Saturday, January 2, 2016

Lot in Sodom

image used under Public Domain license, image obtained from
This is a guest post, courtesy of our friend, Kenneth Tamara.  In the previous post, we looked at replacing God with pretty much anything, making the replacement an idol.  Often, that's a behavior that's learned rather than built in.  It's interesting that a search for today's illustration almost completely turned up pictures of Lot and his family fleeing Sodom.  Yet, as Minister Tamara shows us, his problem stemmed from being comfortable staying there.  Take a look.

How did Lot, a righteous man of God end up living with and entangled with the drama of the Men of Sodom? How does it seem anointed Christian men somehow have their lives entangled in “Sodom- ish” issues?  Hopefully a study of the word can bring clarity and divine insight to this.  Let's start at the very beginning.

Genesis 12:1 – Abram receives a calling from God to “Leave country, people and father’s household”, but he decides to add Lot into his household. Lot should have been left behind, but he brought him along. Initially, it seemed harmless, but we all know how the story turned out. And that’s how it always appears. When we initially bring in extra stuff, it always appears safe and normal, until it grows roots and starts manifesting.

A famine in the land caused Abram to detour from his route and go into Egypt. Just because there is a vision from God, does not mean everything will go smoothly and without issues. And sometimes we may need to use the wisdom he has given us to make survival choices, without having to wait for Divine guidance. (v 10)

In Egypt, Abram was aware that he was in unfamiliar territory, and he relied on self, resorting to lying. Even when we get into the realm of dependency on self, and even stray into the flesh, the Vision, Calling and mandate of God is still active and prevalent on our lives. No sin, no failure, no compromise, and no error is powerful enough to negate the divine hand of God at work in our lives. And we see that with Abram.(v 17)

Lot had been a witness to all of these. He was also a participant in the wealth growth of Abram. Everything he had was as a result of Abram’s covering over him. So when conflict arose between his camp and Abram’s, and he was offered the choice to choose, as a cultural and traditional son to Abram, he should have given honor to his father. But the lust of his eyes saw how the Jordan was well watered like Eden. It looked fulfilling, rich, wealthy, prosperous, promising. ( chap 13 v 10)

This is the primary root of entanglement. How things look, the implied promise, the suggested fulfillment and expectation. The issues with Sodom all start from ignoring what is known, and getting enraptured by what is seen, what is implied or promised, and what is assumed or expected. What is seen and hoped for becomes more relevant than anything else. But according to V 13, there was a reality to Sodom that was not obvious to Lot. The treachery, wickedness, disobedience and rebellion to God. This reality wasn’t obvious to sight, and Lot operating by sight, missed it, thus was lured and seduced to choose Sodom.

Chapter 14 has the first inkling of life in Sodom. The King of Sodom, along with other kings was defeated, and the inhabitants where captured as prisoners. Abram heard of this, went into warfare and delivered Lot along with the captured Sodom citizens. The King of Sodom was so indebted to Abram that he offered him the spoils of war, but Abram rejected it. One would assume that Lot would feel such an indebtedness himself. Surely, if my uncle, my adoptive father, was so powerful, I would want to be under his protection…….but Lot opted to return back to the unsecure living in Sodom. Abram’s statement in v 23 suggests he was aware of Sodom’s lifestyle. He was not willing to have anything from them, but Lot didn’t feel the same need to be wary. 

Similarly, the more we align with Sodom and justify it, the more we don’t see the dangers involved. We don’t see the toxicity of Sodom’s treachery and rebellion. We become more receptive to the dangers around Sodom, and are less cautious.

One thing that deserves commendation, Abram may not have approved of Sodom, but he did not hesitate to rescue them along with Lot. We cannot operate from a place of being determined by Sodom. Hatred, dislike, however you label it shouldn’t be stirred up in us by Sodom. We should be immune to Sodom because of the righteousness of God at work in us. From that righteousness, we love, express kindness, goodness, justice, etc.

The sin of Sodom came to maturity….the outcry against her became ripe, and judgment came to visit her. We know the story. Same way the more we align with Sodom, the more we place ourselves in harm’s way of being corrupted and influenced. Sure, Lot wasn’t directly influenced, but the corruption of Sodom affected his family, his decision making, and his journey – he ended up being raped by his daughters, who obviously had a Sodom mindset.

When Lot looked at the Jordan, and it looked so rich, resembling Eden, he couldn’t have imagined moving there would lead to narrowly escaping genocide and being raped by his daughters. Likewise, looking at Sodom never results in anything but glitz and glamor, yet underneath the gloss is a treachery and rebellion that invites nothing but judgment.

Do we see only the glamor or are we ready to flee to more Godly living?  Has the glitter and comfort become our idol?

No comments:

Post a Comment