The Importance of Going Over the Mountain
Sometimes the Bible is not an easy read. As a matter of fact, it can be downright uncomfortable. It contains stories that are hard for us to even speak of, yet teaching lessons we dare not forget. Such is the case of Lot.
I’m sure most of you know the story well. He and Abraham go separate directions. Lot chooses the lush plains of the Jordan Valley in spite of the nearby wicked city of Sodom. Showing deference, Abraham moves towards Canaan. The wrath of God is poured out upon Sodom and Gomorrah but mercifully, Lot and his two daughters are spared even as his earthly-minded wife is frozen in time as a pillar of salt. (We won’t even talk of Lot’s lack of respect in his son-in-laws’ eyes.)
What happens next? Lot’s two daughters get their father drunk, lay with him and as a result the ungodly people groups of Moab and Ammon are birthed. It’s important to note, that while Lot’s daughters’ actions were despicable by almost any culture’s standards, they were not trying to be intentionally rebellious. Gen 19:31,32 gives comment that they actually thought they were the only remaining humans on the planet and they needed to preserve the human race as well as their father’s name. Right motivation. Way wrong methodology. While they obviously possessed responsibility for their actions, perhaps the biggest culprit, though he appears as an innocent victim, is Lot himself. Allow me to explain.
Years earlier, enemies of his country had taken Lot captive. Who came to his rescue? Abraham and his personal army:
When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.--Gen. 14:14 (ESV)
Lot had first hand knowledge of the godly young men who were raised in his uncle’s house. Rather than spending the necessary time, energy and resources to take his daughters over the mountain in order to find them proper, like-minded suitors, Lot stayed in his own little bubble near Sodom. After all, it was comfortable and definitely more convenient. Why bother? His dereliction of parental duty laid the foundation for the sins of his daughters. To his additional shame, his daughters seemed to know nothing of their uncle’s army of male servants, otherwise, they surely would have fled there and sought solace rather than turn to incest to perpetuate their father’s name.
I can relate to Lot in being stuck in an immediate bubble. For almost 25 years, my life and focus in ministry was solely to those in my own church and rural community. I didn’t “network” at all outside of this tight-knit circle of friends and fellow believers. While I have dear relationships with almost all those individuals yet today, I see that I was shortsighted in not getting outside of that circle to participate with the kingdom of God on a broader scale. When I eventually did, I grew spiritually and emotionally. Just over three years ago my wife and I started making the necessary sacrifices in order for our children to understand how big God’s kingdom is “out there.” I can’t begin to tell you the spiritual benefits they’ve reaped from that decision.
Homeschooling parents do so many things right. God bless each and every one of you for that. However, we can’t do six things right and neglect four others without suffering consequence. Parents who home educate show great discretion and concern over what activities their children are involved in and with whom they are involved. Rightfully so; nevertheless, we need to be careful about imparting to our children a lengthy list of “don’t” do this and “don’t” hang around him/her, augmented with relatively few “do’s.” This can easily become more about convenience for us than what’s best for our children. The imbalance that results can provoke our children to wrath.
We must all understand that life is a matter of choices and that these choices reveal our true priorities. I’ve often heard individuals say something like, “I would do …if only I could afford to,” citing time or financial restraints. While we may have different freedoms in regards to our work, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. Yes, there are different economic levels, but even here, we need to be careful. I once sat down with a lady who was lamenting the fact that her family had no funds to do anything. After some quick figuring, we discovered that her family spent an unbelievable $200 a month on soda pops alone and another $300 a month on eating out with their two children. We afford that which is important to us.
Each of us has the opportunity to go to the other side of the mountain from June 6-8 at ICHE’s annual convention. You can come and relax knowing you will hear biblically sound teaching. Each vendor and their materials in the vendor hall are scrutinized to better insure that true biblical content is being offered. I have full confidence when I say that I don’t think there is any other homeschooling body anywhere that shows such discretion, desiring to protect those they serve from unbiblical error. To put it bluntly, our vendor hall is not for sale to the highest bidder. There are also evening activities provided in order for you and your family to have more opportunities to connect and network with others so that when you have your own battles in the future, you won’t be isolated in a cave like Lot and his daughters.
I encourage you to learn this valuable lesson from Lot. With whatever means God has graced you with, do what you can to take your family to the “other side of the mountain.” At what times the thought crosses your mind, “Can I really afford to do this right now?” a better question may be, “Can I afford not to?” A worthwhile investment in your children will pay off in generations yet unseen.
Executive Director, ICHE