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Righteous Souls Vexed

          For my daily devotions I have begun to read a book called “Men of the Bible” by Dwight L Moody. Even though it was written a hundred and thirty years ago it is wonderfully relevant. I always love timeless writings. As Brother Moody was going through the Old Testament he came to Abraham. Of course, we all know who Father Abraham is and about his great faith. It would have been expected that he would be in such a book. But associated with Abraham was his nephew  Lot and his story was there as well.

          We sometimes get heroes in life in which we put on a pedestal. Our heroes are greater in our hearts than they actually are in real life. Every person in God’s Word was written about just as they were-warts and all. God did not spare allowing us to see them for their victories and also their faults. If we had not been allowed to see these faults we might have felt like failures in our own lives. Think about this; God allowed us to see these failures so that we might learn from them.

The story about Abraham andLotis an old one. Abraham was chosen by God for covenant and to be the Father of many nations. He was the first of the Jews and by him all nations have been blessed. Follow me to Genesis chapter twelve. Abram, as he was called then, went out of Haran with all that he possessed. He had taken Sarai as his wife and was seventy-five years old. Abram was obeying God Who had made him a promise. That promise was to leave his family and country and then he would be blessed. For some of you there is a message here that God isn’t finished with you, even in your old age. Perhaps Abraham had decided at this point that he had all that he was going to have. Particularly now, I want you to look at verse four. While Abram was obeying God it states that “Lotwent with him”.

That is the first statement we see about Lot. He followed Abram but not necessarily God. There are many people today who are just like that. They don’t really have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Theirs is a social connection because their wife or parents have a relationship with God. They attend church because someone else does and not because they desire to. If they were suddenly alone in the world they would not continue the pattern.Lotwas such a man. His uncle was moving and so did he. He followed Abram instead of God.

After Abram leftHaranis says that a famine came and he went to Egypt. Lot, of course was right there following what seemed best. Since there was a famine he tagged along. After all; why not? In chapter thirteen there is a change in things. Abram has become very rich. He has many cattle and much wealth.Lotalso had prospered and had cattle. In verse five we again read that Lot went with Abram. There arose a quarrel between Lot’s herdsmen and Abram’s. There was so much livestock that they battled over the limited grass to eat. Abram decided that something had to change.  Here is the next lesson.

There are times in life that people who may be close to us suddenly reach a place where we don’t get along with them like we once did. As an example our children may reach a place that they don’t get along with us anymore. Perhaps they need a place of their own. When these things happen it can be the hand of providence for both parties to separate.

Abram had the wisdom to realize that something had to change. Being the older (and the obvious leader) he could have cried “Seniority!” and taken a better plot of land, insisting thatLottake something else. Instead he trusted God for his future and allowed Lot to choose the direction he would go. Please understand that up until now Lot had followed his uncle Abram. When Abram packed up a tent so did Lot. He never sought out God to have a personal relationship but relied on the relationship of Abram. In verses ten and eleven we find that Lot followed his senses and went to the place that looked the most profitable. When choosing this in life we seldom make the right choice.

Taking the job that pays the highest salary too often proves to be the wrong choice down the road. Marrying the man or woman who seems the sexiest at the time will lead to a marriage of dissatisfied parties. The joy of buying the cheapest product is long forgotten the day that it falls apart and you realize you got what you paid for.Lot chose the plain of Sodom andGomorrahbecause it looked fertile. It was the right choice by his senses but not by God’s best.

SodomandGomorrahwere wicked cities. They would have been obviously evil to a well grounded righteous person who had learned to make decisions based on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and not by physical sight.Lotdidn’t immediately move there either. It says he pitched his tent towardsSodom(v12). Consider this; when we have something that is obviously wrong in front of our eyes every day we tend to overlook the wrong and start looking for small patches of good. We become tolerant of sin for the sake of gain in whatever form it is in. Even now, there are those who have said we should be tolerant of those who are living immoral lives and we will gain peace.Lotslowly overlooked the wickedness and saw that he could profit fromSodom.

