It has been over a month since I last posted a blog. Sorry about that. Life has been very full.
If you follow these blogs or pay close attention to them, you know that we have been looking at this:
- God is MAJESTIC
- God is MESSIAH
- God wants to be MASTER
- God wants us to live on MISSION
Over the last few months, I have been blogging about how “God is MAJESTIC” and how “God is MESSIAH”. In my most recent blog, we looked at how God wants to be MASTER, and we used Mark 8-10 to do so.
Let’s pick it up where we left off.
Since God is MAJESTIC and MESSIAH, we are compelled to declare Him to be MASTER. As we looked at last time, that’s what happened in Isaiah 6. The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, saw the MAJESTY of God, experienced how He was MESSIAH, and Isaiah declared God to be MASTER. Reminder – Here is what Isaiah 6:8 says:
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
In Isaiah’ response, what is he really declaring to God? He is saying “God is my MASTER”.
In the next 2 blogs, we are going to look at 2 different lives in Scripture. One illustrates a heart that has given God wholehearted devotion, a heart where God is MASTER. The other represents a life who struggles with making God MASTER. With this life, we see the slippery slope we go down when God is not the ultimate MASTER of our lives.
Lot vs. Caleb
For today’s blog, let’s focus on Lot.
Read Genesis 12:1-8.
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the peoplethey had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
Just like Abram, Lot left God and followed by faith. Abram left the land that he knew so he could go to the land that God would show him. This took faith. Great faith! Lot went with Abram. I believe this took great faith on Lot’s part! You could say that Lot started well, and 2 Peter 2:7-8 even refers to him as a righteous person. How? We are not declared righteous because of what we do. According to Romans 4, we are made righteous by faith. Lot’s faith enabled him to be declared righteous before God.
However, I think Lot struggled with declaring God MASTER. This greatly impacted Lot’s life and the spiritual impact that Lot had on his family.
Read Genesis 13:1-13.
So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier 4 and where he had first built an altar.There Abram called on the name of the Lord. Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.
Focus on verses 12 and 13. After this dispute broke out between Abram and Lot, Abram let Lot choose whatever land he wanted. Lot chose the land that he thought looked preferable. It may have been preferable, but it was also near evil. This was Lot’s first mistake. Things may appear better, but they are never better if they are near evil.
The problem with being near evil is we cannot simply stay “near evil”. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us the heart is wicked and deceitful. If I put myself near evil, then I am going to be in the middle of it before long. That is what happened to Lot.
Read Genesis 19:1-36.
The text says:
The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.” But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, 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. But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 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. 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, 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.” So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. 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. With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.” He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar. By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain,destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived. Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.” That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.
In verse 1, you see that Lot is now at the city gate. This indicates to me he is in the middle of the city. If he is in the middle of that city, then he is in the middle of evil. In Genesis 19, God sends angels to rescue Lot from the evil of the city. What does all this indicate? Lot started in Genesis 13 near evil, but he is now right in the middle of evil.
Since Lot is in the middle of evil, he eventually becomes influenced by that evil, and his family is influenced as well. Let’s not throw stones at Lot. If we exist in the middle of evil, then we eventually are influenced by that evil as well.
In Genesis 19, some angels come to Lot to rescue him and his family from the destruction God is going to bring on the city. Some men of Sodom and Gomorrah come to Lot’s house because they want to have sex with these angels. Lot told these men not to pursue the angels, but they could have his virgin daughters and do whatever they wanted to do sexually with them. What!?! This clearly shows Lot has become influenced by evil. What type of father would think this is a good idea?
Fortunately, the angels rescued Lot’s family from these men, and ultimately, these angels tried to help rescue Lot’s family from the evil of Sodom. However, Lot had become so influenced by evil himself that he lost the spiritual influence on his family. Here are some examples:
- Lot’s future son in laws did not take Lot seriously and thought he was joking when he said to flee the city (Lot’s future son in laws were destroyed)
- Lot’s wife had a love for the city and looked back after being rescued (When looking back, God turned her into a pillar of salt)
- No wife, no future son in laws (just him and his daughters). They lived alone, and his daughters thought they would never be mothers. They got their father drunk, had sex with him, and became pregnant by him (Wow!!! Are you kidding me?)
All of this is so tragic! What happened to the Lot of Genesis 12? To me, it comes down to the issue of MASTER, wholehearted devotion.
Do you see wholehearted devotion to God in Lot’s life? I don’t. Did Lot miss opportunities to build a spiritual legacy for his family? He most definitely did. Did God still rescue Lot? Yes, he did. No matter how far we fall, God is always able to rescue us (I think we must cooperate in letting him rescue us though).
Questions for all of us:
Is God My MASTER?
Do I give Him wholehearted devotion?
Have I put my heart near evil?
Am I in the middle of evil?
Am I being influenced by evil?
Am I missing opportunities to build a legacy of faith?
May we see Him as MAJESTIC! May we experience Him as MESSIAH! May we declare Him to be MASTER! May we learn from Lot!