Loving Lord, Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory. I affirm and rejoice in this great truth.
Read GENESIS 19:15–29
15 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.”
16 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. 17 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!”
18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords,[a] please! 19 Your[b] servant has found favor in your[c] eyes, and you[d] 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. 20 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.”
21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.[e])
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 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.
29 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.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
As we read of Lot and his compromises, help us, Lord, to examine our hearts and renew our consecration of our whole being to You.
The main focus of this passage is less on the destruction of the cities of the plain than upon Lot as a tragic example of a compromised faith and what the Bible will describe later as the love of ‘this present world’ (see below).1 The chapter opens with Lot ‘sitting in the gateway of the city’ (1), which indicates that he has attained a position of authority in Sodom and exercises a degree of power. That being so, given what we have already noticed concerning the moral corruption of the city, Lot appears as a pathetic figure from the beginning. Every detail of the following narrative serves to confirm this impression, from his hopeless appeal to the baying mob, addressed as ‘my friends’ (7), to his willingness to sacrifice his daughters (8), the failure to convince his sons-in-law, who ‘thought he was joking’ (14) and the telltale hesitation when leaving the city (16). Finally, there is the revealing request to be allowed to take up residence in a small town (20), which suggests a deeply embedded attraction toward the kind of urban culture of which Sodom and Gomorrah are examples. Derek Kidner’s verdict is apt: ‘Not even brimstone will make a pilgrim of him: he must have his little Sodom again if life is to be supportable’.2
The seductive power of a world organized without reference to God, often in direct and explicit rebellion against Him, is a theme that recurs throughout the New Testament. Scripture warns that professing Christians will be unable to resist wordly attractions apart from a radical faith in Christ and the fellowship of a believing community which models an alternative way of being a human family. Lot’s tragic compromise has its New Testament analogue in Demas, of whom Paul writes with sadness, that ‘he loved this world’ and had ‘gone to Thessalonica’.3
Do you recognize within yourself the attractive power of the world? What must you do to guard against that power without becoming a social outcast or oddball?
Great and Mighty God, it doesn’t matter what the world, the flesh, or the devil throw at me, thank You for the assurance I have, that nothing can separate me from Your love (Rom. 8:37-39).
1 2 Tim 4:10, AV 2 Derek Kidner, Genesis (Tyndale OT Commentary), IVP, 2008, p135
3 2 Tim 4:10
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