Rising Servants… Falling Sons

When the enemy is not successful at bringing down servants of God in the faith, he redirects his attack at their children; whether natural or spiritual.

I recommend a short prayer to you…

Lord Jesus give me the strength to become a sons or daughters worthy of demonstrating your glory to the lost.

For the last few years or so the Lord has unveiled patterns of His ways in scripture.  These patterns are being revealed as part of training in the gift of discernment for the times ahead.  This article contains just one of these patterns seen thru the lives of Abram and Lot.

Rising servants and falling sons is a tragic pattern that has unfortunately been repeated way too many times throughout human history.  We see this pattern unfold between God and Adam, Noah and Ham, Abraham and Lot, Moses and Miriam, Elisha and Gehazi, David and Absalom, Jesus and Judas and Paul and Demas, just to name a few.  The enemy repeatedly attacks sons and daughters that God has marked to carry the mantles of their fathers by causing them to become discontented, disillusioned, disconnected, deceived, self-exalted and finally disinherited.

Before we continue, please notice the following words of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember Lot’s wife!  Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.
Luke 17:32-33

After pondering Jesus’ words, are you like me?  Do you find it strange that the bible never mentions the name of Terah’s wife; Abram father.  Scripture doesn’t mention the name of Haran’s wife; Lot’s father.  Scripture also never mentions the name of Lot’s wife or any of Lot’s four daughters?  There is always profound revelation in scripture whenever the Holy Spirit chooses to reveal truth or refrains from revealing the details. Do you find it strange that when Jesus refers to Lot, he directs our attention to his wife instead of the righteous acts of Lot?  Did you also notice what Jesus said immediately after warning us to remember the tragic outcome of Lot’s wife?  I’ll leave the answer to these questions to you.

It should be evident to all that we’re living in the end times that Jesus taught His disciples about.  Since we know this is true, the pattern in scripture clearly informs us that whenever God allows unrighteous to increase for a season, it’s always the precursor to an outpouring of God’s spirit and His Glory.  With these thoughts as a back drop, let’s take a close look at Lot’s life and choices with the intent of better understanding this tactic of the enemy and how to defend against it.

Lot’s background

Just before looking at Lot’s background, I think it’s important that we understand the importance of Lot’s name.  The root word for Lot’s name in the original Hebrew means a veil or a covering.  Keep this fact in mind as we learn more about Lot’s background.

In Genesis 11:28 we see that Lot and his two sisters suffered the tragic loss of their biological father, Haran.  We’re not certain of Lot’s age, however, no matter his age, it undoubtedly produce a wound in his soul.  What’s peculiar about the biblical account of Lot’s birth and the loss of his father is that his mother is never named or mentioned.  However, immediately following the death of Lot’s father, the wives of Abram and Terah are not only mentioned but named and identified.

In Genesis 11:31 scripture seems to infer that Lot was being cared for by Terah, his grandfather, not Abram.  Something very peculiar is also present in this verse.  The scripture clearly says that Terah took the entire family and attempted to travel from Ur of the Chaldees into Canaan, but never made it.  Instead the entire family settled in Haran, the place of dryness.

In Genesis 12:1 we see God giving Abram a clear three-part command.  First, get away from the land were your family was prevented from reaching Canaan.  Second, get away from your family, the bloodline that witnessed the opposition that stopped Terah and finally to separate from everything in his fathers house.  Then in Genesis 12:4 we see Abram obeying God fully.  But wait, the same verse also says that Lot (the veil) went with Abram.  Please note it did not say that Abram took Lot with him, it says Lot went with Abram.  My question for you is this.  Was God’s commandment to Abram vague or unclear?  If you’re like me and you feel the commandment given to Abram was crystal clear, we should both be asking the same question.  Why is Lot (the veil) leaving with Abram when God clearly told him to leave his kindred behind?  Let’s learn a little more about Lot before assessing the question.

Genesis 12:5 reveals to us that Abram eventually warmed up to the idea of Lot coming along for the journey toward the Glory of God.  So while Lot lost his biological father, as we’ve seen, at first he was cared for by his grandfather.  When his uncle Abram received the call of God, Lot was being cared for by Abram and Sarah.  So we see God replacing the loss of a father with Abram and the absence of a mother with Sarah.  Are you thinking the same thing I am; where is Lot’s mother?  Well, we’ll have to get the answer to that one in glory.  So, not only does Lot know have parents to care for a nurture him, his surrogate father is being groomed by God to be the Father of many nations.  In other words Lot has a clear example of an obedient man of God right before him.  Not only that, but Lot’s surrogate father is a man of means and wealth.  Scripture reveals that Abram left his father’s house with wealth and servants.  So Lot had a front row seat to the prosperity that comes from obeying God.  However, at this point in Lot’s background, there is no mention of Lot’s wealth whatsoever.

