Sometimes the appeal of an ill-advised alliance can lead people in the wrong direction. Know what I mean? Bonnie and Clyde should have dated someone else. Erick and Lyle Menendez were brothers but should have parted company when they first started talking about eliminating their parents. And what about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? Their story made for a great flick but a lousy life. I don’t mean to suggest that our ill-advised alliances will lead to crime, but they can mess up our lives.
I don’t think there’s a much better biblical illustration than Lot. Initially, the alliance he pursued seemed harmless enough. Abram gave Lot the freedom to choose between the land on the left and the right. The choice was triggered by a shortage of land. There wasn’t enough to feed both men’s flocks. And so their herdsmen battled each other for the best grass for their herds to graze. Abram’s solution was simple, “Let’s part company.”
Because he was older, Abram could have assigned Lot a parcel of land. He could have taken the best for himself. Lot, as the younger could have refused the first choice. Such an act would have expressed selflessness and humility.
Instead of allying himself with Abram and God, Lot chose a different alliance. As Lot gazed at the lush Jordan plain he made a tragic choice. In Genesis 13:12, we’re told Lot “pitched his tents near Sodom.” Years later, before God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, we’re told the angel found Lot “sitting in the gateway of the city” (Genesis 19:1).
In the ancient world the leaders of a city met at the gate to make important decisions. Lot was probably there because he had become a leader of Sodom. What had started as a campsite “near” Sodom resulted in an alliance with the city. Lot had become one of them.
That terrible alliance probably explains why he found leaving so hard. It probably explains why his wife looked back and lost her life (Genesis 19:26). It probably explains why his daughters got him drunk and then seduced him (Genesis 19:33).
A single choice that led to a single alliance led to numerous tragedies. So … if you’re considering a new alliance, be careful. Get wise counsel. Talk it over with God. And then move forward with confidence (Genesis 13:10-13; 19:1).