Thursday, April 27, 2006

Righteous Lot?

In my Bible reading this morning I read Genesis 19. The story of Lot captured my attention. In verse 16, the Bible says, “…the compassion of the Lord was upon him.” The “him” is referring to Lot. From all outward appearances, Lot was not a man who deserved the Lord’s compassion. In fact, Lot’s ungodly choices, worldliness, and greed put him on a collision course with God’s judgment. In spite of this, God chose to save Lot and his family from His planned destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. To do so, God’s angels had to practically drag Lot out of the city. When the angel told Lot to run to the mountains he said “No” and then he begged to go to Zoar. At the end of the chapter, Lot becomes involved in an incestuous relationship with his daughters. Why in the world would God want to save a guy like Lot! It’s hard to see how Lot is much different from the people who lost their lives in Sodom and Gomorrah!

I discovered the answer to my question in verse 29. This verse says, “Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.” It is obvious to me that God saved Lot in answer to Abraham’s prayer in chapter 18. Abraham had asked God to spare the cities if they contained 10 righteous people. Unfortunately, God only found one and that man was Lot! Who would have guessed by Lot’s lifestyle that God counted him as righteous? I discovered that 2 Peter 2:7 actually refers to Him as “righteous Lot!”

This passage shows us just how important and powerful prayer is. I doubt that God would have saved Lot apart from Abraham’s prayers. Why else would the Lord put such emphasis on Abraham’s prayer in chapter 18 and mention it again in chapter 19?

Another truth we get from this passage is that it is possible for a Christian to be so enamored and involved in the world that only God can tell they are saved! Sadly it appears many American Christians have much in common with Lot. What is scarier is that sometimes I am more like Lot than I care to admit. Father please forgive me for my worldliness. Through your grace and the power of your Spirit may I be more like Jesus. Amen

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