All too often when things go wrong in our lives, we tend to blame the present environment. However, if we took a step or two backwards and reflected upon certain decisions we made in the past, we might find that our present woes are often because of past choices. Stocktaking and honest reflection on our past could help enormously into the future, preventing making similar mistakes again. In examining Lot and his choices we have seen his greediness in choosing the plain’s green valley that had plenty water for his animals. Living in nomadic tents caused him and his family to gravitate closer and closer to the city of Sodom, until they acquired accommodation in the city, becoming very much part of the fabric of that society. The society itself was morally decayed:
Gen 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.
This is the reason God sent those angels to the city:
Ge 19:13 “… we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”
In Lot’s case, the choices he made affected and influenced his morality and character to the point where it was very hard and difficult to turn his back upon Sodom and his friends. Think also of the pressure he would have received from his wife, whose passion was Sodom.
Gen 19:26 Lot’s wife looked back
We saw how his witness (integrity) was compromised to the point where he offer the wicked men of Sodom his daughters as sex objects to protect his guests. Some might think this a good gesture, yet if his faith in God was solid he would have trusted God to provide a way out:
1Co 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it
Choices affect the future and often we don’t think it might. Well, the story of Lot continues … Notice how his “friends” turn against him:
Ge 19:9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. And they said, “This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.”
They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. Yet the angels reach out and protect him:
Ge 19:10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
That’s the world for you. You are a friend when it suits people, yet when there are and challenges, differences and tensions you instantly become an enemy! This is why Gospel friends are so important:
Pr 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
The one who sticks closer is the Lord Jesus … but it also includes the brothers and sisters in Christ. Of them the Proverb is true:
Pr 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Lot’s friends were not his friends. Making friends with the world is a seriously bad choice for it always leads to disaster. Well the angels own up saying whom they are and what their earthly mission is all about:
Ge 19:12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”
Whoever was part of Lot’s family needed to evacuate and get as far away from Sodom as possible because God had sent these angels to “destroy” the city! Persistent wickedness does not go unnoticed by God. There always comes a time when God says enough is enough and He deals with situations like this in wrath. This is a good warning to you and me to walk close to God, seeking holiness as the option of life. It is interesting that even in wicked Sodom, there were certain morals amongst certain people.
The “engagement” between Lot’s daughters and their husband’s to be seems to have been similar to Mary and Joseph’s engagement. They were classed as married, although there was no intimacy (the daughters were still virgins). They did not live together, though these men were seen as sons-in-law.
Ge 19:14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters.
Then we see another result of Lot’s weak testimony:
Ge 19:14b He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
These sons-in-law saw Lot as an excuse for a believer! As soon as he spoke about the Lord, obviously relating the angels’ message about Sodom being destroyed because of its evil, sinister lifestyle … they burst out laughing. He was nothing but a joke! How desperately sad. Lot compromised his testimony to the point where he was considered a joke.
The awful reality is that this is not just Lot a few thousand years ago! So often, professing Christians can compromise their Gospel testimony through following the world and being part of the world to the extent that when they speak for God, quote the Scriptures or call people to follow Jesus they are laughed at.
I can never forget asking a trusted friend what he would think if he saw me drinking alcohol on a Saturday night and then heard me preaching the Sunday morning. His response amounted to saying he would not listen to me because my Gospel testimony as a pastor was compromised through drinking alcohol the night before I preached. (as an aside … I do not use any alcohol). It’s like people witnessing you living a sinful lifestyle and then you preaching the Gospel to them. The two don’t match and as the two don’t match they literally laugh in their hearts at what you said because you don’t live what you preach though you want them to live and believe what you preach.
Never forget that as believers we are always on the stage of history. We are bring watched … even without us knowing it. What sort of message does our life and words send out to a lost world? Are we hypocrites in practice? Are we a stumbling block that causes people to reject the Gospel because of what they see in us? The testimony of Lot in the Bible speaks very loudly and it speaks as a direct challenge to all believers. What take home message is there for us?
Dear God, Father of the heavenly lights, Knower of all mankind and Witness of all deeds, words, thoughts and intentions … examine our lives and where You find hypocrisy, please convict us to the point of repentance. Help us Lord to bring glory to You in every way … for the Lord Jesus’ sake … amen.