A Blessing Forsaken And A Life Of Regret
“I will make of you (Abraham) a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2,3)
The Lord called Abraham to leave his country, his kindred, and his father’s house and go to a land that God would show him. The Lord promised to bless him for obeying His voice. Abraham obeyed and left his country along with his wife, those that were under him (could have been as many as 1000 people including 318 fighting men), and his brother’s son Lot. They journeyed to Canaan.
The Bible says that Abraham was very wealthy in “cattle, in silver, and gold”. Lot also had “flocks and herds and tents.” And there came a time when due to their increased wealth and substance that there was “strife” between the herdsmen of Abraham and those of Lot. Abraham told Lot that there should not be any trouble between them as they were family. The decision was made that they would separate. Abraham let Lot choose the direction he would go and Lot saw that the plain of Jordan was “well watered everywhere”, so they separated and Lot journeyed east toward the plain of Jordan with Abraham remaining in the land of Canaan.
What Lot didn’t seem to realize was that he was being blessed because of Abraham, just as Israel didn’t understand that they were being blessed because of David when Absalom rebelled. Separating himself from Abraham for what looked like a “well-watered plain” was a mistake that he would come to regret as we will see.
[ The introductory verse above outlines the Abrahamic Covenant by which the Lord blessed Abraham and the nation of Israel which came from the loins of Abraham and the womb of Sarah. Israel blessed the world by being the caretakers of the Word of God and also brought the Messiah into the world. Everyone in the world that acknowledges Christ is blessed through Abraham. This covenant pointed to the One that would bless the whole world by paying the sin debt at Calvary.]
The plain that Lot saw as so desirable was where Sodom (and Gomorrah) were located. The Bible says Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom.” The men of Sodom “were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” Not a good report! Certainly not what anyone would want the Lord to say about them. During this time, Sodom and the surrounding cities served a more powerful king for 12 years. In the thirteenth year, they rebelled and came out against the powerful king and four other kings that joined in to put down their rebellion. These kings attacked Sodom and took captive Lot and his family. Abraham heard about this and came to Lot’s aid. Lot and his family were rescued along with all the people of Sodom. We see in this account that the Lord watches over His own even though at times we may not be in right relationship with Him. Did this make Lot change his ways and leave Sodom? Unfortunately, it did not. Lot and his family returned to Sodom.
After a period of time, the Lord came to Abraham and told him that He was going to destroy Sodom for its wickedness. Abraham sought the Lord’s mercy if 50 were found righteous in Sodom. There were not 50 righteous. Abraham continued to intercede with the Lord for Sodom asking if the Lord would spare Sodom if 45, then 30, and finally 10 righteous were found in Sodom. The sad fact was that there were not even 10 righteous in Sodom.
The Lord sent two angels to rescue Lot and his family. They found Lot in the gate of the city which probably meant he had some position of authority in Sodom. Lot convinced them to spend the night in his home. The men of Sodom found out about the “men” that had come to the city and were Lot’s guests. They surrounded the house and demanded that Lot send them out that they might “know them.” The angels blinded the men and told Lot that the Lord had sent them to destroy Sodom for its wickedness. Lot tried to get his prospective sons-in-law to come out of the city with his family before the Lord destroyed it but they refused. In the end, Lot, his wife, and two daughters escaped from the city with the two angels. The angels said that destruction could not come to Sodom until Lot and his family were out of the city. Even knowing that judgment was coming Lot was somewhat reluctant to leave and the angels had to forcibly remove them. This shows us that the Lord was watching over Lot and that the Lord’s judgments are not for the righteous.
Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. The Bible intimates that she continued to look back at Sodom, that is, her heart was in Sodom. His two daughters concocted a scheme to conceive and bring forth children through their father. They said, “let us make our father drink wine and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the seed of our father.” They did just that and both had sons through their father. The Bible said that Lot, being full of wine, did not realize what was happening. Sadly, this is the last we hear of Lot.
Lot left Abraham where he was being blessed to live near Sodom a wicked city. The result of his choices in life wreaked havoc on Lot and his family. The Lord warns us as children of God to avoid evil. Our soul wars against this world and it’s ways. Lot lost the blessing of being near Abraham, his wife was taken from him, and his daughters conspired against him to bring forth children. We can learn a lesson from this. Sin has its attraction for a time, but if we give into it, it doesn’t end well for us.
And what does the New Testament say about Sodom and more specifically Lot? In Peter 2:6 we learn: “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow (judgment), making them an example unto those who after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation (lifestyle) of the wicked.” Sodom was destroyed by the Lord for the wicked behavior of the Sodomites. The specific behavior mention was homosexuality. This was to be an example of God’s judgment on sin to all those that would come after this time. By the way, the angels forcibly removing Lot and his family before the judgment of God could come on Sodom and Gomorrah is a type of all believers being taken out or “raptured” before God’s judgment on this world; the Bible says “for God has not appointed us to wrath.”
Lot is spoken of in the above verse as “just” meaning he had his faith in the coming savior and was therefore saved. His choices were not admirable as we have seen, and he suffered for those choices greatly. We are told in God’s Word to “come out from among them, and “be ye separate” and “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” Lot did not do this and it cost him dearly. We are saved and set apart for the Lord. We are to follow Him and walk in His ways. A lot of trouble will come to us if we depart from His ways. We have a choice in this life just as Lot had choices. The pull of the world can be strong, but Jesus has overcome the world and we can too if we keep our faith in Him as we walk out this life.
“You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.” (Deut. 5:33)
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