I was listening recently to the life of Abraham and Lot from Genesis (recommended buying from ITunes if you have an Ipod – buy an audio bible!) and I stumbled across Zoar (Heb. meaning “Little” or “Smallness”), what a tragedy it really was for Lot. Read Gen 13.
You’ll remember how Lot got a taste for the well-watered plains that reminded him of Egypt, so when he saw the Jordan Valley in bloom, he forgot about his pilgrim character, didn’t take into account the dangers of Sodom and pitched his tent in that direction. He saw it as a lost paradise (the garden of the Lord), like Egypt, – he saw Zoar. It was small, seemingly insignificant, just a little city.
The path of Faith for the Christian today involves having a pilgrim character, we are “away from home” (Strangers) but we are “going home” (Pilgrims) (see 1 Peter). We are surrounded by the attractions and allurements of the world which would try to suck us in and stop us making progress for God.
The world system can be like UR (where Abraham left) it was full of the splendour of man-made religions and especially IDOLATRY. Abraham one day saw the God of Glory, He heard His word and trusted Him and left UR forever. If we have trusted the Lord Jesus truly as our Saviour, we should have left the idols of the world forever. May God help us to. Let’s give the Lord the place He deserves in our hearts.
The world system can be like EGYPT – the thing about Egypt was it’s boasted INDEPENDENCE, it had it’s own river, the Nile, it wasn’t reliant (or so it thought!) on the rains of heaven, it’s Pharoah could say “Who is the LORD?” – it’s just like the present world psychi which says “I don’t need God, thank you very much – I can live in independence of God”.
The world system can by like SODOM – the main thing about Sodom was it’s IMMORALITY, of course. The world is getting worse and worse like this, just calling for the judgement of God. Lot ended up here in Sodom, entangled in Sodom. He never approved it’s practices but he was in the middle of it none the less.
How did he get there?
“And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. 12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.” Gen 13v10-13 NKJV
He saw the business sense of moving towards the cities of the plain but he forgot the dangers, for they were full of wicked men. We like to be close enough to the world to be able to do well in it but not really fall in with it. Lot wanted his paradise here. He was looking at it all wrong. If we, as Christians, live for a while in independance of God, we will eventually find many things attractive that God hates.
But what is Zoar to do with all this. Read on in the story, through ch 19. Zoar was just little. It pictures what we often find in our own hearts – we often don’t want the sin of Sodom, but we want a little bit of the world, just a little bit that is attractive to us! But that little bit sucks us in and ruins our usefulness for God.
Ask yourself, “What is the Zoar in my life?” – what little part of the world, seemingly so harmless, actually hinders you as a Christian. – Be careful with it – avoid it at all cost – be like Abraham, advancing to the heights of Hebron – enjoying God because he was prepared to let God chose his pathway.