Looking Out for #1

Genesis 13:8-11 Abram said to Lot, "Let's not have fighting between us, between your shepherds and my shepherds. After all, we're family. 9 Look around. Isn't there plenty of land out there? Let's separate. If you go left, I'll go right; if you go right, I'll go left." 10 Lot looked. He saw the whole plain of the Jordan spread out, well watered (this was before GOD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah), like GOD's garden, like Egypt, and stretching all the way to Zoar. 11 Lot took the whole plain of the Jordan. Lot set out to the east. (MSG)

I was struck by this verse with Abram’s faith and trust that God will take care of him. He is the elder here, and yet he tells Lot to take first pick of the land and he will take what is left.
Of course, Lot looks around and takes the land that looks the greenest and most fertile. The takes the best and leaves what’s left for Abram. Lot’s natural response to such a choice is to look out for himself first.
And yet, scripture tells us that God is our provider.

We know these this, but do we live this? How often is our first response in life the same as Lot’s. Society encourages it with a ‘look out for #1’ culture. But a Christian world view is all about looking after others.

When my children were young, one of the things I would tell them over and over (whenever selfish tendencies would rear its ugly head!) is that God designed families to look out for each other, putting others first for a reason. Then I'd do the ‘math’ with them.

You can look out for yourself and only yourself and you’ll have 1 (ONE) person looking out for your best interest. OR…

You can look out for your brothers and sister, putting them first above yourself and you will have 3 (THREE) people looking out for your best interest.

It’s simple math…three is always better than one!

The fact that I had to repeat that little math lesson over and over tells you that sin nature to 'look out for number 1' was a recurring battle…as it is with all of us.

As we grow closer and closer to God, learning to lean on Him in all things, it gets easier to put others first. It becomes our new natural response.

Abram’s response reminded me of that today. No need to fight to get the best for ourselves. God is our provider. He always gives what is best for us.

In the end, Lot’s ‘me, myself and I’ response to pick the best for himself backfired as he chose the land that was filled with sin and was ultimately destroyed and he ended up living out the rest of his life in a cave! I’m thinking that wouldn’t have been his first choice if He could have seen into the future!

And I’ll close with that. How often do we make choices without seeking God first. The scripture doesn’t indicate that Lot sought God for his first choice. When we leave God out of our decisions, we often choose what ‘looks good’ TO us but ultimately is not good FOR us. God knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11), so I’m reminded here to not leave God out of choosing what’s best for my life steps.

Lord God, my creator and provider. Thank You for the words in scripture You wrote so that I can know the way to go. Thank You for being the same today, yesterday and tomorrow so that what was written from the beginning is applicable to us today. You don’t change who You are to fit the changing world or to adjust to changing world views. You are constant. In You I can trust to always hold true. In You I can find the right way. Forgive me for the times I have struck out on my own, making decisions without consulting You. Thank You for always being there when I finally realize I need to come back to Jesus and try again…the right way. Your Word is the light to my path. And it is because of the blood of Jesus Christ I am able to find wisdom in Your words. It is in His name I pray. Amen.

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