REFLECT: Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom: Genesis 19:1
APPLY: Lot had separated from his Uncle Abraham because of proprietary interest. Their herdsmen kept clashing over pasture rights. Presumably Lot’s herders would have piped down had he instructed them to give his uncle’s men precedence in deference to his uncle, but this did not happen. Ultimately, with his typical generosity, Abraham gave his nephew Lot the freedom to strike out on his own, and even gave him first choice as to where he would go.
Characteristically, Lot immodestly chose what he thought was the best of the available options for himself – again, he did not defer to his Uncle who was as a father to him, and had brought him to this land of promise. He chose the plain of Jordan for himself because, to his eyes, it seemed as verdant as the Garden of Eden, and as well watered as the land of Egypt (Genesis 13: 10). He moved to the cities of the plain, and ultimately settled in Sodom, a lush but exceedingly wicked place (Genesis 13: 11-13).
He assimilated to the extent that he would daily sit in the city gate as was the custom of town leaders (Genesis 19: 1), but he was not in fact fully accepted by the Sodomites as truly one of them, and he was perceived and resented as someone who judged their (wicked) ways negatively and tried to effect change (Genesis 18: 9).
He recognized that Sodom was an evil place, but his desire for comfort and wealth persuaded him to compromise – to live there and try to make the best of it. He even permitted his daughters to marry local young men (Genesis 19:14). In the end, when the Lord decided to wipe the region out for its extreme depravity (Genesis 18: 20-21, 19: 4-5) he was almost consumed in the disaster. He was rescued for Abraham’s sake, who had interceded on his behalf (Genesis 18: 23-33) but he escaped with nothing, and lost his wife in the process.
Though his selfish ambition had seemed to pay off at first, the compromise it demanded blinded him to danger, left him a widower (Genesis 19: 26), stripped him of all his possessions (Genesis 19: 15-18) and resulted in the far reaching repercussions of a most unsavory situation (Genesis 19: 30-38).
It is challenging, but not too difficult to deal with cultural toxins. Routinely ask yourself if the invitation to act or abstain from an activity passes the three question acid test:
1.) Am I being entertained by sin?
2.) Is this pleasing to God?
3.) Does this lure me away from Christ?
No prevaricating, no dodging, and no justifying – a straightforward yes/no answer is what is needed.
PRAY: Father, I am so grateful for Your Word that is a light to my feet and a lamp to my path – I am reassured that there is a often bright division between what is right and what I am considering. Please help me to be equally happy to do what Your way indicates, and to not fool myself by fudging the facts to justify what I know in my heart is not what You would have me do, for I know my human heart is deceitful, and I don’t want it to deceive me. In Jesus Name, Amen.