I Don’t Belong Here
By TAHREN TERRELL BRANDON
Have you ever felt like you didn't belong? Sometimes people can make you feel that way, but in Abrahams case, he knew he didn't belong. He made that clear as he approached Ephron the Hittite, introducing himself as a foreigner and a stranger. He had just lost Sarah, his faithful wife, and needed a place to bury her (Gen. 23:4). Together they started this journey with the Lord, together they struggled to have Isaac, together they became the mother and father of the Hebrew faith, now she was gone. Abraham mourned, then he set out to take care of business, his wife needed to be buried.
There's an interesting juxtaposition between Abraham and Lot, both loved God but Lot had more of a casual faith. Lots faith was a secret, in that he didn't exactly live his life righteously, you know anybody like that? Abraham walked in the spirit while Lot walked in the flesh. Nevertheless, God sent His angels to warn Lot about the coming destruction of Sodom, He had promised Abraham that He would spare Lots life (Gen. 18). The angels told Lot to gather all of his family and leave (Gen. 19:12-13). He approached his sons-in-law about the Lords plan to destroy the city but they just laughed at him (14). Should they have listened to him? Lot had never talked about his faith before or the Mighty God in whom he believed. Remember, he willingly lived in the epicenter of sin. When given the choice, Lot had chosen the plush area of Sodom, with its reputation for unrighteousness. Abraham rescued Lot from Sodom during a time of war but he still decided to return. He loved his life in Sodom, that’s where he felt he belonged (Gen. 14:8-16).
Fun fact about Abraham, he always lived in a tent, even though he was rich. Granted, he did have over 300 servants so the tent was probably like one of those fancy wedding tents where rich people get married; nevertheless, he lived in a tent. If God said, “Abraham, go!” Then Abraham could pick up and go. Lot, on the other hand, didn't hesitate to lay a foundation where he could live his best life among his type of people. Lot was so busy with his friends, career, clubs, organizations, activities, hobbies and all that the culture of Sodom had to offer that he neglected to teach his family about the God he so loved. Lots casual faith is why his sons-in-law didn't take his warning seriously, they knew nothing of God. Lot never talked about God, never openly praised God, never read his Bible and never invited them to church. He was a poor witness and a bad example.
Nevertheless, God still planned to save Lot, even though he basically went kicking and screaming. The angels had to take him, his wife and daughters by the hand out of the city, Lot didn't want to leave the life he had built in Sodom (Gen. 19:16). What about the cookout next weekend? The beef ribs were already marinating. The angels specifically told Lot and his family not to look back but his wife couldn’t resist, she looked back longingly, she looked back regretting the destruction, her heart was in Sodom, that’s where she belonged.
I can't help but wonder, what if Lots faith in God hadn't been such a secret, would his sons-in-law have been saved? Would he and his wife have been so reluctant to leave? Would she have turned into a pillar of salt? Would they have thought more of obeying God than about what they were leaving behind? Maybe he and his whole family would have been grateful to God for what He had given, but ready to “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). Maybe he never would have built that house, putting down roots in Sodom. Maybe he would've lived in a tent, albeit a nice tent, and like Abraham, been ready to go when God called. Are you a Lot? Are you rooted in this world, or are you a tent dweller? Where is your heart? Will you be ready to go when the trumpet sounds, or are you fixed to this life?
Are you a secret Christian? Do your family and friends know in whom you believe? Are you a righteous example for your circle of influence? Abraham dwelt in a tent for sixty years, in service of the Lord. He was just passing through; this world was not his home. He was waiting for a city whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10). Abraham was a foreigner and a stranger to this world. Are you a foreigner and a stranger to this world, or do you belong here?