As Christians, we make many decisions throughout our life! Some decisions are made for financial reasons… others for selfish reasons. Regardless of the decision, we need to keep in mind that our decisions not only affect ourselves, but they also affect those around us! To help see this, let’s take a look at a familiar story in the book of Genesis.
“(7) And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
(8) And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
(9) Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.” – Genesis 13:7-9
Here, we find Abraham and his nephew, Lot, as a crucial point in their lives. Up until now, they had grown up in the same area, traveled with each other to follow God’s will in Genesis 12, learned great lessons in Egypt, and been at each other’s side while they built altars to God along the way… but now a decision to separate needs to be made! The Bible says that there was a strife between their herdmen which caused tension in the camp. Now Lot, who had always been at uncle Abraham’s side, would need to make a decision!
“(10) 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.
(11) Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.” – Genesis 13:10-11
Lot chose all the plain of Jordan, which included the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah! Anyone that is familiar with this story knows that this decision proved to be fatal for Lot and his family. Before the destruction of the cities, Lot wasn’t taken seriously by those around him, his own wife turned into a pillar of salt, and his daughters were wicked and committed incest with their drunk father. Lot showed so much potential in his early days with uncle Abraham, but his whole life turned upside down after this one decision!
Unfortunately, I don’t think that the misfortune of Lot and his family is the worst part of this story. Remember, when Lot made the decision for he and his family to head toward Sodom and Gomorrah, his herdsmen followed as well! Sadly, this is the last time we hear about the herdsmen… but from following Lot’s life, we can assume three possible outcomes.
Genesis 14 tells of a great battle that took place involving the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah!
“(11) And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
(12) And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.” – Genesis 14:11-12
Assuming that Lot’s herdsmen were loyal to him, there is a good chance that they would follow him into battle! Since Lot was captured in verse 12, this would mean that his herdsmen were either captured with him or killed trying to protect him!
Obviously, this would all be speculation since the Bible doesn’t mention them again, but if any of his herdsmen didn’t die in battle that day, then there is a good chance that they conformed to the lifestyle of Sodom and Gomorrah!
“(1) And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
(2) And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
(3) And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
(4) But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
(5) And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” – Genesis 19:1-5
God told Abraham that he would spare Sodom and Gomorrah if he could find just ten righteous people within its walls, but when the angels got there, they were greeted with a mob of Sodomites outside of Lot’s home! With Lot’s family and his herdsmen, it shouldn’t have been too hard to find just ten righteous people in all of Sodom, yet they were no where to be found. Sadly, there is a chance that some of his herdsmen were in the mob that night….
If the herdsmen didn’t die in battle and somehow resisted the temptation to conform to the way of the city, then the only option left for them was to die in Sodom and Gomorrah when the Lord destroyed it with brimstone and fire!
“(22) Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;
25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” – Genesis 19:22-25
The Bible says that only Lot and his family escaped the destruction, so if they were still in the city, they died that day.
Conclusion: It’s always sad to see someone make poor decisions that end up costing them and their family in the long run, but it’s even more tragic when you see people follow them down that road. Many times, these decisions can be avoided if we would just slow down and ask God for wisdom. If you notice, when Lot made his decision, the Bible never mentions anything about him asking for advice or praying to God for help… he simply made the decision he felt was best! Let’s make sure we take the take to make the right decisions in our life, because we aren’t the only ones that have to pay the price in the long run!
You are a leader whether you like it or not… people are following you!