Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me and between your herders and my herders, for we are kindred. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” Lot looked about him and saw that the plain of the Jordan was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar; this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. So Lot chose for himself all the plain of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward, and they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the plain and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.
The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Raise your eyes now, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Rise up, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.
Lot chose for himself what he thought would be the easier way. But as the story tells us, while on the surface it may have been easier, it had serious consequences. Abraham offered that choice to Lot. What was basically different between the two is that Abraham was living a life of faith, Lot, not so much. You might say that Lot wanted a cushy life, what looked most comfortable.
I find similar inclinations in myself. I would like to cushion my life, and when I think about that, the life of my wife, even pets, as much as possible. I would like to live the life of faith, too. But comfortably.
But I think you can make a serious argument from scripture that there is no such thing as a life of faith being compatible with living in comfort. Faith in this existence is not comfortable for a good number of reasons.
In our western world we tend to see faith as knowing the right answers and proceeding accordingly so that we can know all is well and good and be at rest. But biblical faith is different. It’s most often a matter of not knowing, and never knowing all there is to know or with perfection. Instead, it’s a matter of trusting in God. That was the path Abraham was taking. Based on God’s promises Abraham would carry on. As you read the narrative of his story from Genesis, you certainly understand that his life was far from easy. Even apart from his own mistakes and seeming missteps, which made it all the more difficult, it was going to be hard.
We will do best if we’re to commit ourselves to a life of faith to accept this. Get ready for hard things, and many of them. But in all of this to hopefully grow in our trust in God. To believe that God will come through not only for us, but for others, even for the world. In and through Jesus.