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Gen. 14:1-16 - Lot’s Rescue - Part 1
After reading these passages I think we could all envision a pretty awesome action movie made from this!! It has all the elements of one: A great plot, villains, a crisis, a hero, strategy, lots of swordplay, and heroic acts. There is a surprising twist and great characters!
There was a Lot (funny pun) involved in putting this message together, in that I had to do a whole lot of reading and studying by those that know more than I do in order to make sense of all the kings and kingdoms and exactly what was going on.
And I’m not going to focus so much on that aspect of things and what was taking place, but rather, keep our focus on Abram and Lot. You can thank me later!
So, we ended off last week with Lot’s decision to take lands based on sight and not faith; on selfishness rather than humility. And I want to say a little bit more about Lot before we go any further.
Scripture notes that “righteous Lot” was Oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked.”
2 Peter 2:7-8 - ...and if He rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard...”
Now, without that piece of information from 2 Peter and after reading about Lot’s life up to and after this point, we might have thought, almost automatically, that Lot was not going to see heaven because of his choices and lifestyle.
And we may wonder why Lot was designates “righteous” no less than 3 times in verses 7-8. After all, when he first appears in Scripture, Lot was described as superficial, selfish, and worldly in the verses we covered last week. And in the events of Genesis 19 he displayed many moral weaknesses and incredibly poor judgment when, in the place of visiting angels, he offered his daughters to the lusting Sodomites.
Later, he hesitated when the angels urged him to leave the city immediately. Even after he escaped God’s wrath, he continued to display shockingly sinful behavior, including drunkenness and incest.
But wee can see reasons to designate Lot as righteous (a believer). Like Abraham he was righteous in the sense of being a believer to whom God had credited righteousness by his faith. This did not mean that either Lot or Abraham was free from sin, but they were righteous in the forensic sense. God imputed His own righteousness to them because they were true believers.
Thus Lot, like Abraham, is an Old Testament illustration of Justification. Lot did show several signs of the Holy Spirit’s work in his heart. His reverence towards the holy angels who visited him provided a stark contrast to the perverted advances of the others around him. And, although he was initially hesitant to leave the city, he ultimately obeyed God’s command and even warned his son-in-law. And when he did leave, he obediently refused to look back.
Peter here, is then pointing out that Lot was righteous in his heart, as is clear from the fact that he was “oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men.” His abhorrence for the sin of those around him was a sure indicator that he was a believer. At times, Lot might have been materialistic and morally weak, but he did not want any part of what was going on around him.
The blatant immorality of his fellow citizens greatly “oppressed” Lot. And the word “tormented” literally mean “tortured,” and shows us the pain Lot experienced as he was exposed to the lewdness all around him.
Peter knew his readers, living in the midst of their corrupt culture, could identify with Lot’s position. Their own situations were equally soul-distressing as they witnessed all of the immorality of the false teachers and their followers.
And I think we can all identify with this in all that is going on around us and getting worse by the day. But I think this is a great lesson to us all that WE are not the ones to decide who is a “christian” and who isn’t - that is for the Lord to know. That regardless of the “Standards” we have set to “identify” whether or not someone is a believer, are not necessarily the same ones the Lord has. No one but the Lord knows a man’s heart and no one but the Lord has the right to make that call.
As I have said before, we certainly don’t dole out the same standards of judgment, expectations of grace and forgiveness, and lifestyles to others then we expect to receive FROM others. We don’t always GIVE to others what we expect to RECEIVE from others. The scales are unbalanced.
So, Lot will join the twice-born in heaven in the ages ahead, but he made a self-centered choice that placed him under the dominion and influence of wicked people and totally wrecked his testimony, his influence, and ultimately his family and his descendants.
The progression of the worldly choice Lot made spanned many years and extended to his descendants. Let’s review some of it before we get started on the text next week to get a better understanding of him and the extended consequences after he made his decision:
History tells us the following about Lot:
- Lot and his family moved to the city of Sodom (Gen. 14:12).
- Lot and his family were captured by Chedorlaomer and treated harshly. (Gen. 14:9-12).
- Lot escaped the fiery destruction of Sodom with his 2 daughters after the intercession of Abram and the protection of angels, then fled to a mountain cave with none of his vast possessions (Gen. 19:1-30).
- Lot fathered incestuous sons by his daughters who then fathered the nations of the Moabites and Ammonites (Gen. 19:31-38).
- Those nations were abandoned by God and became constant enemies and spiritual trouble for Israel (Ezra 9:1).
Join us next week as we look at the capture of Lot and delve into this next section of Genesis.
Blessings to you all.