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GENESIS 19:1-38 - COMPROMISE - part 1
The 19th chapter of Genesis is probably the most tragic portion of this book because it describes the complete destruction of a city. Far worse, it depicts the downfall of a saint. Had it not been for the words of the Apostle Peter, we may never have known with certainty that Lot was even a true true believer:
And if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of lawless men, how much more so for us?? (“For by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds” (II Peter 2:7-8).
If we are up front with each other, we have to admit that in the church of Jesus Christ, the “Lots” far outnumber the “Abrahams.” If we are truthful we would have to say that in our own lives there is much more of Lot evident in us than of the friend of God, Abraham. And If this is true, then the description of the destruction of Lot contains a warning for every true Christian. We must approach this passage carefully and prayerfully if we are to learn Lot’s lessons from literature rather than from life.
In these next couple chapters we will also discover the fruit of compromise and what compromise will end up doing in the life of the believer. One of the reasons I think compromise is so dangerous is that initially it appears to be a pretty reasonable thing to do, a logical thing. But remember, the word compromise is both a noun and a verb.
The noun form is that you and I don’t quite see eye to eye on something and so we make a mutual agreement to meet somewhere in the middle and come to a reasonable conclusion on how we are going to deal with a particular situation. And in that kind of scenario we’e reached a compromise.
The verb form of compromise is the “National Defense has been compromised!” That, all of a sudden, reveals we are in a place of danger!
So, what happens in our lives so often is that we start out thinking about the noun but we end up arriving at and living in the verb! We start out thinking: “This is just kind of a logical thing,” and we are “leaning on our own understanding,” and we make these compromises with our faith, with the Word of God, with our convictions and so forth, and actually end up in a place of great spiritual danger. So, we come to this character Lot again and we’re going to discover the fruit of compromise in Lot’s life.
And Lot, as a result of compromise, loses his testimony before the unbelieving world, before the believing world, and before his own family and his ability to influence his family in righteousness and Godliness, and all of this is a direct result of compromise in his life.
If you remember our last message, there were a couple angels and they were packing heat and were on their way to Sodom and Gomorrah to wipe the place out.
But God had cut a deal with Abraham. “If I find 10 good guys I’m not going to harm the city.” We left off with that great intercession on Abraham’s part.
So, picking up the story in Chapter 19 verse 1-3 - The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. ‘My Lords,’ he said, ‘Please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.’
‘No,’ they answered, ‘we will spend the night in the square.’
But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.”
Now, Lot is under the impression he’s dealing with human beings here. And that’s why the writer of Hebrews 13:2 tells us: “Hey, you need to be careful when your entertaining strangers, because ya never know if the stranger you are entertaining is even human at all.”
So he tells these guys, ‘Hey, come to my house!’ But understand, and we’ll get into this in a bit, via this term “gate” or “gateway,” that Lot knows this city. He knows that the streets of Sodom is no place to be after dark, so he pressures them and insists that they come to his house.
It’s interesting that these angels actually eat with him so they can put on the appearance that they are human.
When we talk about compromise in this man’s life, remember way back in Genesis 13 the first time Sodom and Lot are mentioned together, and that was when Abram and Lot had been greatly prospered by God, and Abram said to Lot: “Hey man our employees aren’t getting along, there’s alot of fussin’ and fighting going on here, so let’s split the business. You go your way and I’ll go my way.”
It then said: “Lot looked toward Sodom.” A bit later we read that he pitched his tent near Sodom. And finally it said that he lived in Sodom and got snatched away! So in this we see a stark picture of the progression of sin! You first see it with your physical eyes, then you begin moving nearer to it, then your knee deep in it! Now, if you’re Abraham’s nephew maybe you get rescued, but where do we find him here? Right smack dab back in the mess of sin again!
Remember how Peter quotes the Proverbs in 2 Peter 2:22 - “A dog returns to its own vomit.” That’s exactly what we see happening here with Lot. The man ends up in the very dump he was rescued from!
Lot, of course, takes it a step further. Vs. 1 says he’s sitting at the gate. Now I have read that this is where the business in the city took place. If you had a dispute with your neighbor, you took it to the city gate before the elders/leaders and they would take care of it. So, look where compromise gets this guy. He’s some kind of civil servant of Sodom. He not only ends up back where he was rescued from, but then he takes it to the next level and is now in leadership.
So, he tells these guys - ‘hey, you don’t wanna stay out here all night long!” Why? The reason becomes clear picking it up in Vs. 4 where we will continue next week.
Blessings to you all.