2 Peter 2:4-9 (NKJV) For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,
Last time we examined what it means that Lot was considered “righteous”, even though his life ended up very ungodly. Today we examine how Lot fell away through his choice to live facing the city of Sodom. If you have not read Part I of this blog, click the following link to read Get Out of the City Doomed for Destruction (I Peter 2:4-9) Part 1
DEVOLUTION FROM FAITH TO UNRIGTEOUSNESS
If God places us in a trial, it is for our good and his glory (I Peter 1:6-7). Should we choose to be in a place that He has not called us to, it may lead to our being “oppressed”. If we remain, we may be tormenting ourselves, leading to spiritual harm. Lot is a perfect example of this truth.
In Genesis 13:5-13. We find that Abraham and Lot’s families, had grown in wealth and size. Strife had arisen between the two relatives’ herdsmen, over resources. Abraham gave Lot first choice, as to where he wanted to settle his family. Genesis 13:10-11 records…
Genesis 13:10-11 (NKJV) 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.
This is important, because the Eve, the mother of the living chose to eat of the forbidden fruit, based upon how pleasant and good it looked, regardless of the instruction of the LORD. It is also important to remember that Lot knew of the reputation of Sodom in its rejection of God. Despite knowing this Lot chose not only to dwell in the cities on the plains facing Sodom, but eventually lived right outside the gate.
The cities of the plain were like suburbs to Sodom. Sodom was a sprawling city that by even modern standards was a large city of millions. Why would Lot choose to live so closely related to such a wicked place, even advancing to right outside its limits? Because he naively thought it would not affect him or his family. He believed he could prosper from its commerce and culture, without its commerce, culture, religion, and social immorality affecting him. This was certainly the opposite of godly wisdom.
By the time Genesis 14:12 occurs, where Lot and his family are captured along with the king of Sodom, we find Lot and his family now living in the city of Sodom itself. The fact that Lot was taken with the king of Sodom is very unsettling, because the king of Sodom is considered a type of antichrist in the scriptures, so wicked in fact, that Abraham would take nothing from him. Lot may not have been participating in the wickedness of the city, but he was so worn down by what he saw by this time, that he was in league with its wicked king.
What began with Lot using the wealth and trade of Sodom for personal prosperity, drew him in to where he was now dependent on its wealth, culture, and prosperity. Although we see no active sin, we understand what he saw and heard “oppressed” him at first, but by the time of Genesis 14:12 he was “tormenting” his own soul, by choosing to stay.
Even though by the end of Genesis 14, where God delivered Lot and his family from captivity, where he saw Abraham treat the king of Sodom with scorn, dependent on for provision upon the city and its leaders.
Because he chose this path, his family’s heart was growing further apart from God’s heart and holiness. We see how far these progress by the time we get to Genesis 19:1-3, where Lot is now living in the middle of the city.
The angels sent to deliver Lot and his family would have stay in the square, which was always at the center of the city, for access and important meetings and events. Lot protested their decision and invited them to come under the protection of his home, which ought to have been sufficient, because of his relationship to the king of Sodom. Yet, the men of the city, desiring to have homosexual relations with the angels (whom they thought were men), call Lot to give them up.
Lot does the unthinkable, as he offers his daughters for the men to rape. The rest is history.
Can this type of devolution occur in us, to where we would behave so ungodly? Yes! The scriptures are replete with warning after warning, in the New Testament, that we do not fall away.
- II Corinthians 13:5
- Philippians 2:12
- Hebrews 3:12-15
- Hebrews 6:4-6
- Hebrews 10:25-31
Hebrews 2 reveals how this process of devolving from relationship to God in Christ.
Hebrews 2:1-4 (NKJV) Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
We see it all begins with drifting. When one is in a raft on a creek, if not paying attention, they may drift quite a way, before knowing they have moved at all. By the time the creek runs into the river, the drifting person may believe they can paddle out, until they begin to weary themselves in the faster moving water. By the time they are in the rapids, there is little hope.
Remember that falling away, is much like being in a raft on a creek. Drifting begins with a slow and imperceptible floating, that picks up speed as you get further away from the beginning of the drift and closer to death. Lot’s slide away from a life that mirrored the outcome of faith in YHWH, his being deemed “righteous” in II Peter 2:7-8, began for him imperceptibly and slow, but progressed faster and faster, until it was too late.