Lotshould have had some wisdom from his connection with Abram by now. After all he watched as his uncle obeyed God and was blessed. Many people today see Christians who live a life of peace, contentment and satisfaction in their obedience to God and yet they chose to turn away from God and every form of religion. They may even laugh at us but in no way can they match the satisfaction of living a life in Christ. In spite of the obvious,Lotmoved closer toSodom. In chapter fourteen Lot is taken captive and has to be rescued by his uncle (v12-16). At this pointLotcould have learned that he was in the wrong place. People who walk in unrighteousness have a lot of warnings in the form of near-misses. Someone who drives under the influence of alcohol crosses the yellow line many times before they finally kill someone in an accident. Married people who flirt with others have many near-misses until they finally fall into full adultery. Lot had a chance to learn at this crossroads.

In chapter eighteen the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah have become so wicked that God looks to destroy them. It is several years later andLotis not just pitching his tent in that direction. He is now living downtown. Did you follow that? The cities are now so bad that God will wipe them off the planet andLotis so tolerant of sin that he lives there. We all know the story from here (if you don’t then continue reading the next chapters). God sent two angels to save Lot and his family and he barely escaped.Lot’s wife was killed on the way out because she is so connected with Sodom that she can’t bear to leave. She paused and looked back.

Even though Lot was raised by righteous Uncle Abraham he is now so void of Godly wisdom that he offered his two daughters to the wicked homosexuals of the city to appease them. Later, his two daughters show their lack of Godly wisdom by committing incest with their father. Herein is the message today.

In 2 Peter 2:6-8 we again read about this story. If we had only ready the Old Testament passages we might assume that Lot was merely a lost soul who didn’t know any better. We might think that he had been lost to Hell. Instead, this passage callsLota righteous soul! Look at what Peter wrote.Lot’s soul was vexed with their day to day wickedness. He had gotten used to living in the hog pen so much that he no longer smelled the pigs. He was in filth and suffering from the dirt but remained there still. Obviously, there was still profit to be made.

Notice that the word “vexed” is used twice in verses seven and eight. There are actually two different Greek words used here and both are translated into the word “vexed”. They both mean basically the same thing. Their translations can mean oppressed, tortured, tormented, and to struggle with a head-wind as if being at sea and making no progress. That last description is my favorite as it gives me a mental image ofLot. He lived in his profitable life but never made any headway. He tried to tolerate sin but because he belonged to God he never could get peace.

Let me ask you this. Do you have open sin all around you where you are in life? Are you living in a place of tolerance and in doing so exposing your family to the filth? It may cost you more than you will be willing to pay.Lotlost his home, his wife and committed incest with his daughters. Everything that he had worked for was gone. When we make decisions based on an earthly basis we will lose every time. It may not happen today or tomorrow but take a lesson fromLot’s life, we always lose.

Are you, perhaps exposing your family to immoral lifestyles through television and other media? Maybe you allow your children to be influenced by ungodly people at a public school. Does society teach them more than you do and are they flooded by standards you would never allow in your house? Maybe you have chosen a profession that puts you directly in harms way spiritually. Tolerating sin is always wrong for God’s people. When we do it we vex our own souls just likeLot.

Friend, if the Holy Spirit is convicting you of your situation consider it to be just like the two angels who came to remove Lot from Sodom. God is giving you a chance just now to get out. Please take it. Whatever you think you will lose (money, relationships, security, etc) will be lost anyway if you remain in the path you’ve taken. Listen to God today. He knows the path He has for you and its one of righteousness and safety. Follow it and you will get home safely.

 

Prayer-Father, there are some who are reading this message today who are so far from the truth they can’t even recognize it anymore. I lift them up to You right now that You would open their eyes and let them see. May they take the escape that You are providing and run from evil instead of tolerating it.

In Jesus’ Name-Amen

paul

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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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4 Responses to "Righteous Souls Vexed"

  1. Cath says:

    Thank you for this post!!! Like an arrow piercing my heart this morning…
    Much love to your family

  2. Christina says:

    Dear Paul,
    Thank you for your enlightening message. It will be doing me and my family good.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Christina

  3. Thank you for this post. It was really helpful. The verse ws really helpful too.

  4. Beth says:

    WOW. What an awesome word! I enjoyed it very much. I never thought much about Lot. I especially love where you talked about how God shows us the faults of everyone in the bible so we won’t feel like failures. That really spoke to me! God bless.

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