Summary: A man who started well, but failed in later life
We are on the first day of the New Year. I join you in praising God for all his blessings during the past year. As we enter into the New Year and treading through it, let us meditate on the Word of God for guidance throughout the New Year. Let me read a text from 1 Cor.10:12-13.
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
Bible is a book of guidance. It is a book of warnings too. It gives warnings just like a traffic signal. If you obey the warnings you are safe and if you disobey, you are in peril. The passage preceding to our text describes what has happened to the Israelites. It says that what happened to them is an example for us. In the Bible history, we can see a lot of people who disobeyed the warnings and ended up in disaster. A few of them are Lot, Samson, David, Jude Iscariot, Demas etc. Very few had a come back after the fall. And one example is David. A large number never had a chance to come back. Let me bring to your attention one of those characters from the Old Testament as a warning on this New Year day. This character is none other than Lot, the foster son of Abraham. Let me read a reference about him from the New Testament which was wrote centuries after him.
“If he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.” (2 Peter 2:6-9).
The reference to Lot is that of a righteous man distressed by the filthy/immoral lives of lawless men. (Valanjupoya neethimaan.)
Who was Lot?
Terah was the father of Abraham. He had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Lot was the son of Haran. He died early and Lot was under the protection of Abraham. Since Abram didn’t have any sons, Lot was his lawful heir. Terah started his journey from Ur to Canaan with the family of Abraham. At Haran he died at the age of 205 years. Abraham stayed there for some time and when Abram heard the call of God and started his journey from Ur to the land of Canaan, Lot accompanied him. On their way, they had to separate and continued their journey in two directions. What made Lot to leave Abraham and to go in a different direction? If you search the history of Lot, you will find the answer for this question.
Lot had a good beginning. He was born in a good family, nurtured by very good parents. He had a very good grandfather, and a very good uncle to nurture him. He left all his friends and started his journey with them. He started his life under good leadership. He was blessed with the following things:
(a) He shared the divine call received by his foster father.
“So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. (Gen.12:1-4)
(b) He had very good training under the stalwart of faith.
(c) He was materially blessed, more than his previous generations.
“Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.” (Gen.13:5-6)
(d) He was a redeemed person. Lot became a slave to the neighbouring kings in battle; but Abraham rescued him from them.
“The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom. When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. (Gen.14:12, 14)
Lot was such a wonderful personality, but he lost his track.
Illust: Shiny Wilson became Indian national champion in the 800 meters a year before the Asian Games in Delhi which was in 1982. After that and until she announced her retirement, she has won the event every time she did the course on the national scene, A veteran of four Olympics and three Asian Games, Shiny has some great moments to cherish, particularly the experience in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games where she became the first woman from India to enter the semi-final of an Olympic event. And more importantly, she was part of the relay squad which set the Asian record there and again when it improved upon that mark during the World Championship in Rome in 1987. Shiny had some bitter memories, of the day when she cut into the inner lane and was disqualified while very much in front of the field during the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul. She lost her medal for changing her track.