In Genesis 12:7-9 we see Abram worshiping God by building an altar to make sacrifices after receiving the second promise and visitation from God.  This happened more than once, so it’s fair to assume that Lot also saw a clear demonstrated example that should have taught him how to properly worship and honor God.   It’s very important to note that the scripture informs us that Abram was a nomad or a tent dweller.  The call of God on Abram’s life included a promise from God that He would show Abram the land He wanted to give him.  By implication this meant Abram would constantly be on the move.  Keep this in mind as we go forward.

In Genesis 12:16 scripture reveals to us an explosive increase in Abram’s wealth from a dowry given to him by the Pharaoh of Egypt.  Even though it’s crystal clear that Abram used deceptive tactics when dealing with the Pharaoh of Egypt, Lot witnesses the sovereign hand of God not only protecting Abram but also his wife Sarah.  Meanwhile, there’s still no mention of Lot possessing wealth of any kind.  At the same time Lot is getting older.

In Genesis 13:1 a peculiar reoccurring phrase demands our attention.  From Genesis 11 to this point in scripture every time Lot is mentioned, t seems to stick out like a soar thumb or like something that’s woefully out of place.  Read Genesis 13:1 again.  We know that by this time there were many people in Abram’s house.  However, every time scripture mentions the next phase, move or step of Abram, it mentions Lot as though he were a third leg.  “And Lot with him“.  Scripture doesn’t mention any of Abram’s servants or anyone else, it repeatedly calls out Lot.  As if to say this man is “hanging” around, but shouldn’t be here.  The Holy Spirit is trying to reveal something to us by using a peculiar way to refer to Lot.  Much in the same way Jesus did in Luke 17:32.

In Genesis 13:3 we see Abram returning to an altar he built seeking God in repentance after the situation in Egypt.  So Lot also has a clear example of a man of God walking in humility before his God.  So Lot has a clear example of a Godly man who makes mistakes and is honest and humble enough to address those areas in repentance before the God he serves.

Lot becomes discontentment

In Genesis 13:5 things take a sudden and dramatic turn.  While there was no mention of Lot’s wealth or substance in his travels with Abram, immediately upon Abram getting things straight with God, the Holy Spirit chooses to inform us that Lot has acquired some stuff.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking; were did Lot get the stuff?  The answer is quite simple, Lot got all that he had from his surrogate father Abram.  However let’s not miss the peculiar description of Lot’s stuff in verse 5.  Even though Abram constantly traveled, scripture never mentions Abram having tents.  The reason for this is clear, it would have been difficult for Abram to settle any one place for any length of time with a covenant promise that God would have him traveling.  However, when referring to Lot’s newly acquired wealth, the Holy Spirit Chose to inform us that Lot had flocks, herds and TENTS.  In the original Hebrew the word tent means a permanent large dwelling place.  In other words a stationary home not meant to be moved frequently.  So here we see that Lot has stuck a peg in the ground even though he’s fully aware that at any time God can command Abram to pack up and leave his current location.  This is clear evidence of Lot’s discontentment with his coverings calling, life style and obedience to God.

In mentioning the fact that Lot had tents, not just one tent but multiple tents, the Holy Spirit begins to demand our attention in a more obvious way.  If Lot’s father is a traveling servant of God, why would Lot establish a set of tents?  Is it possible that verse 5 reveals something critical concerning the inner thoughts and intents of Lot’s heart?  There are even more questions the critical thinker should be asking.  Since we have nothing in scripture to indicate that Lot has married at this juncture, why would a single man need multiple tents?  A good question huh?  Could it be that this is the genesis of Lot attempting to make his mark on the world outside of the influence of the godly example God has set before him?  Scripture doesn’t confirm or deny any of these questions.  However, as we peer deeper into Lot’s story, some things become crystal clear.

