Making Decisions – Taking the Right Step.
We are faced daily with the need to make one decision or the other. Some decisions are easy to make, while some are tough and difficult to make. The consequence of making a good decision is discovered in the result we get after the decision is made. So, one could generally conclude that the decision made was worth it after all when the required or desired outcome is realized. On the contrary, however, when the opposite is the result of a particular decision one made, we come up with regrets on why the decision was made.
Decision-making (decision from Latin decidere “to decide, determine,” literally “to cut off,” from de- “off” and caedere “to cut”) can be regarded as the mental process (cognitive process) resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternative scenarios. Every decision-making process produces a final choice. The output can be an action or an opinion of choice, based on the information one has at one’s disposal, albeit negative or positive.
The searchlight of this message falls on a particular story in the bible – the story of Abraham, called our father of faith and his nephew Lot (Genesis 13). God had called Abraham to leave his family setting and his pagan country to a land that God would show him. Abraham wasn’t able to make the decision to move with God because His father, Terah was still alive. At the death of his father, Abraham then decided to move because he had heard God call him (God did not make the call after the death of Terah).
Terah had three sons: Abram, Nahor and Haran. Haran had a son called Lot. Haran died before his father in the land of their nativity (Ur of Chaldea’s), leaving Abram and Nahor behind and of course, Lot.
Terah took Abram, Sarai (Abram’s wife) and Lot, with the intention to travel to Canaan but arrived at a land called Haran. It was here that Terah died and Lot ended up with Abram and Sarai his wife. At this point in time, the age of Lot was not disclosed to us but God had called Abram and there was no specific instruction about Lot from God. In other words, God called Abram and didn’t make a call for Lot.
At this juncture, one would ask or probably get confused about taking Lot on the journey that God had invited Abram to undergo. From the emotional perceptive, because Lot is Abram’s nephew and his father had died (besides, there was no mention of his mother in the whole story and no family was also mentioned), it would not be ideal to leave Lot behind. The ideal thing would be for Abram to take Lot with him.
Gazing from the perception of heaven, the call was for Abram alone: God had not made requisition for Lot and one would expect Abram to be obedient to the heavenly order and not assume for God and heaven. God has eyes and He can see. If Heaven wanted Lot on the journey, God would have specifically made mention of his name and might have given him an assignment as they embarked upon the journey.
God would have made it easy for Abram if He (God) made mention of Lot, but He didn’t and for me it will be very difficult to assume that one can embark upon a journey with Lot. Well, from his postulations, Abram came to the conclusion that since Lot’s father was dead and it would be wise for him to carry on with Lot since Lot had been left in Abram’s care.
Finally, Abram summons the courage to embark upon the journey with Lot, not knowing where God was taking him to. They came to the land God promised Abram and God took him out again because he arrived with baggage – Lot. All through the journey, God never spoke to Lot or made statements about Him. Not sure if this bothered Abram but everyone was quiet about it.
There was famine in the land and Abram made a decision to move with Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew into Egypt. They had no previous plans to travel to Egypt because God had not given any specific instruction about Egypt. So, Abram made up his mind to travel to Egypt, moving from Bethel (house of bread) because of what he saw: the famine in Canaan. Did God know about the famine? Yes. Would God have sustained Abram? Yes. Did God know that Abram will move from the land? Yes. Did God know that there would be a famine? Yes, nothing happens without Heaven’s approval.
When Abram got to Egypt, he planned with Sarai his wife to deny their being married to one another but that she should present both of them as brother and sister. Again, Lot was with them but nothing was said about him. Little did Abram know that the reason why he was going through this path was because of Lot. His life was spared but his wife was taken away because of his selfishness (all because of food). How long they spent in Egypt was not revealed in this story.
After sometime, God plagued Pharaoh for Abram’s sake by revealing a dream to him and they were forced get out of Egypt. Sarah was restored to him and I can imagine how many questions he would have asked her. They went back to the Land of Canaan, where they came from. In Abram’s mind giving up Sarai was like giving away his life. The recovery of Sarai would have been like having his life restored back to him untouched. He would have thought in his mind that God caught up with him again. Only God can turn the negativities of our lives into situations that will bring Him glory.
You will also note that the last time God spoke with Abram was when they were in Bethel before they went into Egypt. On getting to Egypt, God never spoke to Abram because he was in the wrong place. When they got back to Bethel, to the place of the altar he first made, there Abram discovered and called on God again.
Abram was rich in flocks, herds and tents. Lot had the same, but the land was too small for both of them, so, they could not dwell together. This forced Abram to call on Lot asking for a separation. He told him that if he (Lot) went left, he (Abram) would go right and vice versa. Abram moved out of emotions and sentiment and was now ready to let Lot go.
Lot beheld that the plain of Jordan was well watered everywhere and therefore chose, not knowing that he was going to end up in Sodom and Gomorrah journeying towards the East. Going into the East is going into darkness; for the Sun rises in the East and sets at the West.
From then on, God called Abram and told him to look at the four directions of life, that He (God) will give him all that he could see, and from then on Abram came into union with God.
The name “LOT” means a covering. It gives an idea of not having the ability to see because the eyes have been covered. Applying this, we have so many things in our lives that have actually shrouded our perception and the way we think. These things are said to cover our understanding and reduce the knowledge that is intended for us, preventing us from realising our potentials because we have been subjected to our primitive ideas and our ways of life.
Lot chose in the limitation of his five senses not knowing he was choosing wrong. As Christians, we are to make choices not limited by our five senses because they can lead us astray.