A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom. Establishing deeper roots requires analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Genesis 19:23-29.
Our Deeper Roots in Genesis shows us one wise way to handle challenging relationships. In reading Genesis, we know that Lot, Abraham’s nephew, had settled near Sodom (Genesis 13:12). Prior to our selected passage in Genesis 18:16-33, Abraham was made aware of the destruction headed towards Sodom and Gomorrah by the Lord. In that exchange, Abraham was also reminded of the promise and purpose on his life and the importance of following the ways of God. So, Abraham interceded on behalf of the righteous and the Lord listened. God showed mercy on Lot and allowed him to escape the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with his family. But, two things stood out with their escape. First, Lot hesitated on the exit despite the angels’ urgency (v 16). Second, Lot’s wife looked back in disobedience and she was turned into a pillar of salt (v 26). The hesitancy and disobedience reflect aspects of their unrighteous nature. In spite of that, Abraham’s petition worked and Lot was spared death.
So what does this passage teach us about relationships? Living a life of purpose requires separation from the unrighteous, but we can still intercede on their behalf. When Abraham was called by the Lord, he was told to leave his family and homeland behind, but Abraham still brought Lot with him. Abraham prospered to a certain extent with Lot in proximity. It was only when Abraham and Lot truly separated that the Lord began to establish His covenant with Abraham. There may be people that we have allowed to remain in close proximity to us that are hindering all that God has called us to.
We have to be discerning of the relationships we have in our lives. There will always be people that have the potential to derail our God-given purpose. As we follow Jesus, we recognize that lines must be drawn and boundaries enforced. But that doesn’t stop our hearts from caring for the well-being of others, regardless of how lost they may be. Abraham demonstrates that we can love others and have boundaries. We can honor our purpose and still pray for the breakthrough of others.