Lot becomes disillusioned

In Genesis 13:6 we read something that has troubled me for many years.  If you read it quickly it sounds like scripture is saying there wasn’t enough land area for Abram and Lot to live near one another.  BUT WAIT!  What do you mean there isn’t enough land area for both of them, isn’t Lot a member of Abram’s household?  Ahhhh, so you have the same quickening I did when I finally received divine insight concerning this verse.  Essentially the verse is revealing to us a long standing issue between Abram and Lot or Lot’s wife that has risen to a peak.  When the bible says the land could not bear them, it does not mean they had too many flocks and herds for the land to support.  It meant the earth was wholly unwilling to continue to support Lot playing the role of veil or covering over the eyes of the man in the earth that would ultimately be the gateway to the manifested sons and daughters of God.  Basically even the land began to cry out against Lot continuing to hinder Abram from arriving at his manifested destiny in God.  But wait, the end of verse 6 says their substance was great.  Now wait a minute, a verse before Lot only had flocks, herds and tents; no servants, no wife, no children, nothing.  All of a sudden he has great substance, but how.  Well, scripture doesn’t tell us.  What we do know is that they both have great wealth.  Isn’t it amazing how those blinded by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life measure themselves by the stuff that they have compared to the stuff others have?  Don’t forget, Satan attempted to blind Jesus with there very same tactics.

Genesis 13:7 is packed full of divine truth as we further understand how the enemy continued to turn Lot’s heart away from his father toward Sodom.  The King James Version says there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram and the herdsmen of Lot.  However, by gaining an understanding the Hebrew meaning of the word strife we gain a deeper understanding of the nature of the conflict.  The Hebrew meaning of the word strife means to wrestle, to grapple, to contend or to compete against an opponent.  In other words, Lot’s herdsmen were saying that Lot was just as honorable and prosperous as Abram.  Here’s what’s funny, we hear nothing of Lot developing a deeper prayer life than that of Abram.  We hear nothing concerning Lot excelling Abram in his dedication, worship, obedience and honor towards God.  There is not so much as a peep concerning Lot receiving a double portion of the intercessory mantle on Abram’s life.  All we hear concerning Lot is that he has acquired a lot of temporal possessions and that it’s the source of conflict between him and his spiritual covering.  Is my assertion far fetched?  Well, let’s see.

Lot disconnects from Abram

In Genesis 13:8 we see Abram pleading with Lot in an effort to avoid them competing with one another.  One startling portion of this passage of scripture is the fact that Abram refers to Lot as his kindred.  Yep, you got it, the very kindred God commanded Abram to depart from.  So, it turns out that Abram seizes the moment of contention between the herdsmen to finally correct this area of disobedience in allowing Lot to come with him.  Another disturbing truth about this verse is that Lot was never an equal of Abram, but in an effort to foster peace, Abram concedes and allows Lot to continue in the deception that he was Abram’s equal.  Even at this point, Lot has plenty of opportunities to glean the character of a true servant of God.  What is strangely peculiar about this exchange between Abram and Lot is the absence of speech from Lot.  At this point, since all that he had came from Abram to begin with, I would have expected Lot to be very apologetic, rebuking his herdsmen, apologizing to Abram for the inconvenience or something, but we don’t hear one word.  Where’s the gratitude, the respect, the honor, the humility he watched year in year out.  I’ve discovered that many of the hidden nuggets in scripture can be found be listening for what was not said as well as what’s said.

In Genesis 13:10 we see the deep, unspoken desire of Lot’s heart to break away from his natural and spiritual covering.  Again, scripture reveals this exchange in a most peculiar way.  Scripture says Lot lifted up his eyes and saw the plains of Jordan.  Now, think with me for a second.  The place where Abram built the altar between Bethel and Hai was on a higher elevation than the plains of Jordan.  Now, if I’m talking with you at the top of a hill and you lift up your eyes, doesn’t it make sense that you would be viewing an area above our current location at the top of the hill?  Yeah it didn’t make sense to me either until it occurred to me that Lot had either already established his dwelling in Sodom or his told him that where they would dwell after separating from Abram.  The lifting up of Lot’s eyes was not evidence of natural sight but a description of the condition of his heart.  Arrogance and pride growing in Lot’s heart is the reason he seized the opportunity to disconnect from Abram.

