Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Which Way is Your Tent Facing?

Genesis 9:17- Genesis 15:5

When Abraham and Lot reached their destination they stood shoulder to shoulder and looked out over the land.

Abraham told Lot, “If thou wilt take the left hand I will go to the right, or if thou depart to the right hand then I will go to the left.”  (Genesis 12:9)

“And Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where…and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” (Genesis 12:10-12, emphasis added.)

It seems Lot made his choice by choosing what was easiest, underestimating the importance of inquiring after the character of his neighbors.  Perhaps there was a curiosity to be entertained by the wickedness of Sodom while keeping it at an arms length.

In our day some might say he chose to “live on the edge.”

Rather than choosing quickly, Abraham left his choice of location up to the Lord.  He walked the length and breadth of the remaining land and then he chose his land by faith and pitched his tent in Hebron.

It wasn’t long before war rose up and Sodom and Gomorrah was plundered, “and they took Lot, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods and departed.”  (Genesis 12:12)  Lot may have faced his tent toward Sodom hoping to stay an arms length from the wickedness, but this scripture leads us to wonder if eventually Lot and his family were consumed by the wickedness and taken right up into Sodom.  Their choice led to their captivity.

Abraham came to the rescue.  He armed 318 of his own servants to rescue Lot ––three hundred and eighteen men to rescue one man from a situation that resulted from the direction in which he placed his tent.

Is the danger the same today?

If we face our tent to the ways of the world, could those ways become so much a part of our life that we risk becoming held captive by them?

Rather than choosing to put ourselves in a situation that might necessitate being rescued by an army, perhaps we could just face our tent in a different direction.

In the days of King Benjamin, a proclamation was sent throughout all the land.  The people were invited to gather to hear the voice of the king.  “And it came to pass that when they came to the temple, they pitched their tents… round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple.”  (Mosiah 2:5-6)

Consider the difference between these two choices:

“And Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent towards Sodom.”

“And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple.”

How important was the direction of the tent?

One led to captivity.

The other led to a mighty change of heart.

Which way is your tent facing?

You might be interested to know that the fifth chapter of Mosiah contains a list of blessings that came to the families as a result of facing their doors towards the temple…if you don’t mind a few more pages it might be worth your time.

Emily Freeman