A Lesson from Lot

One of the best ways to study the Bible is to look closely at individual people whose stories are told and try to glean application out of their lives for our own. Such can be done by looking at Lot, Abraham’s nephew.

In all likelihood, Lot was familiar with and probably had some degree of belief in the Lord through his uncle. This was evident in his concern for the strangers who visited Sodom and were prepared to sleep on the streets (Genesis 19:2-3). Also, in 2 Peter 2:7-9, Lot is described as righteous and one in turmoil over the evil that surrounds him. Yet he also maintained a foot in the lustful world of Sodom, given that he held a seat at the city gate – a position typically reserved for a city elder in those days, indicating he certainly was willing to compromise his morality in an effort to keep his social status.

Can we see ourselves in Lot? Are we torn as well, clinging to the temptations of the world in an effort to impress our colleagues and friends? Or are we strong enough to take a stand when our morals are being tested? It is far more likely we live in cities full of Lots than in cities full of an Abraham or a Daniel. Notice how Lot was blessed as he stayed with Abraham, but when he was given to make a choice, he did not consult God but chose for himself to head east (significant note – see my post about moving east) and moved towards the well-watered plains of Sodom.

Had he consulted Abraham—or more importantly God—moving towards Sodom would have been unlikely. Instead, Lot likely saw a shortcut to wealth and further prosperity in Sodom. In this we should identify with Lot as well: How often do we make big decisions without prayerful consideration? The Bible says plenty about seeking God for life’s answers (see James 1:5; Prov. 3:5-6; 1 Cor. 10:31; Philippians 4:6; 1 Thess. 4:3).

Lot by no means gave an impression of wanting to be saved, yet God spared him. We do not have any Scriptural support for Lot worshiping God while in Sodom; yet through God’s grace Abraham was called to intervene for his nephew and rescue him from captivity. And yet, what do we find? Lot returns to Sodom. How easy can we see us doing the same thing? We have a sin, a burden, that we carry with us daily and it routinely causes us grief yet we are unwilling to put it aside and turn away from the destruction it is causing.

As the story progresses, Lot is forced to hurriedly shut the door to keep away the townsmen from committing grievous sin against the angels of the Lord. Clearly, the influence and position Lot thought he had vanished from the overpowering lust that enveloped his neighbors. In this we see the stature and position given by men as nothing but emptiness. We should see this as an example that it is time well wasted to prop yourself up before others if your heart is far from God (John 5:39-40).

This story of Lot provides a parallel to our living in the world and longing for the world over Christ. Just as Lot was willing to give his daughters over to Sodom, how so are we willing to give our children over to the world without training them up in the ways of the Lord? If we cling to the world, we will ultimately have only this world to embrace when our time has come.

Let today be the day you take your family out of Sodom. Do not be like Lot’s wife. She was likely well respected by the inhabitants of Sodom due to Lot’s position. Here she was being told that everything she valued and loved, all of her worldly possessions would soon be destroyed. She was given an option to put away all of her earthly desires and run towards God, yet the world had too tight a grip on her and thus she looked back, longing for what she was leaving behind and thus her fate was famously sealed in Genesis 19:26. (see also Christ’s words in Luke 9:62).

Let go of things temporal that are keeping you from a relationship with Him.