Summary: The consequences of unbelief can be far-reaching; which is one reason God calls unbelief ’evil’.
There is an old story of an eagle who, on an early morning during the Spring thaw, soared high above the forest looking for something to eat.
As he followed the course of a river he looked down and spied a small rodent, trapped on a piece of ice that had broken free and was floating down stream.
Seeing an easy meal, he swooped down, landed on the ice, killed the mouse and began to eat.
As he continued his meal, he saw that his perch was rapidly approaching a water fall, but determined to finish eating and thinking he would rise into the air and to safety at the last moment, continued his course.
As the ice neared the falls, the eagle finished his last bite. Satisfied with his breakfast he spread his mighty wings and attempted to rise skyward as the chunk of ice tipped over the edge.
While enjoying his meal however, he had failed to notice that the warmth of his feet had caused his claws to become embedded in the ice. Try as he might, he could not dislodge them and free himself from what had now become the burden that would carry him to his death on the rocks far below.
By the time we come to Genesis 19 and the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, we have already been given a picture in Lot, of a man who, although he believes in God (Peter calls him ‘righteous Lot’), has chosen the morsels of worldly pleasure and comfort and has found himself embedded in the ice of faithlessness and worldly thinking.
We haven’t time to read all of chapters 13 through 19, so let me give you a synopsis to catch you up.
Abraham and Lot, both wealthy men, separate their herds according to Abraham’s wisdom because things are getting a little crowded in the pastures and the herdsmen are fighting over the grass.
Abraham, a Godly man who puts the needs of others before his own, graciously invites Lot to take first choice of the land, and Lot grabs the lush green grasslands in the Valley of the Jordan.
The bible tells us that he moved his tents as far as Sodom, (a city already widely-known for its debauchery and wickedness), and eventually finds himself sitting in the city gates; the place where business was transacted and philosophies discussed.
Abraham, on the other hand, having received God’s promise that he would inherit all the land and that his descendants would possess it forever, pitches his tents under the oaks of Mamre where he builds an altar to the Lord.
The writer to the Hebrews tells us that BY FAITH Abraham lived as an alien in the land of promise...for he was looking for a city whose architect and builder is God.
I doubt that it could be said of Lot, “By faith he sat in the gates of Sodom”
That is a lesson for us today, believer. Do you ever wonder about a decision, in business or otherwise, and say “I wonder if the Lord will bless this decision”? Well, you may first ask yourself, “Am I doing this by faith?”
For “Whatever is not of faith is sin” and “Without faith it is impossible to please Him”.
Lot, seeking the good things of the world, turned his back on the good things of God...for we cannot have both. When we cling to the world we cannot cling to God, and when we cling to God, we stop wanting the things of the world.
Lot, we read in II Peter, found his soul oppressed by the wickedness of Sodom, yet there he sat. Eventually we find him and his family and his goods all taken captive and dragged away by invading forces, and he has to be saved by courageous and Godly Abraham, who takes Lot back from four kings and their armies, with only 318 men.
Man of business, modern woman in the workplace, being a believer in Christ, do you find your soul vexed (oppressed) by what you see around you, yet keep your seat in the wheel of commerce by employing many of their philosophies and tactics for the sake of competing and keeping up? I pray that in your circle of Christian friends, there is an “Abraham” who will intercede for you in your weakness. Someone who will be bold enough to bargain with God for your well-being, and keep themselves enough removed from the world that they can spiritually discern your precarious place and fight for you when you are taken captive by deceit and greed and worldly reasoning.
As we come to chapter 19 I want you to note that chapter 18 ends with Abraham’s pleading with the Lord to spare Sodom. Yes, he was praying for the entire city, not only for Lot. A Godly man prays for the ungodly, because he knows that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. This is the Spirit of Christ.