Abraham, in the Bible, has always been one of my heroes. He was always perfect and upright and made decisions based on the love of the Lord rather than his own desires and passions. Last Sunday, I learned some interesting information about the life of Abraham I had not contemplated before.

Abraham and Lot, his cousin, left the land of Ur together. Both of them were wealthy in livestock; the scriptures record “the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.” The herdsmen of Abraham and Lot begin to fight with each other. Abraham did not like the contention, so he suggested they split up and go their separate ways. He gave Lot the first choice and said to him:

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.

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD ...

Lot looked at the land of Jordan and saw it was beautiful and had lots of water. So he chose the plains of Jordan, and Abraham went the other direction.


“Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” It is interesting to note where Lot placed his tent. He was definitely interested in what was going on in Sodom, even though the ... “men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.”

Abraham, on the other hand ... “removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord.” It is plain to see Abraham was more interested in what the Lord thought than what was going on in Sodom or any other place in the world.

Eventually, Lot took up residence in Sodom. It wasn’t enough just to dwell on the outskirts. The consequences of his choices began to play out. There was a battle:

And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.

And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.

And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

In other words, Abraham and his trained men went and brought back everything the enemy had taken.

And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer.

And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Melchizedek, the priest of the most high God, blessed Abraham and Abraham gave him tithing, or one-tenth, of all he had. Abraham was not worried about money or flocks and herds; he wanted to please the Lord.

Then. . . “the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.” In other words, the king of Sodom wanted to pay Abraham with the spoils of the war. But Abraham said “to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldst say, I have made Abram rich . . .”

Basically, Abraham told the king he had promised the Lord not to take anything, not even so much as a thread, so that no one could say the king of Sodom had made him rich.

This story is relevant in our modern world. Sodom, or wickedness, is all around us. We find it in the movies we watch, the news commentators we listen to and the attitudes of the internet. It is significant which way we place the door of our tent. Lot placed his toward Sodom, while Abraham placed his tent toward the altar of the Lord. Lot moved his tent right into Sodom.

As a consequence, Lot was captured and lost his goods. Later, we know from the scriptures, Sodom was totally destroyed. Lot escaped with his daughters, but he lost his wife and the rest of his family. Abraham, on the other hand, received the promise he would become the father of many nations. That promise was fulfilled.

The Lord tested Abraham’s faith when He asked him to sacrifice Isaac. The Lord never intended for Abraham to kill Isaac. But He intended for Abraham to show his obedience and allow him to understand the deep feelings of the Father as He allowed His son to be sacrificed for the sins of the world.

Abraham was faithful in all things and was blessed temporally and spiritually. Abraham was a very rich man in worldly goods. Yet his first concern was the Lord and his ability to serve him. He proved he would give up everything to please the Lord.

Lot, at the end of his life, was insignificant in the unfolding of the biblical scenes. His desire to be part of Sodom cost him everything.

Christian families are losing their children to the proverbial Sodoms of the world because we, unwittingly, point our tents toward Sodom. It isn’t that we really do anything bad and we, ourselves, do not endorse the practices of Sodom. But we allow our children to be raised by the media.

We believe it is OK to skate around the commandments of the Lord because it is Super Bowl Sunday, or this movie only has a little bit of violence and sexual content. It is OK to spend more time on social media than it is to have face-to-face conversations.

Unwittingly, we have given our children an excuse to adopt the philosophy sports is more important than keeping the Sabbath day holy, sex before marriage is OK because in the movies everything turns out all right in the end, and violence is the answer to our frustrations.

It is easier to read a novel or watch a movie than it is to read the scriptures. It is easier to give a child a tablet than it is to watch a child play and be creative and have to clean up the mess. It is easier to be involved with our own hobbies and talents than it is to help a child develop theirs. It easier to say, “That is not the way we believe” than it is to show them that is not the way we believe. It is easier to brush children away when we are busy than to take time to explain the whys and wherefores of life.

By the choices we make, we place our tents either toward Sodom or toward the Lord and His kingdom. The consequences of our choices do not show up immediately, but they show up often when it’s too late to do anything about them. If we want successful Christian children, we must place our tent door firmly facing the Lord’s kingdom and not accept even a thread from Sodom.  end mark

Yevet Crandell Tenney is a Christian columnist who loves American values and traditions. She writes about faith, family and freedom.