Genesis – First, God.
A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help. Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.” The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.” So the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.” To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the motorboat went on. Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”
To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.” So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”
To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”
Is that our problem today? God reaches out to rescue us and we think we know a better way. Then we blame God when it doesn’t turn out the way we expected. Do we really do that?
Lot is living in a vile, sinful city. The name of the city, Sodom, is used today as a term of vile sexual behavior. Satan ruled the hearts of all but Lot and his family. We wonder about Lot. He obviously was affected by the satanic culture he was living in but knew enough to eventually follow the angels out of the city. He tries to bargain with his rescuers at every turn. His wife does exactly what she was told not to do and turns to salt. The fiancees refuse to follow and laugh at Lot. Later, Lot’s daughters take matters of their lives into their own hands after the rescue.
Not a “Lot” of trust in God is depicted, but because Abraham interceded for Lot, his family who obeyed in leaving were spared from destruction.
Genesis 19, The Message
1-2 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening. Lot was sitting at the city gate. He saw them and got up to welcome them, bowing before them and said, “Please, my friends, come to my house and stay the night. Wash up. You can rise early and be on your way refreshed.”
They said, “No, we’ll sleep in the street.”
3 But he insisted, wouldn’t take no for an answer; and they relented and went home with him. Lot fixed a hot meal for them and they ate.
4-5 Before they went to bed men from all over the city of Sodom, young and old, descended on the house from all sides and boxed them in. They yelled to Lot, “Where are the men who are staying with you for the night? Bring them out so we can have our sport with them!”
6-8 Lot went out, barring the door behind him, and said, “Brothers, please, don’t be vile! Look, I have two daughters, virgins; let me bring them out; you can take your pleasure with them, but don’t touch these men—they’re my guests.”
9 They said, “Get lost! You drop in from nowhere and now you’re going to tell us how to run our lives. We’ll treat you worse than them!” And they charged past Lot to break down the door.
10-11 But the two men reached out and pulled Lot inside the house, locking the door. Then they struck blind the men who were trying to break down the door, both leaders and followers, leaving them groping in the dark.
12-13 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have any other family here? Sons, daughters—anybody in the city? Get them out of here, and now! We’re going to destroy this place. The outcries of victims here to God are deafening; we’ve been sent to blast this place into oblivion.”
14 Lot went out and warned the fiancés of his daughters, “Evacuate this place; God is about to destroy this city!” But his daughters’ would-be husbands treated it as a joke.
15 At break of day, the angels pushed Lot to get going, “Hurry. Get your wife and two daughters out of here before it’s too late and you’re caught in the punishment of the city.”
16-17 Lot was dragging his feet. The men grabbed Lot’s arm, and the arms of his wife and daughters—God was so merciful to them!—and dragged them to safety outside the city. When they had them outside, Lot was told, “Now run for your life! Don’t look back! Don’t stop anywhere on the plain—run for the hills or you’ll be swept away.”
18-20 But Lot protested, “No, masters, you can’t mean it! I know that you’ve taken a liking to me and have done me an immense favor in saving my life, but I can’t run for the mountains—who knows what terrible thing might happen to me in the mountains and leave me for dead. Look over there—that town is close enough to get to. It’s a small town, hardly anything to it. Let me escape there and save my life—it’s a mere wide place in the road.”
21-22 “All right, Lot. If you insist. I’ll let you have your way. And I won’t stamp out the town you’ve spotted. But hurry up. Run for it! I can’t do anything until you get there.” That’s why the town was called Zoar, that is, Smalltown.
23 The sun was high in the sky when Lot arrived at Zoar.
24-25 Then God rained brimstone and fire down on Sodom and Gomorrah—a river of lava from God out of the sky!—and destroyed these cities and the entire plain and everyone who lived in the cities and everything that grew from the ground.
26 But Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.
27-28 Abraham got up early the next morning and went to the place he had so recently stood with God. He looked out over Sodom and Gomorrah, surveying the whole plain. All he could see was smoke belching from the Earth, like smoke from a furnace.
29 And that’s the story: When God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, he was mindful of Abraham and first got Lot out of there before he blasted those cities off the face of the Earth.
