We can learn much about ourselves as we look at the choices Lot makes throughout Genesis. The biggest word to me that comes to mind as you read all of Lot’s choice is easy. Every step of the way, when faced with a decision, he chose the easy way out. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
The very first choice we see Lot making is not where to settle his herdsman. It is actually before this. You see when Abram (not yet Abraham) gives Lot the choice on which direction to go as they separate, this is the first sign we see that Lot is going to take therapy way out. Because the choice is actually not Lot’s to make, it is Abram’s. Instead for of deferring back to Abram (which would have been the right thing to do), Lot instead does make the decision. It is right versus easy, and it is not the last time we will see Lot chose easy.
Because in the very next chapter, we read:
And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other.
In other words, Lot picked the land that was going to be easiest to work, even though he knew it was going to be the closest to temptation. How often do we do this? How many times have you chosen to go somewhere, knowing you would be put into a position where you would have to fight off temptation?
Now make no mistake, I am not saying you should never leave your house because you will be tempted. That is just lunacy. What I am saying is that the choices you make should be made with the idea of minimal risk of being pulled away from God. I wil give you an example from one of the choices I made in my life recently.
I had seen myself slipping away from studying God’s Word on a daily basis. I looked at my life, because I knew that suddenly there had not become less hours in the day. What was causing me to move away from God? And it was pretty easy to see what it was. My time in front of the TV had increased in direct proportion to my time in the bible decreasing. So I instantly pulled the plug (well, not technically since my TV is also my computer computer screen lol). What I did was take the cable completely off the TV that was giving me a signal. So know, I use the glorious flat screen I have for work (I am a video editor) and studying God’s Word. In the almost 2 weeks since doing this, I can not tell you how much better I feel. All because I made the choice not to do the easy thing, and instead commit to coming back closer to God.
In Lot’s case, he chose the land close to sin (Sodom) because he knew it was already well watered and his herds and crops would be easier to maintain. He did not take into account the dangers of being to close to the temptations of Sodom.
So now we jump ahead (approx 20ish years). Sodom is about to be destroyed because they have become so sinful. God is sending His 2 angels into the city, and what do we read:
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom.
There is great magnitude in this passage of scripture. By Lot sitting at the gate, this would mean he had become a city leader. The city gate was a place for the leaders of the city to meet and discuss the politics of Sodom. By the Lot being at the gate, it would mean he had become completely woven into the fabric of Sodom. Which we see come to life very soon.
See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”
Ok, yeah, that is bad, really bad. But, one thing to understand here. In this time, a person reputation was largely based on how hospitable they were to travelers. It is horrible to think Lot would throw his virgin daughters to the townsmen, but this once again shows how fall into sin Lot had fallen. He wanted to protect his reputation with the people of the town, no matter what.Have you ever been put into this situation (no, not where you had to throw your daughter to a pack of men).
I am talking about a time where you had to stand up for God and His ways in the face or massive societal pressure to do otherwise. When it comes down to it, that is exactly what is happening here with Lot. He has taken on the practices of society while abandoning those of God. Before you say “I would never do that!”, stop and think. Do you support (by watching or buying) entertainment that is not inline with God’s principles? Do you find it ok to shop at stores which have anti-biblical policies? You see, it your boycott Target and Burger King for their policies that are against God but then sit down and watch the NFL which promotes alcohol and sexual exploitation of women, then you are doing what Lot did.
Now you can say “hold on Patrick, are seriously I comparing me watching a football with Lot throwing his daughters out to the crowd?”… well, I am not saying it, the bible is:
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Honestly, these are my three favorite verses in the bible, because they remind me what my attention and focus should be on. You see, like we do, Lot forgot these things (yes I know they were not written in Lot’s time, but he still knew what God expected of him). It is only when we can admit we have drifted from God that we can start the process of moving back to Him. We can look at two final pieces in Lot’s sage to see what the effects are from us becoming acceptable in the site of sinful society.
So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.
Lot had fallen so far from God that not even his own family believed him when he tried to deliver God’s message. Are you like this? Have you become so immersed in culture that your friends and family will not be able to take you seriously when you deliver God’s Word? It is hard for people to tell you from the sinful society we live in? Or perhaps more importantly, does your own household know you stand for Godly principles? Because Lot had moved so far from God, which own daughter (you know the virgins he was trying to throw out to the depraved men at his door) do not know this is wrong:
Now the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.”
Um…what???!! That’s right, Lot’s daughters felt it was perfectly fine to sleep with him, after getting him drunk. The reason is because Lot did not instill values into them that this would be inappropriate behavior.
As we look at the saga of Lot, there is a tendency to say how horrible the actions he took are. And there is no question, from our point of view today, we find his actions reprehensible. But I ask you, in God’s eyes, are some of our actions not just as horrific and reprehensible? Are you not just as guilty as Lot for falling away from God and instead immersing yourself in society? Think about this as you go about your week. Think about ways you falling more into society and less into God. And then make the hard choice to stand up for God in the face of societal pressure. Just imagine the change in Sodom that may have been made if Lot had stood for God.