Open your bibles with me to Genesis, Chapter 19.
Overview: The 2 angels arrive at the gate of Sodom where they encountered Lot. Lot encouraged them to stay with him. They told him they would be staying in the town square. But Lot insisted, and made them a meal, so they went and stayed with Lot. All the men, young and old, surrounded Lot’s house wanting him to turn over the 2 men (angels) so they could have sexual relations with them. Lot refused – but he offered up his two daughters that were still virgins. The mob got angry and said he moved into Sodom as an outsider and kept acting like a judge. They threatened to do things to him, worse than what they wanted to do to the strangers. The angels pulled him back in the house and struck the evil men of the town with blindness.
The angels tell Lot to get his family and get out, they are going to destroy the city. HIs son-in-laws thought he was joking and wouldn’t listen. The angels had to practically drag Lot, his wife and his two daughters that were still at home, out of the town. He told them not to look back – to keep going. Lots wife ended up looking back and turned to a pillar of salt. When they made it to Zoar, God rained down fire and brimstone and destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah, and the plain around it. Lot then fled Zoar to a cave with his two daughters. His daughters started talking – thinking they may never get to marry and carry on the family name, so they decide to get their father drunk and sleep with him. Both daughters did so and ended up pregnant with their father’s child. The first-born daughter gave birth to a son and called him Moab – he is the father of the Moabites to this day. The second gave birth to a son and called him Ben-Ammi – and he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day.
Lessons from Today’s Scripture:
- The city gate was the meeting place for city officials and other men to discuss business. It was a place of authority and status, a place to be “seen”. The angels found Lot at the gate. His “status” may have been a reason he was so reluctant to leave Sodom. We have to be very careful that we don’t fall into the trap of compromise to “make a name” for ourselves.
- How could any father offer up his daughters to a mob of perverted men? No one really knows why – maybe he was scheming to save both the girls and the visitors. Maybe he thought that homosexual men would not be interested in the girls? It was custom of the day to protect guests at any cost, but this terrible suggestion shows just deeply sin had been absorbed into Lot’s life. He had become hardened to the evil acts going on in the city. Whatever Lot’s motives were, we see just how wicked the city was and why God destroyed it.
- Lot had lived so long and was so content among ungodly people that he was no longer a believable witness for God. Sodom had gotten into Lot instead of Lot affecting Sodom. Do those who know you see you as a witness for God – or do you blend into the crowd, unnoticed? Lot had compromised to the point that he was almost useless to God. When he finally made a stand, nobody listened. To make a difference you have to decide to be different in your faith and in your conduct. Niche was quoted as saying “I’ll believe in your redeemer when you show me you’ve been redeemed.”
- Lot hesitated, so the angel seized his hand and rushed him to safety. Lot did not want to abandon wealth, position and comfort he enjoyed in Sodom. It is easy to criticize Lot – but how many times do we “go along” with things we know we should stand up against out of fear of losing a job, losing a friend, losing respect of men?
- Notice how God’s mercy toward Abraham extended to Lot and his family. Because Abraham pleaded for Lot, God was merciful and saved Lot from the fiery destruction of Sodom. A righteous person can often affect others for good. James says the prayers of a righteous person are powerful (James 5:16). All Christians should follow Abraham’s example and pray for others to be saved. Pray for the prodigals in our families believing God will hear and pursue them with grace and mercy until they are right with Him.
- In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah we see two facets of God’s character. (1) His great patience as he agreed to spare the city if they could find just 10 good people) and (2) His fierce anger (destroying both cities). As we grown spiritually, we should find ourselves developing no only a deeper respect for God because of his anger toward sin, but also a deeper love for God because of his patience with us when we sin.
- I am seeing so many posts on social media that are false teaching – it’s a “waterfall of grace” – Jesus died on the cross for our sins – therefore I can live in sin. This is false thinking. The bible clearly says in Acts 2:38 (as well as other places in the New Testament) to “Repent (turn from sin and toward God), be baptized for the remission of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The bible says to “Be ye Holy as I am Holy says the Lord.” The bible says to “Come out from among them and be ye separate says the Lord.” We are called to look different, act different, walk and talk different. We are called to be a light in the darkness. We are to be calm in the storm like Jesus was on the boat. We are to love when others would hate. We are to forgive when the world screams to hold a grudge. (No one is perfect – we’ll still sin from time to time – and we confess those sins to Jesus. But we do not have a license to live in sin.) Others need to see something different about us because we’ve been with Jesus.
- Lot’s wife turned back to look at the smoldering city of Sodom. Clinging to the past, she was unwilling to turn completely away. Are you looking back, holding on to that phone number you should delete? Holding on to memories and going back to visit that person or place that pushes you further from the truth and from peace? You can’t make progress with God if you are holding on to pieces of your old life. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 6:24 – No one can serve two masters.
- In the pitiful sequel of the story of the destruction of Sodom, we see two women compelled to preserve their family line – even though incest was a sin. They were not driven by lust, but by desperation fearing they would never get married. We are most likely to sin when we are desperate for what we feel we must have. Most often that sin is justified as “It feels good. It makes me happy, and God would want me to be happy, so it has to be from God.” We have to walk by Faith, not by feelings – sin is still sin. God does want what’s best for us. That’s why we are to wait on Him. On His timing, not ours.
If you’ve ever heard me speak at an event you have likely heard this: Nothing stays the same. We are in a constant state of motion. EVERY Choice you make is either bringing you one step closer to God or pushing you one step further away. We should always stop and consider our choices carefully because falling away is never one, swift sudden decision to not follow Jesus anymore. It’s a slow fade… one choice at a time. Choose wisely. 🙂