Lifting Up Our Eyes

 

This interpretation actually deviates in two different directions.It demonstrates the character and choices of a man and then shows how God in turn used those character choices. What is interesting about this interpretation is that the man whom God ends up using is a man who never seems to have that great of character at all.It is my hope that this interpretation will encourage all those who have had dreams, and then within the pursuit of those dreams, have trusted God to intercede in their lives.

 

In the book of Genesis we meet a man named Abram.Because of the covenant Abram eventually became Abraham and became great in the eyes of the Lord.Abram had a nephew named Lot.

 

Genesis 13:1-7

 

And Abram when up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai.Unto the place of the alter, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the Lord.And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds and tents.And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.And there was strife between the herdman of Abramís cattle and the herdman of Lotís cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.

 

It is obvious that because of their substance, these two men came to a point where they could no longer dwell together.Below Abram addresses this issue.

 

Genesis 13:8-15

 

And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me:if thou will take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves one from another.Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent towards Sodom.But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

 

Letís notice how they separated.Abram, the more blessed of the two, was humble and gave Lot the first choice of where he wanted to live.This was an incredible meek thing to do because even Lot knew that Abram was called of God and Lot was also Abramís nephew, the younger.For Lot to accept Abramís offer was in itself selfish.Notice what the text saysÖ†††††††††

 

ÖAnd Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere.

 

This symbolizes that Lot lusted for himself.He was the lifter up of his own eyes.This represents selfishness.Notice how God blesses Abram for being meek and humbleÖ

 

And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

 

You see Abram did not lift up his own eyes, but waited on the Lords direction to do so.By doing this Abram was not the ďlifter up of his own eyes,Ē but the Lord was the ďlifter up of his eyes.ĒThis act is great in the sight of the Lord, and is another example why Abram is blessed of the Lord.

 

I want to quickly show that because Abram is indeed the blessed of the two, God uses him to directly impact Lotís life.This first time God uses Abram to impact Lotís life is when Lot and his possessions have been taken captive and Abram is called upon to rescue him.Abram rescues Lot and is also successful in bringing back all of Lotís goods and possessions (Genesis 14:14-16).The second time Abram helps Lot is when the Lord decides to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and before he does he goes to Abram (now called Abraham because of the covenant) and talks with him about His decision.Now Abraham does not specifically intercede for Lot, but he does intercede for the righteous people of Sodom and Gomorrah (where Lot has chosen to live).It turns out that this intercession has a direct impact on Lotís life (Genesis 19:29, 2 Peter 2:8).These two examples solidify how Godís blessing and favor on Abraham worked out to assist in Lotís deliverance.

 

I have now outlined the first part of the interpretation, Lotís selfish character and how God worked in spite of his selfish choices.I am now going to veer in the other direction and show the latter end of Lotís decision.How would God honor a man who lifted up his own eyes?

 

2 Peter 2:6-9

 

And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

 

Ok.This verse in second Peter is directly referring to Lot and his decision to live among the filthy sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah.But notice what the verse says.It calls Lot just, it calls Lot righteous, and it calls Lot godly.This is the same selfish man who lifted up his own eyes.So what are we supposed to believe here?What are we supposed to believe about Lot?Well, weíre supposed to believe that Lot was selfish for choosing the best land but that God also knew Lotís heart.Lot did not want to live among the sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah so that he could partake in their filthy deeds; Lot wanted to live there because he liked it there.God knew his heart.If God knew that Lot wanted to live among them so he could sin and degrade himself then the Lord would never have called Lot just, righteous, or godly.God knew Lotís heart, and just like the verse says above Ö The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.The Lord knew that Lot did not want to sin.Even though Lot did vex his righteous soul from day to day, the Lord honored him and kept him from sinning against Him there.Was it a wise choice?I donít know? I guess you have to count the cost.Lot did vex his soul but it was also where he wanted to be, and because he had faith that God would deliver him, God did.

 

We as Christians have many different crosses to bear.Sometimes these crosses are man made, and sometimes they are God made.I think here Lot made a decision to be among the people of Sodom and Gomorrah and I think it cost him.The bible says that he was vexed from day to day by the filthy conversation of the ungodly.But I also believe this could have easily been a cross the Lord allowed him to bear.Sometimes God will honor our decisions and it is within these same decisions that we will suffer and grow and thrive as Christians.Sometimes itís the opposite.Sometimes God calls us to a place through disease, heartbreak or even tragedy and even though we did not bring these crosses upon ourselves, the Lord has decided that these will become some of the crosses He wants us to bear.†††

 

Some of us have big dreams, and we believe God for them.I myself have them.Sometimes these same dreams will cost us.Because of these dreams we might daily vex our souls.Perhaps itís a certain job or a life direction or even a personal goal.Perhaps as a result of some of these dreams we have become vexed by the daily living of others, or have even been made to suffer within ourselves.We need to remember the example above.God knows our heart.He knows why we have made our decision and He is well able to Ödeliver the godly out of temptations.Do we have faith?Do we have the faith to trust God and to know that God knows the intensions of our hearts, and that He is going to be the one to judge us fairly?

 

Psalm 7:9

Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins (intensions).

 

Note:I want to express that the faith I am referring to when I talk about believing God for dreams or direction in our lives is a mature faith.My last intensions are to puff up or supercharge young Christianís to go out and make immature or rash decisions.We need to believe God in our lives but we also need to become humble and allow a settling of who God is in our lives, so we can discern His perfect will.After this has happened then we can believe God in the particular direction we have entrusted to Him, and when we do, it will be in the total and complete confidence that we have not only humbled ourselves, but that we have also allowed God time to work in our lives.††††††