Verses 10-13 (Genesis 13:10-13)

We have here the choice that Lot made when he parted from Abram. Upon this occasion, one would have expected, 1. That he should have expressed an unwillingness to part from Abram, and that, at least, he should have done it with reluctancy. 2. That he should have been so civil as to have remitted the choice back again to Abram. But we find not any instance of deference or respect to his uncle in the whole management. Abram having offered him the choice, without compliment he accepted it, and made his election. Passion and selfishness make men rude. Now, in the choice which Lot made, we may observe,

I. How much he had an eye to the goodness of the land. He beheld all the plain of Jordan, the flat country in which Sodom stood, that it was admirably well watered every where (and perhaps the strife had been about water, which made him particularly fond of that convenience), and so Lot chose all that plain, Gen. 13:10, 11. That valley, which was like the garden of Eden itself, now yielded him a most pleasant prospect. It was, in his eye, beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth; and therefore he doubted not but that it would yield him a comfortable settlement, and that in such a fruitful soil he should certainly thrive, and grow very rich: and this was all he looked at. But what came of it? Why, the next news we hear of him is that he is in the briars among them, he and his carried captive. While he lived among them, he vexed his righteous soul with their conversation, and never had a good day with them, till, at last, God fired the town over his head, and forced him to the mountain for safety who chose the plain for wealth and pleasure. Note, Sensual choices are sinful choices, and seldom speed well. Those who in choosing relations, callings, dwellings, or settlements are guided and governed by the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, or the pride of life, and consult not the interests of their souls and their religion, cannot expect God?s presence with them, nor his blessing upon them, but are commonly disappointed even in that which they principally aimed at, and miss of that which they promised themselves satisfaction in. In all our choices this principle should overrule us, That that is best for us which is best for our souls.

II. How little he considered the wickedness of the inhabitants: But the men of Sodom were wicked, Gen. 13:13. Note, 1. Though all are sinners, yet some are greater sinners than others. The men of Sodom were sinners of the first magnitude, sinners before the Lord, that is, impudent daring sinners; they were so to a proverb. Hence we read of those that declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not, Isa. 3:9. 2. That some sinners are the worse for living in a good land. So the Sodomites were: for this was the iniquity of Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness; and all these were supported by the great plenty their country afforded, Ezek. 16:49. Thus the prosperity of fools destroys them. 3. That God often gives great plenty to great sinners. Filthy Sodomites dwell in a city, in a fruitful plain, while faithful Abram and his pious family dwell in tents upon the barren mountains. 4. When wickedness has come to the height, ruin is not far off. Abounding sins are sure presages of approaching judgments. Now Lot?s coming to dwell among the Sodomites may be considered, (1.) As a great mercy to them, and a likely means of bringing them to repentance; for now they had a prophet among them and a preacher of righteousness, and, if they had hearkened to him, they might have been reformed, and the ruin prevented. Note, God sends preachers, before he sends destroyers; for he is not willing that any should perish. (2.) As a great affliction to Lot, who was not only grieved to see their wickedness (2 Pet. 2:7, 8), but was molested and persecuted by them, because he would not do as they did. Note, It has often been the vexatious lot of good men to live among wicked neighbours, to sojourn in Mesech (Ps. 120:5), and it cannot but be the more grievous, if, as Lot here, they have brought it upon themselves by an unadvised choice.

- Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary