Summary: Lot’s escape from Soddom and Gommorah offers relevant insight on how to ruin your life - or things to avoid so that this does not happen.
Sometimes people just push the Lord too far. And this time it is the people of Sodom, a city on the plains of Jordan near the Dead Sea. Do we all remember the story of this town Sodom? Abraham leaves his home after making a covenant with God in chapter 12. He settles in the hills of Canaan, but his nephew Lot chooses Sodom as his home. This turned out to be a bad choice by Lot, since as Genesis 13:13 tells us “the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” Not a good place to raise a family.
So in Chapter 18 of Genesis, Abraham discovers that God is going to wipe out these cities. Abraham pleads for the cities and tries to bargain with God. You remember this right? Abraham starts high and works his way down. He interceded for the righteous of the city. He asks God to spare the righteous people. God agrees that if He can find 50 righteous people in the city that He would spare the whole city. It then becomes sadly humorous as Abraham begins to barter the number down. He asks for 45, then 40, 30, 20 and finally 10. Ten righteous people in this city would have saved the whole town. And Abraham knew his nephew and family were in that city.
And then chapter 19 one of the most vivid stories of the whole Bible. The angels that had just been with Abraham go into Sodom and meet Lot. The visitors are dining with Lot when the men of Sodom circle the house and demand to have these visitors. The men cry out that they want to get to know these men. You know how they wanted to get to know them. Lot instead offers his daughters – as any loving father would(?). So the angels blind the men and warn Lot that the city was going to be destroyed and to get himself and his family out of Dodge. And we read the rest. What a story!
You know you just have to really appreciate the blatant straight-forwardness of the Old Testament. This is such a lovely story. (Sarcasm) This may not be the most beautiful story in the Bible but it does offer many good lessons that we can all learn. While I am sure that I could give a wonderful sermon about the sinfulness of Sodom and Gomorra, I would like to concentrate more on Lot and his family today. Lot and his wife serve as great examples as persons who really know how to ruin their lives. So let’s explore how they did that.
First way to ruin our lives is to believe sin will go unpunished.
In verse 15, we read that the angels have warned Lot of the punishment to the city.
And we don’t have to Biblical scholars to know and understand that these cities were not very righteous cities. We see some of the immorality of this city in this chapter – the sexual immoralities. While we cannot down play the significance of the sexual immoralities here we should note that the Bible explains other iniquities of Sodom.
Leave your finger in Genesis chapter 19 but turn your Bibles to Ezekiel 16:49. Here we can read about more iniquities of this city. What were they? Let’s read.
"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."
You see Sodom and Gomorra were not very reverent places to live. They were involved in all kinds of wickedness. Abraham knew this, as we already discovered in chapter 18. He pleaded with God to bring down the number of righteous people in the city God needed to find. Only 10!
Abraham not only knew this from the events in chapter 18 but also knew it from an earlier experience with the city. Abraham refused to accept a well-deserved reward from the government of Sodom, as we can read in chapter 14 of Genesis. Abraham wanted nothing to do with this city. Not even accept a reward from them.
But Lot stayed. Lot chooses a life of wealth and prosperity. He became someone important in this city. As we can read in verse 1 of chapter 19 we see that Lot is at the city gates. And only the city officials sat at the city gates.
And we have every reason to believe that Lot knew that Sodom and Gomorra were sinful cities, after all he did recognize these angels as being from God and followed their command. Therefore, he must have known something about the Lord and the Lord’s righteousness. Because he could have chosen to ignore their commands or send away these visitors.