Summary: This message focuses on Lot and how even though he was surrounded by wickedness he kept his righteousness which ultimately led to the Lord saving him.
Protected In The Midst Of It All
Scriptures: Gen. 12;4-5; 13:5-11;18:32-19:10; 2 Pet. 2:4-9; Phil. 4:6-8
In my message last week I asked you if you were a starter or a finisher. I acknowledged the fact that you can’t finish something unless you first start it and that there are many people who plan to start something and never get around to it. As it relates to our relationship with Christ, I made the assumption that all of us have started in that race but we have to finish it. If you recall from last week I reminded you of the story of Lot’s wife and how after she had made it to safety from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, she turned around and looked at the destruction and turned into a pillar of salt. In this instance she had started but was not able to finish. The cost of her disobedience was her life. In addition to this story I shared with you what Jesus told His disciples in Matthew chapter twenty-four. Jesus said in the last days, the days in which we are living in now, many will fall away. Please understand that you cannot “fall away” from something that you never had. Jesus made it clear that there will be some who will be walking with Him and stop – just as some of His disciples did when He walked the earth (John 6:66). If you recall, these disciples followed Him until they became offended in some of His teaching and they left Him. In the last days we will have people who will walk away from their faith. They started in this race but will not finish it. If you are concerned about whether or not this could happen to you, take heart because God has given us a promise of protection in the midst of the world around us. This week we will examine Lot from the viewpoint of remaining a righteous man in the midst of wickedness. Remember, when God commanded Abraham to leave his home and his family, Abraham took Lot with him. Both Abraham and Lot had possession and after leaving Egypt, their possessions grew which led to them having to separate because the land they were dwelling in could not sustain both of their cattle. This led to Lot choosing to dwell in the city of Sodom. Turn with me back to Genesis chapter eighteen. We will begin reading at verse thirty-two.
“Then he said, ‘Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?’ And He said, ‘I will not destroy it on account of the ten.’ As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the LORD departed, and Abraham returned to his place. Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, ‘Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant's house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.’ They said however, ‘No, but we shall spend the night in the square.’ Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.’ But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, ‘Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly.’ Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof." But they said, ‘Stand aside.’ Furthermore, they said, ‘This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.’ So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.
Let’s look at what Abraham did and why once he found out God’s plan for destroying those cities. Abraham was told that Sodom and Gomorrah was going to be destroyed and he knew that his nephew Lot lived there. Although he knew that Lot was a righteous man he also understood that the lives of the rest of the inhabitants in the city were wicked because the angels just confirmed it. Abraham began to negotiate with God (Jesus actually) on how many righteous men would have to be living there in order to save the cities. He started at fifty and negotiated his way down to ten. God agreed to spare the cities if ten righteous men could be found within them. When the angels arrived to the cities, Lot brought them into his home to protect them. When the men realized where the angels were, they attempted to break down Lot’s front door to get to them. At this point the angels had identified that there were not ten righteous men in the cities and therefore they would fulfill their original mission and destroy them. However, they were under command to get Lot and his family (those that chose to leave) out of the cities before they destroyed them. That’s the story of Lot in a nutshell, but I want you to see something else. Let’s reread verse 9. It says, “But they said, ‘Stand aside.’ Furthermore, they said, ‘This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.’ So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.” Notice how the men described Lot? They said that he had come in as an alien (foreigner) and was now trying to act as a judge over them because he was not in agreement with what the men of the city was trying to do. Lot lived in a wicked city and he was surrounded by wickedness and yet he remained faithful to God. He remained righteous even though he was surrounded by wickedness. Lot moved to a city whose moral compass was the opposite of his and yet he did not try to fit in. He did not allow himself to be assimilated into their culture so that he started doing what they were doing. According to the men, he remained alien to them. This is very important because even though Lot knew God, if he had chosen to participate in the lifestyle of the city he would have been destroyed with the rest of the inhabitants. Remember what I told you about Lot having possessions that he brought into Sodom? When the angels came to destroy the cities, Lot lost everything that he could not immediately carry out. Think about that. His choice to dwell in a wicked place cost him his possession but not his righteousness or his life. He never strayed from his belief in God! Now jump over to 2 Peter chapter two and I want you to see what Peter said in reference to Lot. We will begin reading at verse four.