30 Lot left Zoar and went into the mountains to live with his two daughters; he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He lived in a cave with his daughters.
31-32 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is getting old and there’s not a man left in the country by whom we can get pregnant. Let’s get our father drunk with wine and lie with him. We’ll get children through our father—it’s our only chance to keep our family alive.”
33-35 They got their father drunk with wine that very night. The older daughter went and lay with him. He was oblivious, knowing nothing of what she did. The next morning the older said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Tonight, it’s your turn. We’ll get him drunk again and then you sleep with him. We’ll both get a child through our father and keep our family alive.” So that night they got their father drunk again and the younger went in and slept with him. Again he was oblivious, knowing nothing of what she did.
36-38 Both daughters became pregnant by their father, Lot. The older daughter had a son and named him Moab, the ancestor of the present-day Moabites. The younger daughter had a son and named him Ben-Ammi, the ancestor of the present-day Ammonites.
WHAT MORE DO WE LEARN?
This chapter records the sad consequences of Lot’s spiritual decline; then Lot passes off the scene while Abraham’s story continues (1 John 2:17). Abraham was the friend of God, but Lot was the friend of the world (James 4:4), and the contrasts between these two men are easy to see.
Only the two angels visited Lot, for the Lord could not fellowship with Lot and his family as He did with Abraham and Sarah. Even though Lot was a believer, his life was such that the Lord did not feel “at home” with him. It is the separated believer who enjoys the close walk (2 Cor. 6:14-18) and communion (John 14:21-24) with the Lord.
FAITH AND WALK: LOT vs. ABRAHAM
(Worldview thinking and living vs. Biblical God view)
Lot called himself a “servant,” but you do not see him hastening to prepare a meal as Abraham did; nor did he stand by to see what further service he could render. But the arrival of the men of the city at the door for immoral purposes was the climax of the evening. (“Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them” is the niv translation of verse 5.) Lot was willing to sacrifice his two unmarried daughters to the lust of the crowd (Judg. 19), but the angels intervened. What had happened to Lot’s personal values that he would offer his daughters to satisfy the sensual appetites of a mob? (In contrast, Abraham would offer his son to the Lord.)
God would have spared the city had the angels found ten believers, but since that was not possible, God mercifully rescued the believers they did find (Gen. 19:16). God’s message to the lost world is that judgment is coming, but His promise to His own people is that He will rescue them.
Who interceded for you when you were lost without God?
Have you thanked them? Are you grateful for their prayers?
Who are you interceded for in your family and among your dear friends?
How great is our influence because of our faith and prayers?
How great is our faith?
How much has society affected us vs. how much we affect society because of WHO we know, trust and live to please?
Because of his faith and obedience, Abraham was a blessing to his home and to the whole world. Because of his worldliness, Lot had no spiritual influence either in the city or in his own home. His married daughters and their husbands laughed at him and refused to leave the city. Even his wife was so in love with Sodom that she had to take one last look, and that look killed her.
Lot’s two unmarried daughters accompanied him out of the city, but they ended up in a cave, getting their father drunk and committing incest with him. After separating from Abraham, Lot had allowed his character to deteriorate, and his influence declined with it.
The first time God rescued Lot, he was a prisoner of war (14:12, 16), and he went right back into Sodom. That painful experience should have warned him that he was out of the will of God, but if Lot heard the warning, he certainly did not heed it. Now God has to take Lot by the hand and forcibly drag him out of Sodom! First, Lot lingered; then he argued; then he begged to be allowed to go his own way. Instead of being grateful for God’s mercy and obeying his rescuers, Lot resisted them and created trouble for them. In contrast, Abraham obeyed God’s will even to the point of offering up his own son.
Who or what holds you captive?
Dear Heavenly Father,
The world holds some of our best friends and family members captive to this world. Please drag them out of where they are and bring them to you and where you want them to be. We will never give up interceded on their behalf because we love them…and you love them greater still…you died for them. Because of you in us we pray our influence of your glory and power will be seen. Help us who believe to affect our world, not the world inflicting us.
In Jesus Name, Amen