In Genesis 13:12-13 we began to see even further into the turning of Lot.  While Lot’s spiritual father was called by God to follow God’s direction, we see Lot establishing his own mark absent of God’s or Abram’s influence.  Scripture says he pitched his tent toward Sodom.  As if to say, even though he has allowed himself to be separated from his spiritual covering, he hasn’t totally entered Sodom at this point.  We’re also informed that while Abram dwelt in the land, Lot chose the cities to dwell in.  This may not seem significant at the onset, but it speaks about the growing discontentment with the lifestyle he was subjected to while remaining in the house of his surrogate father.  We’re beginning to see glimpses of the fall of a son.  Verse 13 also reveals a tragic truth concerning Lot’s departure.  He had absolutely no spiritual discernment or guidance concerning what he was about to join himself to.  He is also disillusioned by the seemingly rich and prosperous appearance of Sodom.  Not knowing that the glory and protection provided, while in his surrogate fathers house, would cease the moment he disconnected from the flow of his prosperity through the obedience of Abram.

Even though Lot separating from Abram hurt Abram, the final outcome was the perfect will of God for Abram. Why do I say that?  The answer is seen in Genesis 13:14.  The verse says God spoke to Abram “after that Lot was separated from him“.  In other words, Lot left AND the Lord was able to bring the fullness to Abram’s eye of understanding concerning His covenant.  Confirming the fact that up until this point, Lot’s presence served as a spiritual veil in Abram’s life.  This veil either prevented Abram from seeing all God wanted to show him or prevented God from revealing His perfect will to Abram because He did not want Lot part of the covenant.  It’s critical to note that even though Abram allowed Lot to choose what appeared to be the best plot of land in the area, God comes right on the heels of Lots departure and tells Abram He’s going to give his seed all of the land Abram can see, including the very location Lot thought he had just acquired.  How craftily and subtly the enemy of our souls works to deceive us into choosing a sinking ship over a flourishing ocean liner.

Lot becomes deceived

Lot’s fall

Before we take a close look at the decisions that led to the slow progression of Lot’s fall from grace, let’s recap what we’ve covered so far.

  1. Lot’s mother is not revealed in scripture.
  2. Lot’s father dies before his father.  In biblical terms this was an unexpected event.
  3. Terah, Lot’s grandfather, takes Lot with him in his pursuit to migrate to Canaan.  However, Terah only makes it as far as Haran.
  4. God calls Abram and Lot decides to leave Terah’s care to attach himself to Abram’s pilgrimage.  The scripture never mentions Lot’s substance at this point.
  5. Abram and Sarah agree to allow Lot to come with them.  During this time Lot has a front row seat to the life style of a man of god.
  6. The first time we here of the substance Lot has acquired is after Abram gets much wealthier after leaving Egypt.
  7.  The next thing that happens shortly after we discover Lot has received some wealth from Abram, is that the people in Lot’s house are competing with the people in Abram’s house.
  8. In the midst of this, we hear nothing of Lot’s defense of the one person responsible for all that he has and has become.
  9. We do see Lot willingly deciding to disconnect from the very person God used to bring stability to his life.
  10. Lot chooses to settle in the cities, which represents his opposition to everything he had learned in while under Abram’s covering.  Comfort over obedience and self will over God’s will.

Decision #1 – Discontentment –  Scripture clearly reveals that Lot and/or his wife were not content to dwell in Abrams house, under his covering and protection.

So Lot has decided to separate from Abram in his heart.  Every man must one day separate from those God has placed over them, whether natural or spiritual.  However, the manner in which the son or daughter separates makes all the difference.

We’re not exactly sure what drove Lot to disconnect from Abram at this point.   The very next thing we hear concerning Lot is the fact that he’s caught up in a war he has nothing to do with.  Here’s what’s interesting, it’s clear that Lot had absolutely no revelation concerning spiritual authority and covering.  By separating himself from Abram and joining himself to Sodom, he immediately came under the authority and God’s will for Sodom.

Decision #2 – Disillusionment – Lot was so eager to separate from Abram, according to scripture, he sized up the plain of the Jordan by outward appearances instead of it’s spiritual climate.

In Genesis 14:11-12 we read that Lot and Mrs. Lot lost their entire lot; the first time.  Do you find it interesting, like I do, that the very thing that was a source of conflict between Lot and Abram is the very first thing taken from him and his family?  Now, in my mind, if Lot and his wife really felt the call of God or inspired to separate from Abram, surely God would have prepared them and protected their lot and graced them to defend it if necessary; I mean didn’t God do this very thing for Abram on multiple occasions?  However, after reading this account, we see the first tragic flaw in Lot’s attempt to set his own mark on the world.  Lot and Mrs. Lot attempted to do it apart from the one able to sustain them; God.  Isn’t it funny that many in the Kingdom of God believe they are ready to do their own thing until war comes to their front door?  When this happens, only the true servants of the Kingdom have the grace from the Lord to rescue them.

