Costly Choices
By: Christine Bullock

     A New Year is like a fresh crisp blank piece of paper. As time passes it fills with choices, some good, some bad. Recently as my family studied Genesis the story of the choices of Abram and Lot jumped out at me.  Both are reckoned "righteous" by God, but the legacies they created differ greatly. Abram became the father of nations, the forefather of Jesus himself. Lot's family became a sin filled thorn the side of Israel.

Lot chose to "live among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom" (Gen 13:12).  Lot had started the journey well enough.  He accompanied Abram from Haran when Abram was called out. However he was a tag along, for the convictions of Abram were not his own. When the going got tough Lot looked for an easy way out. 

He could have chosen to stay along side of God's friend Abram and lose a few sheep but he did not. How many start homeschooling because they see others doing it only to quit when it becomes difficult?  Like Lot they jump ship when the journey gets tough because they do not see value in what they leave behind.

Lot choose the comfort of a cushy life, with worldly wealth and culture despite the fact that those he was living with were "exceedingly wicked and sinning greatly against the Lord" (Gen. 14:13).   He could not see that beneath the veneer of green pasture lay the salty sulfur desert to come. How many refuse to live frugally on a single income to keep mom at home and dad an active part of family life?  How many are ensnared by the trap to acquire more when it will end as ashes like the wealth of Sodom?

Lot chose a "normal" life. A fertile valley was set before him and he saw no need for choosing a way that was difficult and might require God's help and provision.  Did Lot align himself with the child rearing practices of the day?  Probably, his children were quick to fall away.  Lot's faith was not passed on to his family.  He alone was reckoned righteous. (2 Peter 2:7)  How many Christian parents send their children off on school buses despite the qualms of their hearts, hoping for the best just because the rest of the "normal world" is doing so?

     Lot chose to ignore the warnings in his life. God in His goodness sent a warning shot that something was wrong when Sodom was looted and Lot hijacked by foreign enemies. Lot could have stayed with Abram with his wealth and family intact but he didn't.  Rescued by Abram he returned to the filth he was pulled out from only to face a nightmarish judgement to come.  

     I have listened as parents struggled with a first grade child coming home using language they never wanted their seven year old to hear, or their third grader bullied to bruises by a playground gang. Another recounted the horror of their seventh grade daughter's exposure to "alternate lifestyle" teaching in health class. These warning shots had been fired but they did not heed them and thus when darker days followed years later only then did they recognize the missed chance to escape the worse fate that awaited their children. 

     Abram chose to refuse to take even a "thread or a thong of a sandal" from worldly Sodom. (Gen. 14:23)  Why?  He didn't want any strings tying him to a wicked influence.  He did not want a false statement to be made that his success had anything to do with the world's help.  His success came from God alone.  How many homeschooler's miss this warning to avoid even the  "thread" of public education money and thus expose their children to negative influences and weaken their family testimony?

    Abram chose not to ally himself with the world but rather train an army within his own household. These young men were trained to be on both the defensive and offensive and when it was needed they were a ready army that God used to route a mighty enemy.   How many of us take our home education seriously as a training ground for the battlefields to come? 

    Abram chose to give a tenth of all he had to honor the God who had guided him.  Service to the "God Most High, Creator of Heaven and Earth" (Gen. 14:19) comes with a cost but the choice to honor Him provides a far richer reward than we can imagine.   For what better promise can we garner than that given to Abram shortly after his rescue of Lot.  "Do not be afraid, I am your shield, your very great reward" (Gen. 15:1).

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