Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Genesis: Chapter 19

What a sad, difficult chapter--and one that resonates with our world.  The New Testament makes it clear that Lot was a believer--even calls him a righteous man.  But the Lot we see is one who loses everything:  his family, his legacy, his joyful fellowship with God.  It is heart-breaking that so many Christians today are in a similar state.  They know God but the love of the world draws them into Sodom, and the thief is ready to steal their purpose and potential.  Lot's story gives us a glimpse of how NOT to live!

The chapter opens with Lot showing evidence of other-centered living.  He embraces the visitors and offers them hospitality like Abraham.  But Lot has made other choices over the years and his very home is an unsafe place.  His willingness to sacrifice the purity of his daughters is part culture, part evidence of the compromises he has accepted.  Lot demonstrates insight into the people of Sodom; he saw the wickedness but he did not live in a way to impact their lives.  Jesus saw the wickedness of people but He loves us too much to leave us as we are.  Recognizing sin is not the same as repenting of sin! 

Yet, God still graciously provided divine protection and deliverance for Lot and his household.  The necessity of choosing is part of our 'free will' though and they all had to make a choice.  With the help of God, Lot brought his family out in body but it seems their hearts remained in Sodom.  His wife's look-back tells a clear story of one who loves the world above all else.  The girls' sad self-designed future tells me they saw no gloriousness in God.  Evidently, Lot had shown them no reason to seek God's ways or trust in His provision.  I suspect Lot may indeed have loved people but he also loved being loved by them...more than he loved God perhaps.  Lot never seems to have brought those he knew to worship the King.

Perhaps the absence of worship in Lot's own life is the thing which impacts me most from this chapter:  worship is the key to entering the presence of God.  It seems so sadly evident that Lot did not worship God; he seems to have worshipped--lived for--what he saw in the world.  Even after being delivered, he begged to go to a smaller version of Sodom rather than rejoicingly obey his Deliverer's command.  Thank-ful living is the essence of full life in Christ...let's give thanks in all things and bring others to the Giver of abundant LIFE!

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