Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 8 January 20:
Genesis 19:1, 15-16, 26, 36 – “Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom…. the angels urged Lot, saying, ‘Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.’ But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city…. But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt…. both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father.”
The story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is both shocking and tragic and should serve as a warning to Christians today against being influenced by society rather than confronting ungodly culture as ambassadors of Christ.
The New Testament tells us Lot was a righteous man who was greatly distressed and tormented in his soul by the sexual perversion and lawlessness he saw in Sodom. (2 Peter 2:8) Genesis 19:1 says Lot “was sitting in the gate of Sodom,” which likely means that he was a town leader, at least active in community affairs and well-known. However, despite his anguished heart and apparent influence within the community, he seems to have had no significant impact on Sodom’s morality. On the contrary, he and his family were corrupted by and complicit with Sodom’s depravity.
Warned by the angels of the God’s imminent judgment and destruction of the cities, Lot tried to subsequently warn his son’s-in-law (presumably Sodomites), but they thought he was only joking (v14), which says something about Lot’s daily convictions and about what he had communicated to his family and community concerning sin on a regular basis. Furthermore, Lot had become so attached to Sodom that the angels had to physically kick him out of town (for sake of Abraham not Lot – v29). During the destruction, his wife disobeyed the angels, looked back and died. Finally, although Lot’s two daughters survived, they had been so corrupted by Sodom they subsequently got their father drunk and slept with him in order to get pregnant by him! How could a “righteous” man allow such things to happen?
– 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 — Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
– Romans 15:4 — For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction.
– Romans 12:1-2 — I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
– Proverbs 12:26 — The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, But the way of the wicked leads them astray.
– James 4:4 — You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God
Lot’s story should serve as a warning to us. It is not enough for us to lament the sins of our culture, we must counter and confront the sins of our culture and not simply to protect our families and preserve society but to reveal the need for salvation through Jesus Christ. Salvation from what? From God’s wrath and judgment. Serving as Christ’s ambassador during times such as these is a tremendous responsibility – do not be complacent! Remember, silence is consent.
– Ezekiel 3:17-21 – “Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 8 Jan 20: Do two things today: 1) Resolve not to be entertained by anything (TV shows, social media, web-sites, etc.) that makes light of what God considers abhorrent, and 2) commit to sharing the complete Gospel with at least one person today.
– Psalm 101:3 — I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.
– Philippians 4:8 — Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
– 1 Timothy 4:7 — Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
– Romans 12:2 — Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
– 1 John 2:15 — Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
– Matthew 5:28 — But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
– Ephesians 5:11 — Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
– Matthew 24:14 — And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
– Mark 16:15 — And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
– 2 Timothy 4:2 ESV — Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.