|Volume 20 Number 2 February 2018||
In Genesis 11:27, Lot is introduced into the biblical record. He was the son of Haran, the nephew of Abraham. Between Genesis 11:31 and 13:4, the Bible account tells of the nomadic life of Abraham and his family, including Lot. In verses 5 and 6, the text describes the great wealth of both Abraham and Lot. “Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together.”
In order to preserve peace in the family, Abraham proposed a separation and offered Lot first choice of available land (13:8). Lot took note of the well-watered plain of Jordan and “pitched his tent even as far as Sodom” (13:12). At this point, Lot was still in the tent of a nomadic herdsman, but he was living close to the city of Sodom. Verse 13 notes that “the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord.”
In Chapter 14, one reads of Lot being captured in a battle between two groups of kings. Note that Lot was captured while he “dwelt in Sodom” (14:12). Apparently, Lot was no longer living in a tent near Sodom, but he had moved into the city itself. After he was rescued by Abraham (14:13-17), Lot once again returned to the city of Sodom (19:1).
As already noted, Genesis 13:13 records that the men of Sodom were very wicked and sinful. In Genesis 18:16-33, Abraham conversed with the Lord about the righteous men of Sodom and the coming destruction of the city by God. In the end, the Lord agreed not to destroy the city if ten righteous men could be found. In the next chapter, messengers of the Lord entered Sodom to rescue Lot and his family. Lot pled with his family, but his sons-in-law and married daughters refused to listen. In the end, Lot, his wife and two unmarried daughters were the only ones to survive the destruction of Sodom (19:15-16).
Observations from the Life of Lot
Lot allowed himself to gradually move closer to sin. For a time, Lot lived under the influence of faithful Abraham. When he departed from his uncle’s influence, he placed himself closer to the sinful people of Sodom. Later, Lot moved into the city itself. A man who started as a nomadic herdsman gave up a life of wandering to live in the comforts of a city. The biblical text does not tell us if Lot left the management of his vast herds to others while he lived in comfort in the city, or if he sold his herds and lived off the wealth. Either way, Lot was no longer a wanderer; he was settled in an area of gross immorality (Genesis 18:20-21; 19:4-11). The Book of James tells us that sin in our lives is also a gradual thing (1:14-15). Sin begins with giving in to desires instead of fleeing them. Christians must be careful to resist the devil and turn to God instead (James 4:7). Sin begins with our thoughts, which lead to sinful actions (Matthew 15:18-19).
Lot remained righteous, even in the midst of wickedness. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as well as the cities of the plain around them were utterly destroyed by God (Genesis 19:24-25) because of their great wickedness (Genesis 18:20-21). Yet, Lot was spared because he was righteous before God (2 Peter 2:7-8). When visitors arrived in Sodom, Lot insisted on providing hospitality and protection against the wicked men of the city (Genesis 19:1-11). He did not allow the wickedness of the city to change the way he acted. Christians today need to remain righteous in the face of the wickedness around us. We need to “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” (Romans 12:2).
Lot remained righteous, but he lost most of his family. Apparently, some of Lot’s daughters married men of the city of Sodom. When Lot pleaded with them to leave before the destruction, they refused (Genesis 19:14). Only Lot, his wife, and two unmarried daughters left the city (19:16). After leaving the city, Lot’s wife disobeyed the command to “not look behind you” (19:17), and God turned her into a pillar of salt (19:26). Later, Lot’s daughters tricked their father into an incestuous relationship to preserve the family lineage (19:30-38). The daughters lacked faith in God to provide for them, and they were evidently influenced by the wickedness of their former home. Christians today must be careful not to lose their families as they shine as a light to the world (Matthew 5:16) and spread the Gospel to the lost (Mark 16:15). Old Testament instructions to diligently teach our children the precepts of God (Deuteronomy 6:7; Proverbs 22:6) and New Testament commands to “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4) must not be neglected. Including children in your work for the Lord as you live a godly life worthy of imitation is essential (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17).
Paul noted in Romans 15:4 that the Old Testament was written “for our learning.” Even though Lot appears in relatively few verses, there is much we can learn from this righteous man.
Are We Like Little Children?
Martha Lynn Rushmore
Jesus said in Matthew 18:3 that we are to become as little children. He did not mean to be immature, but we are to be loving, kind and forgiving as little ones are. We are not supposed to stomp our feet and throw fits as little ones sometimes do. We are to forget about those things we do not like as quickly as children do, and we are not to hold grudges.
Have you ever watched children playing? One of them would get mad and say, “I am going home, and I am never going to play or talk to you again!” Within a few minutes these children are playing and having a great time again. Of course, we have all seen this action or something similar many times.
To be childlike, we must be loving. Jesus said we are to love one another. In John 13:34 we read, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Do we follow Jesus’ command as little children? If not, why not?
Children are kind to one another when they are young. Unfortunately, we as adults teach them to be unloving, unkind and unforgiving by the example we set. In being kind to one another, we should not speak badly of others. How often after worship on Sunday morning on your way home from services do you have “roast” preacher, song leader, elders or whomever for what he did not do or say according to what you thought he should have done or said?
There was a joke that went something like this. On the way home one Sunday morning, the parents were complaining about how long the sermon was, how many songs were sung (of course off key) and that the prayer was way too long. The little boy in the back seat said, "I thought it was pretty a good show for only a quarter." How sad! Is this what we teach our children? We are told in Romans 12:10 to love. This joke had nothing kind or loving in it. So, let us think before we act. “What would Jesus do or say?”
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God” (1 John 4:7). Yes, let us act lovingly, kindly and forgivingly as little children. We can learn a lot from these little ones. Jesus knew this, and that is why He said that we are to become as little children.