How much can you remember about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? We refer to it as the kind of culture you don’t want to be a part of. It is a symbol of God’s wrath and judgment. It is an example of the consequences a people face when they become so perverse and sinful that not only does God remove his hand of protection on them, he actually casts out judgment.
Then we vaguely remember Lot. We remember he was spared. Lot was related to Abraham. They parted ways after a while. Lot so the appearance of this land that would later be destroyed, and felt settling there would be best for his family. We look at Lot, and think he must have been a pretty good guy in order for God to save him form the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is a thought that would turn out to be pretty wrong.
When the angels came to Lot to observe this land that was considered so evil they witnessed the failures of Lot himself. Men came to visit Lot’s home, and do things to these angels who they believed to be mere men. They wished to do things the encompassed all aspects of vileness and wickedness that was destined to bring this culture to destruction. In order to spare the angels Lot decided to be such a kind man that he instead offered his daughters up to these wicked men. He literally was willing to let his daughters go through heel and death at the hands of these men. This does not sound like a righteous man to me. It was this act that was the final straw. It was after this event that the angels let Lot know to get his family and skip town because destruction was on the way.
Scripture says when he was aware of the destruction and told to leave he lingered. He did not want to leave this place of wickedness. He did not linger because he wished to save everyone. He lingered because he liked living there. His own wife unable to leave looked back at their home and turned into a pillar of salt. A constant reminder to Lot on what happens when you take God’s judgment and commands lightly. This is a story of hellfire and brimstone. It is a story of wrath and judgment. It is also a story of mercy on those undeserving of it.
Why did God save Lot? Have you ever asked yourself that question before? Often we read scripture, and don’t ask questions. We take what we read for granted. Sometimes it is not the actions of God that we need to understand, but also the very reason for those actions. So I ask again, why did God save Lot? What did Lot do to earn salvation rom God?
The answer to that last question is nothing. Lot did not do a single thing to earn rescue. He deserved to burn with everyone else. The man was selfish. He failed to lead his family in the ways of the Lord. He failed to follow the Lord’s commands. Lot was a complete and utter failure. What Lot did not know is there was a man looking down on that land was it lay in ruins. It was his kinsmen. It was Abraham. Lot did not know Abraham was looking down on that city interceding on the behalf of Lot. Genesis 19:29 says, “So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.” Why did God save Lot? Because God loved Abraham, and He was still a God of mercy.
Lot did not deserve saving. Abraham pleaded to the Lord for Lot to be spared though. God remembered Abraham. He saved Lot from His judgment. This leaves me with another question though. What if Lot had been more like Abraham? What if Lot took a stand for the Lord in these cities. What if he tried to bring about change while he lived there? But the story has been written. Lot did not take a stand. He did not bring about change. Instead he fell, and indulged in the culture.
Sometimes we think we can get by in secular cultures by just keeping our distance. We think we do not need to stand up against it so long as we do not indulge in it. We think we can avoid the worst of the destruction to come so long as we are not quite as bad as those around us. Make no mistake, Lot deserved to face the same destruction the rest of the cities face. His family deserved to be in those cities that God destroyed. It was His mercy and kindness that spared them from that fate.
Where does this leave you and me though? Do you think God’s absence form judgment means you are doing something right? Do you think the lack of consequences for your actions thus far mean you are living well enough for Him? Are you taking advantage of God’s mercy? How much longer do you think you can live in this world without taking a stand? I don’t think Lot ever realized how much the culture was affecting him. I don’t think he realized it would push him to a point that he would offer two of his daughters to go through an unimaginable amount of torture and abuse. That’s the way the enemy likes it though. He doesn’t want you to realize how far you have gone until it is too late. Until that moment when evil comes banging on your doorstep, and you realize you either must stand or succumb to the darkness, and if you have never stood up before then, why should things change now?