Lot was not supposed to accompany Abram because going back to chapter 12, it says that God told Abram to get out of his country and from his kindred. God knew what would happen if Lot went with Abram. They could not live together because they each had many possessions–there was not enough land to contain them both. And on top of that there was strife between their herdsmen. So, Abram finally had to come up with a solution. They had to separate. Abram gave him the first choice which shows us how generous and unselfish he was. He was flexible for he said, “If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left” (Genesis 13:9). Abram wanted there to be peace between them as Paul said to the Romans, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).
So Lot made his choice based on his sight. He saw that the plain of Jordan was well watered everywhere, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. It was pleasing to Lot and he chose Jordan. He and Abram separated. Abram lived in the land of Canaan–the promised land while Lot lived in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent towards Sodom. However, the men of Sodom were wicked and sinned exceedingly before the Lord.
The beautiful land Lot chose was not unspoiled. Its tranquility and promise of a good life hid the ugliness of sin just as the beauty of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil and its fruit hid the wages of sin which is death. Lot was drawn to the land because it appealed to his senses just as Eve was drawn to the tree because it appealed to her senses. Both were misled by their eyes. The eyes could lead to worldliness, e.g. David and Bathsheba. John said, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:16).
Behind the beautiful facade of both the land and the Tree of knowledge of good and evil dwelt sin and destruction. Just as life on earth was destroyed in a flood because of sin and so will Sodom later be destroyed. Had Abram not taken Lot with him the tragic events that are about to unfold would not have taken place. This is why it is important that we fully obey commandments–not partially.
It is amazing how one decision could affect the course of life. Eve, in eating of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil brought sin into the world. It spread to Adam, then their offspring and then to the world and death was the result. Abram, in bringing Lot with him, there was strife. To end it, Lot chose Sodom for his home and in doing so he became the unwilling father of the Moabites and Ammonites, Israel’s enemies.
After Abram and Lot separated, God showed Abram all the land that would belong to him and his seed forever. Abram pitched his tent in Hebron where he built an altar to the Lord. It is interesting to note that Hebron means “alliance”. Abram chose Hebron to avoid strife with his nephew.