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The story of Abraham (originally Abram) and Lot begins with Abraham's father, Terah. Terah left Ur of the Chaldeans and traveled west to Haran with Abraham; Abraham's wife, Sarah (originally Sarai)...
It never ceases to amaze me how God's Word, though written thousands of years ago, in a different time and era, still can be relevant to our life today. I would like to approach this question from "What we can learn from Lot's life" First we must remember that Lot is a righteous man (2 Pet 2:7). He had a relationship with God. Thanks to what Jesus did on the cross, we are able to have a relationship with God today. As we look at Lot's decision making starting in Gen 13:8-12 we see that worldly ideas have begun to sneak into his mind. Abraham is willing to take which ever land Lot does not want. Lot looks at the lush plains of Jordan, and chooses them. Why? Greed, he is not concerned with Abraham's well being, but his own. vs.12 Lot pitches his tent toward Sodom, he is getting closer to the lights, being drawn in by the luster of worldly things. In Gen 14:12 we find that Lot has moved into Sodom. Lot's focus has changed, he no longer has a vertical focus (on God and Godly things); he desires to be part of the world he lives in. Abraham conversely maintains his vertical focus and refuses to take payment Gen 14:23 because he does not want the king to be able to say "I have made Abraham rich". Lot's thought process has become so corrupt, that in Gen 19:8 that he believes it would be better to give his 2 virgin daughters to the men if the city instead of the 2 angels. God warns us in Romans 12:2 not to allow ourselves to conform to the ways of the world. We see through Lot a man who has done just that. He slowly moved closer to Sodom until he was swallowed up by their culture. Today's Christian is faced with the same dilemma. The world is constantly pulling us in. Even our government attempts to force the ways of the world on us and condemns Christians for our values. Lot's failure to maintain his Godly values and becoming drawn in by the world caused him to loose his standing as 'Spiritual Leader' of his family. A problem that has become epidemic in today's society. In Gen 19:14 Lot's sons in law refuse to follow him. In fact, they feel mocked by him. Lot looses them and his daughters to the hellfire that would rain down on Sodom. Gen 19:26 Lot looses his wife, because she can not let go of the world that she left behind her. Gen 19:32 Lot's daughters show that their thinking is worldly just as their father's. As Christians, we can not allow the world to tear apart our families. We must be the man that God intended us to be, we must stand up as 'Spiritual Leader' of our family. What can we learn from a Bible story written thousands of years ago? If we loose our vertical focus and become worldly, if we refuse the responsibility of being 'Spiritual Leader' of our house hold, we will end up like Lot.
The story of Abraham and Lot is one that depicts the preservation of God's people who place their faith and trust in God despite their trying environments. The two men chose to obey God and moved from their land of origin into a land that God had promised Abraham. God kept them from many perils so that they have a stake in the life and ancestry of Jesus of Christ. God united the two men through their offspring so that Ruth, a Moabites (Gentile) and an offspring of Lot was married to Boaz a man from Abraham's lineage and the rest is history. There are also interesting contrasts. While Lot and Abraham had to part ways in response to overstocking by their large herds, Ruth and Naomi were united in covenant amidst their poverty and destitution (Ruth 1:16-18), and headed to Bethlehem the city of bread where God sustained them and ministered His grace to them Abraham twice came to the rescue of Lot. The first was from the kings who raided his city and took away Lot and his possessions. Abraham recovered all and gave a tithe of all the war spoils.(Genesis 14). The second rescue came when God revealed to Abraham His plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. God graciously accepted Abraham's plea to rescue Lot from the evil city and He sent His angels to recue him. Lot and his two daughters fled to the safety of the mountains but he lost his wife to disobedience because she valued the city of sin more than the refuge that God had prepared for his people. How often we too find the allures of this world more captivating and eye-catching than the things of God and the ways of this world more pleasing and enticing than the narrow path that God has ordained for His saints to walk therein! Lot later sired sons from the incest planned by his two daughters who falsely claimed in Genesis 19:31-32 "... there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father." This reasoning was false for the two reasons. First, God never designed for us to sire children from members of our family and to sleep with one's Father is forbidden. Leviticus 20:17 says "And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity." One may argue that the Levitical Law came centuries later but knowing the moral nature of our God we are inclined to accept that he could not have permitted Lot's union with his two daughters. Secondly, God only destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah but he preserved other cities that were not as evil. Abraham was alive and so were Lot's relatives in Ur. Lot could have at worst sought people to marry the daughters from among other communities. Even though Lot was innocent as concerns the incest because the girls put him on strong drink, he was negligent in failing to provide direction for his daughters and had to bear the disgrace of siring sons through them. So what moral lessons do we learn from this story? First, none is without sin and only the grace of God can assure us of right standing in the presence of God. Secondly, God uses the circumstances of our tragedies, even the worst of them, to work out His will for us. We need not lie down in defeat but arise to God (Psalm 34:19, Romans 8:28). Finally we learn that there is no substitute to obedience and that sin is perilous and often leaves its indelible marks on our lives. On the flipside, this story also speaks of the consequences of decisions we make in life. Where our decisions are not guided by moral principles of scripture, we are exposed to mortal perils. Lot's troubles started with his imprudence in pitching his tent toward Sodom. Where is your tent facing?
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