Grab your Bibles, and let’s go deeper into the testimony of Lot.
Genesis 13 discusses the return of Abram and Lot to Canaan after the famine had passed and the lands became fertile again. The conflicts between the herdsmen had become so troublesome that Abram recommended to Lot that they should part ways so there wouldn’t be unneeded conflict amongst them.
Abram gave Lot the choice of which land he wanted to settle on, and Lot picked the well-watered plains beyond the Jordan, for it was like “the garden of the LORD.” Lot’s taking of the best land in Canaan for himself was one of the worst decisions he ever made. Instead of dividing the country equitably between himself and his uncle, Lot seized the lush area near Sodom and lived far away from the covenant family. The first result of this decision was his capture by Chedorlaomer’s forces, but even his rescue by Abraham did not convince him to abandon Sodom (Genesis 13:12; 14:1–16). Loving Sodom more than the Lord’s people, he moved into the city God would later destroy (Genesis 19:1–29).
In Genesis 19, we read that Lot is spared from the judgment of Sodom, so surely God is not done with His plans for him. Even though God gives him a longer life, Lot doesn’t process things well. Sometimes we are guilty of only focusing on what we have lost and not what God has ordained to continue. If this is you lately, confess your self-centeredness of this and thank God for what He has given you. Ask Him to keep you full of faith and move you forward.
Abraham’s nephew, Lot, once had so many servants and livestock that it was difficult to live near his uncle. But now, he who once selfishly sought to increase his wealth (13:8–13) could fit everything he owned into a cave (19:30). What a change in life this meant to him. Like many of us, Lot’s life was full of big turns and tides. The key for us is to keep our eyes on Jesus and recognize all that we are and have is His and is to be used for His purposes. This is to help us not over grip or over trust in the things or people of the world, but to fully trust in God.
Lot additionally struggled with fear and trying to keep himself full of faith. When life doesn’t go your way, do you resort to fear or do you trust that God is on the throne and will see His mighty purposes through? It is easy to look back and see mistakes we made or hard times we went through and begin to lose faith. But we are a people built not on our circumstances or on our performance. We are a people who trust in God and lean on Jesus’ performance alone.
In the end of Genesis 19, we read that Lot suffered an even worse disgrace from his daughters. The two women hastily, through fear, thought there were no men that could be arranged to marry them. So they got their father drunk and lay with him, so as to produce heirs (vv. 31–36). Incest between father and daughter was condemned by God’s law but also by the pagan cultures surrounding Israel. This shows how despicable these acts were. The result of this was one daughter had a son named Moab (father of the Moabites) and the other had a son named Ben-Ammi (father of the Ammonites).
Ironically, Lot at one point was willing to sacrifice his daughters’ virginity to avoid danger (Gen. 19:6–8); but now, his children dishonored him at the first sign of struggle. In this, we see the reality of the impact of a culture on God’s people. No one is outside of temptation to sin and selfishness. We must be people of prayer and of the word—not only to get out of hardship, but to build up our maturity and strength in God to avoid it. Sometimes it is easy to think that the temptations of our past are way behind us, but we must stay vigilant in avoiding sin and temptation and growing in who we are in Christ. Let us not forget that Lot and his daughters got out of Sodom, but the influence of the city’s corrupt morals showed themselves in their lives later.
Finally, we read 2 Peter 2:4-10 this week. Here, Peter speaks of God saving Lot from Sodom and says why the wicked should fear God’s judgment on wickedness.
In verses 9 and 10, Peter says, “… the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials [like Noah and Lot], and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority …”
This is a great take away for us as well. God will judge unrepentant sin, and He will endure His people through great hardship so that He can accomplish His purposes. We must walk in faith and not by sight. We must avoid the sinful influences of the culture around us and aim to stay trusting in God despite how hard things get. I pray that what we have seen in Lot this week motivates and moves us forward in honoring Christ in all things.
By His grace and for His glory,
Pastor Joshua Kirstine