot made the decision that he did three forces were at work that the Bible tells us about that lay at the heart of lost decision to move to Sodom arrived here we go. First of all, let's notice that lots decision to move there was based on the fleshly attractions that the Jordan Valley offer living in tents with Abraham, was a Spartan life but don't forget Lot had seen Egypt with all of its wealth and all of its affluence and all of its sensual pleasures and Lot liked those things, and Lot wanted those things in the Jordan Valley down around Sodom and Gomorrah offered lots those things. Point number one that I want us to make sure we understand is that what attracted Lot to the Sodom and Gomorrah area was not the God was there but what attracted them. There was all the earthly, sensual pleasures that were there. We all see that okay good number two let's notice that lot new that he was choosing to walk very close to the edge of sin when he chose to go down this area.
Listen, friends, Lot knew what kind of people lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. This was not a classifieds secret in the land of Canaan. Everybody in the land of Canaan new that morally Sodom and Gomorrah were the toxic waste dump of Canaan and the second point, I want you to see is by choosing to go there lot was choosing to walk perilously close to the edge of sin, and he know it. Finally, number three I want us all to notice that lot failed to think about the long-term consequences of his decision before he made it. He failed to think about how living near Sodom and Gomorrah might erode his own spiritual life. He failed to think about how living near Sodom and Gomorrah might corrupt the spiritual life of his wife and the spiritual life of his daughters. The point is that lot made this decision without any consideration of the long-term effect that it might have on him and his family do we see all those things. Yes okay now how did this turn out for lot. Well, let's comment just jump ahead to Genesis 19 and take a peek will get to Genesis 19 ballistic. A little peek and see how this turned out for our friend lot. Genesis 19 tells us that when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah number one lot lost all his possessions you remember all those clocks and all of the silver at all of the gold. There was so much that he couldn't even live near Abraham. You remember all that on all of the gone number two lots wife looked back. You remember the story and she died so he lost his wife and number three and finally his two daughters had become so infected by the immorality around Sodom that after Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and their husbands were killed and married two men from Sodom. They got their father lot drunk. They went in and had sexual relations with him while he was drunk and they each had a child from this instance. Esther was relationship not good. He lost his possessions. He lost his wife and he lost the moral character of his daughters. So tell me do you think lot here in Genesis 13 made a good decision or bad decision. What he think he made a bad decision absolutely right now that's as far as we want to go in the chapter we want to stop now and ask our most important question I know it's been a little while and I know that your little rusty so we needed a little limbered up here and all you folks out there on the Internet. You need to do that to and I just need to tell you that today you don't have much competition here in the 1230 service the other services were me so you don't even have to do it that hard today to be them. They're going to be better next week.
But you guys should win this hands down. Are you ready all right here we go on to pray.
I love you people you are. I'm telling you the best you start lawn that's wonderful fun. What difference is any of this make my life.
I mean, I appreciate the fact the man made a horrible mistake, but what is doing me well Francis talk about the you know the Bible says, Romans chapter 15 verse four that everything that's written in the Old Testament was written for our instruction, in other words, the reason God wrote down in Genesis 13 about the really bad decision lot made was so that we as followers of Christ today could learn from it and so let's ask the question how then can you and I as followers of Christ today avoid making the kind of disastrous decision that lot made well.
The Bible gives us four principles to help us with this and you know each of them basically is just a case of doing the exact opposite of what lot did him to show you that this is that's all lot got all for these wrong okay so here we go. Principle number one want to make good decisions in life is a follower of Christ than the Bible says number one, we need to make decisions based on spiritual criteria like obedience to the word of God and fidelity to Christ and loyalty to our spiritual convictions spiritual criteria instead of fleshly ones.
Remember lot made his decision to go down and live in Sodom and Gomorrah based on the fleshly attractions that were there.
He never considered what location in the promised land would help him to walk closer with God lots concern was totally where in the promised land would cater to the desires of his flesh. Now, many say by way of balance that there's nothing in the world wrong with having some things that please our flesh. Nothing wrong with having a nice house a nice car and nice television set. Nice close belonging to a golf club.
