Be careful where you pitch your tent

Published 3:35 pm Friday, March 6, 2020

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She eyed the place cards on the long dinner table beside the hotel’s shimmering pool. The young actress couldn’t believe her good luck. She’d been seated beside a man who could make her dreams come true.


They talked easily. “He seemed so interested in me,” she said.

Later, she realized the seating arrangement had been deliberate—it was after she’d become his prey.

I read this story probably three years ago. I can’t locate the magazine, but the details stayed with me. In other words, those around Harvey Weinstein knew full well what was going on.

In fact, Weinstein’s film production company had put a clause into Harvey’s contract that said every “indiscretion” required a payment. Apparently, Harvey Weinstein was such a brilliant filmmaker that he was deemed worth the trouble he caused.

Weinstein has now been convicted on several criminal counts for his abuses. No one realized his behavior would destroy the company, which filed for bankruptcy in 2018.

His former wife, a fashion designer who dressed many actresses, will likely lose her company. Few want the taint of being associated with the producer.

Clearly, if you pitched your tent with Harvey Weinstein, you made a mistake.

Abraham’s nephew Lot, of Sodom and Gomorrah fame, made the same error—literally pitching his tent in the wrong place. It nearly cost him his life.

Was Lot innocent as Weinstein’s wife probably was? Or was he just as guilty as Weinstein’s company, knowing what was what? Let’s see.

Abraham, the father of our faith, lived roughly 2,000 years B.C. God called Abraham from his home in Mesopotamia, far east of Israel, to the Promised Land. Lot came along with him.

Apparently, the two had many animals—huge flocks and herds. They realized they’d have to live in separate areas, and Abraham let his nephew choose first.

If it’d been me, I would have asked my father’s advice. “Which area do you think I should take?”

Not Lot. Abraham’s nephew immediately sees that the Jordan Valley has the best pasture. Moreover, this area would be the last to suffer from drought.

One problem. It meant pitching his tent beside the town of Sodom.

Of course, this was long before Sodom turned evil—that’s what I thought. Oh, no. The Bible says at that time, “The men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.” Genesis 13:13

So Lot knew what he was getting into, but he did it anyway.

One day, two men arrive in Sodom, and Lot persuades them to stay with him. Lot has now moved away from his tent and is living inside the city. That evening, the men of Sodom, every single one of them, both young and old, gather at Lot’s door.

“Bring them out to us,” the men shout, “so we can have sex with them.”

Lot emerges, closing the door behind him.

“No, my friends,” he says. “Don’t do this wicked thing.”

The men threaten Lot with the same evil and try to tear down his door.

The two men Lot hopes to protect are actually angels. They quickly pull Lot back into the house, shut the door, and strike the men of Sodom with blindness.

As the vicious crowd gropes for the door, the angels get Lot and his family out of the city. The Lord then rains fire and brimstone onto Sodom and its neighboring city, Gomorrah. Genesis 19:1-26

Lot lost everything—one choice destroyed his life.

Evil looks for what we want most. It haunts our weakness.

Lot’s was greed—he wanted his herds and flocks to thrive, it didn’t matter that he had to live in the land of evil Sodom and Gomorrah. Weinstein’s associates also wanted to succeed, even at the expense of harboring a predatory criminal.

Think about it. What do you want most?

If you could have just one more thing in life, what would it be? That’s where you’re most likely to skirt around the Lord. To justify doing what seems necessary, instead of waiting and listening to God’s guidance. Poor decisions are made.

Lot should have turned away from the Jordan Valley, from any contact with Sodom and Gomorrah.

Be careful where you pitch your tent.

Copyright © 2020 R.A. Mathews. All rights reserved. The Rev. Mathews is an attorney, faith columnist, and the author of “Reaching to God.” Contact her at