BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY….. “But God had listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain.” Genesis 19:29 NLT
The history of Abraham and Lot is an interesting one. It is a study in contrasts. We see the faith and righteousness of Abraham and the conflicted compromise of Lot.
When Abraham leaves Haran, he takes Lot, his nephew with him. Abraham finds himself constantly looking out for Lot’s well being. As the Lord blessed Abraham a conflict arose between the herdsman of Abraham and the herdsman of Lot. Abraham tells Lot it is better for them to separate. But the separation would not change Abraham’s commitment to his nephew.
Lot is given the choice of where to go and chooses the best looking area for his flocks and family. Scripture says, “he pitched his tent near Sodom” choosing the well water plains. Abraham eventually finds himself rescuing Lot and his family and possessions from some marauding kings.
Eventually Lot and his family are fully integrated into the culture of Sodom. It seems Lot maintains his personal righteousness, but fails to make wise choices and becomes “at home” with the conflict between his personal faith and the environment he chose to live in. Peter would describe Lot as “… a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless…” (2 Peter 2:7 NIV)
When the angels told Lot to pack his bags and flee the city, he hesitated. His warning to his daughter’s fiance’s was not taken serious and Lot’s wife disobeyed the angel’s instructions and looked back on the destruction of the city. The angel’s tell Lot to flee to the mountains, he asks instead to go to a nearby city. Lot then leaves that city and goes to the mountains where he becomes the father of two men who would become the father’s of nations that would be hostile to Israel.
This account of biblical history provides some important background to the development of nations and people that would factor into Israel’s history. But there are some spiritual lessons for us to observe.
We can observe Abraham’s faith and commitment to the Lord. He had his questions and reservations about how God’s promise would be fulfilled, but through it all chose to believe and obey. Lot while described in the New Testament as “righteous” struggled with compromise and making an impact on others. His “personal” righteousness did not impact his wife or daughters let alone others around him.
Abraham’s faith and commitment to Lot allowed him to intercede for Lot regardless of past conflicts.
We see Jesus in teaching about the last days issue a warning to “remember Lot’s wife.” (Luke 17:12) We are not to be so tied to this world, that we fail to be willing to leave it behind when Christ returns.
Abraham and Lot are both described as “righteous” but their histories are vastly different. In our lives we can make a choice to embrace the Lord’s promise and impact the lives of others like Abraham, or to compromise and experience conflict, distress and escape judgment by the “skin of our teeth” like Lot.