What ever is listen.
If the Lord chooses to give these things to us if we are making decisions in our life that honor Christ, and that keep his word and that maintain our integrity and yet in spite of making those kind of decisions.
As a side benefit, God blesses us with all these earthly things.
No problem, but friends, there is great danger in making decisions in our life based on seeking these things instead of seeking the things of God, something comes along that offers you and me more money, more power, more creature comfort etc. but in order to get it. We have to compromise our spiritual life and disobey God's word than the decision, my friends, the right decision is always no. No, number two as followers of Christ want to make good decisions in our lives.
The number two God says that we need to make decisions based on their proximity to sin. Remember lot his decision in Genesis chapter 13 took him closer to sin. That is to Sodom and Gomorrah and the people who were living there and there sinful lifestyle. It took you the him closer to them rather then farther away from sin folks. Decisions like this almost always end in disaster. Remember our friend Samson in the Old Testament became judges 14 to and said to his father get me this Philistine woman as a wife and his father said, is there no woman among our people. Is there no godly woman is there no woman who loves the Lord that you're attracted to that you must go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a Y but Samson said to his father dinner for me, for she looks good to me know what was Samson's father trying to say to him. He was trying to say son.
This decision to go Mary Philistine woman is taking you closer to Satan. My father away from it. But Samson wouldn't listen. He walked too close to sin and what happened. We all know the story.
He went over the edge.
Same thing happened to David when he invited Bathsheba over that evening for tea. Remember that yeah he was definitely moving closer to sin. Yeah, what he should have done is closes drapes closes window go in and go to bed move farther away from sin and David went over the edge to my friends listen when we walk on the edge longer enough of sin. We are going to go over so we always have to ask ourselves when we're considering the decision we have to ask ourselves is this decision taking me closer to sin or is it taking me farther away if it's taking us closer to sin, then the answer is no, I'm not doing that. If you're at the office, and you're sexually attracted to someone at the office. Your Mary. This is not your wife, and suddenly you get the chance to work closely with them or they get the chance to work closely with you, and you got the decision to make the decision is no, don't put yourself in that situation. Friends of gambling is a problem for you then don't take a job in Las Vegas. Doughnuts are a problem for you. Don't work for Krispy Kreme folks, this is just common sense.
Don't go in the direction of sin and say I can do it. I can walk close on the edge and nothing will ever happen to me. Oh yeah will and David went over the edge. Folks didn't believe me you and I'll go over the edge. Number three. One.
A good decisions before the Lord, the number three the Lord says to think through the possible consequences of the decision before we make it. Remember lot to do this either. If he had been a really thought through that decision carefully to go live down by Sodom and Gomorrah. He wouldn't of done it anywhere to make good decisions we must take the time to ask ourselves listen. We need to ask ourselves if this decision goes completely south. I mean if it goes as bad as it can possibly go if it were worst case scenario, this thing unravels completely in my prepared to live with the consequences of, if not don't do it in my prepared to live with the consequences of getting a DUI with the answers no, and don't drink and drive in my prepared to die from lung cancer will of the answer is no and don't smoke in my prepared to lose my wife and my family will if the answer is no, then don't commit adultery, stay faithful to your wife and stay faithful to your family.
You get the point right good decisions are decisions that have been thoughts out.
They have been praying to out and they have been played out in our minds before we make them.
We've taken them in our minds to the extreme worst-case possibility and decided that there's no danger there before we make the decision. Number 41 make good decisions. As a follower of Christ and the Bible says that we should cultivate friends who will help us make good decisions. A deadlock to this no you ever read one time in the Bible that lot went and asked Abraham what Abraham thought about where he should move think about.
Abraham was the most godly man on the face of your he was lots uncle.