How often are children convinced that they know better than their parents and elders, only to find out they were categorically wrong and their parents/elders were right?  Scripture encourages us concerning the safety found in many different sources of counsel.  However, although Lot’s name meant a veil, which means he served as blindness in the way of others, he himself also had a veil over his spiritual eyes.  If he had bothered to ask Abram his thoughts about settling in or near Sodom, I’m 100% confident Abram would have told him not to.  Why do I say this?  Take a look at Genesis 14:22.  In that passage we see Abram telling the King of Sodom that he had already made a vow to God not receive anything from the King of Sodom. The question is why?  The King of Sodom had never done anything negative toward Abram, according to scripture.  The answer is found in the relationship true mothers and fathers have with God concerning those God has entrusted to their care.  Abram knew right well that the area Lot chose would be an issue.  So when the time came for the dark spiritual powers to try to gain access to Abram’s life through Lot, he was well prepared for the spiritual battle, this is the reason Abram asked Lot to separate himself from Abram.  Not sure it was a spiritual battle; read Genesis 15:1.  Immediately following Abram’s exchange with the King of Sodom; after rescuing Lot, God speaks to Abram and tells him to Fear Not.  It’s clear Abram is worried about something, the question is what?  The answer can be found in God’s words to Abram.  It is clear at this point that Lot had reached the point of no return.  In other words, since Lot chose to return to Sodom despite the clear evidence of Abram rejecting it, it’s clear to Abram that Lot would be lost.  After the nature of a true father, Abram is now not only worried about Lot’s lot in life, but also that fact that he has no one to inherit his walk with God. We don’t know for certain that Abram saw Lot as a son, but we do know that Abram treated him like a son.  How do we know that?  We see this clearly through the testimony of the Lord concerning Abram in Genesis 18:19.  Even though God knows all things, as we look at Abram’s life, I think we can confidently say that he taught Lot in the same manner he taught Ishmael and Isaac.

Decision #1 – An unwillingness to fight for what you believe you were called to.

Need I remind you that Lot is the one who chose to settle in Sodom.  Why is it that we hear or read nothing about Lot appealing to the God of his surrogate father Abram?  Why is it that we see no action from Lot, not so much as lifting a finger to protect his family, his wealth, the plot of land he chose?  So the first bad decision that led to Lot’s fall from grace was his unwillingness to engage the enemy in the strength of the God of Abram.

In Genesis 14:13, if we read carefully, we can see clear evidence that the Holy Spirit is doing His best to reveal to us the stark differences between Abram and Lot.  Verse 14 tells us that Abram dwelt in a place where he had favor and alliances.  In other words, Abram was wise enough to understand the importance of being where he was celebrated and not tolerated.  On the other hand, immediately after Lot expresses his desire to dwell near Sodom, the Holy Spirit immediately informs us of the difference between these two men.  While Abram dwelt in the place of favor and alliances, Lot was convinced to chose a place with adversaries all around.

In Genesis 14:14 we see the response of the servant of God versus the lack of response that we saw from Lot.  Scripture says immediately upon hearing that his nephew was captured, Abram armed trained servants of his household.  Hear we see another profound difference between the two.  Abram has 318 men that have already been trained an only need to be equipped when the time is ready.  While not only does Lot not have trained servants, evidently enjoying city life has numbed him to his responsibility as the protector of his home, possessions and family.

In Genesis 14:16, the powerful grace on Abram’s life rescues Lot’s lot and restoration comes to Lot’s door step.  Now, after losing all that he had and becoming a servant of war, it seems obvious that we should see gratitude pouring out of Lot; right?  The absence of a clear demonstration of Lot’s gratitude toward God and Abram leads to the second decision.

Decision #2 – An unwillingness to give thanks and praise to God for all we have and are and a failure to honor those worthy of honor.

Now, think with me for one second.  It’s one thing for Lot not to personally approach Abram given the history of their spat.  However, that shouldn’t prevent Lot’s wife or any of his daughters from stepping forward to thank and praise God and honor Abram, correct?  Again, deep revelation in scripture is often found in what’s not said.  The absence of fear towards God and honor for God’s servants tells us a whole lot about the legacy that Lot has established within his family; or the lack thereof.  As a matter of fact, it appears to be diametrically opposed to the legacy Abram is building.  Hmmmm, Abram’s ways were not good enough for Lot to follow, but they were good enough to bring restoration to all that Lot was and had.  As we’ve seen,