He was standing right there next doing wooden wisdom dictates that you say to uncle Abraham a uncle Abraham I got a decision to make. Where would you move, what do you suggest I do, I guarantee you if you asked Abraham. Abraham would've certainly not told him to move down the Sodom and Gomorrah unit asked. I don't know who we asked but he didn't ask Abraham and that was the man he should ask both the apostle Paul said in first Corinthians 1533 bad company bad friends corrupts good morals. It's been my experience it more bad decisions are made by listening the bad friends than any other single reason when I was in college you know who got me started smoking though. A friend you know who got me started drinking and I developed a horrible drinking problem. A friend you know you talk me into forcing my girlfriend to have an abortion, even though she didn't want to a friend. You know who convinced me to start smuggling dope in from Europe and pushing it in Chapel Hill so that there was a warrant for my arrest and almost got sent the penitentiary. I'd still be in the penitentiary today if they do call me a friend all those horrible decisions that I made in my early life was because I had ungodly friends whispering ungodly advice in the my ears.
But you know the converse is also true wise godly friends whisper wise, godly things into our ears that help us make good decisions. So let me ask you about your friends, friend, you got you got the kind of friends that are always pushing you toward Sodom.
There always pushing you toward sin that are always whispering in your ear move on down there going down there pitch a tent on down there friends if you do, my advice is get rid of those friends and get some godly friends, some friends that love the Lord Jesus Christ will help you make godly decisions and on the other hand, if you have godly friends friends that love the Lord, who are always trying to push away from Sodom and towards obedience to God and towards godly decisions in your life, folks you need to thank God for those friends. You need to appreciate those friends and you know what else you need to listen to those friends listen to when they all get around for little intervention will come to Jesus meeting with you and say this is the way it is present. You blow them off. Not unless you're stupid like a lot don't you blow them off there trying to help you and me are but summarize were done four principles for making good decisions. As followers of Christ. Number one, we need to make decisions based on spiritual criteria. Obedience to the word of God fidelity to Christ loyalty to our spiritual convictions spiritual criteria instead of fleshly one looked God will take care of any fleshly pleasures.
You need you just obey him. He'll take care of giving you what you need. Number two. We need to make decisions based on their proximity to sin.
If a decision is drawing us closer to sin.
It's a bad decision number three we need to think through the possible consequences of a decision before we make it a number four. We need to develop friends who promote good decision-making in our lives you realize lot broke all four of these. And that's how he made such a horrible decision and the reason God wrote his experience in the Bible was for you and me to learn from it so we don't repeat his mistake, may I say in closing that these four things need to be more than just for things we do you know why because if there just for things we do, then there will be a lot of times will forget to do them.
No know they need to be more than that.
These need to be four principles that become part of the fabric of our life.
Part of the warp and the Wolf of our life. Part of the very nature of how we make decisions in our life so that our whole decision-making process become so rooted in these four principles that we wouldn't even consider making a decision. It's almost 2nd nature that we go through these four principles we were thinking about a decision and so I hope you'll allow the Holy Spirit to do that. Let me just say in closing, if you and I make decisions by running everything through these four principles listen to me. It is virtually impossible to make a bad decision is virtually impossible. If you run into these thing so protect yourself and use the wisdom of the word of God to make good decisions of spray heavenly father. As you know we make hundreds of decisions every day, we decide what time were getting up in the morning. What route were taking the were what were having for lunch with phone calls were going to return what time are going to bed and so many of these are routine decisions. Indeed, the Lord, there are some decisions in life we make that are life altering. There are some decisions we make in life that will either bring huge blessing or huge curse to our life and we must must get those right so father, I thank you for sharing these principles with us today. Principles that if we follow.
We cannot make a bad decision if we if we run into these four principles so build these principles into our life as part of the very fabric of how we think and how we analyze decision-making. I want to pray Lord for people here today whom I know probably are in the middle of considering something very significant. They have to make a decision about something very important in their life.
I pray that these four principles we talked about today will have brought clarity to that decision and that they can walk out of here today saying, while light of those four principles.
I know exactly what I need to do more usual word to bring that kind of clarity and wisdom to our lives and we pray all of these things in Jesus name. What is God's people say amen