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What the Bible says about Lot
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 14:12

Step by step, Abram lived a godly life, and God chose him. Abram separated himself from the people of the land. But by chapter 14, we find Lot living in the city. Lot also lived his life by faith, but even though he was converted and knew the work of God, he chose to mix with the people of the land, being sucked right into their midst. When he decided to move, Lot may have not intended to be in the city, but on its outskirts. Nevertheless, he eventually ended up in the city.

It is not known why he moved. Perhaps Lot's wife was the cause, or possibly his daughters, interested in marrying. Maybe it was Lot's idea, thinking business would be better in the city.

Lot's actions are in contrast to Moses'. Moses deliberately chose to turn his back on the world, while Lot deliberately chose to go toward the world. Consequently, Lot's association with the world wore down his spirituality and resistance, until his spiritual discernment was so weak that he did not really know the difference between right and wrong. He did not know what he wanted and lingered in the city just before it was to be destroyed. There is no surer way to go backward in one's spirituality, to blunt one's feelings and knowledge of sin, to dull spiritual discernment, than by mingling with the world.

David boasted in prosperity in Psalm 30:6-7, writing, "I shall never be moved." Lot's actions say the same, "It will not hurt for me to go down there. I shall never be moved." But Paul said, "Let those who think they stand take heed less they fall" (I Corinthians 10:12). Lot crashed. In his lack of faith and spiritual pride, he felt he could stand strong against the spiritual onslaught of the world. Lot became hesitating and undecided, a procrastinating man in the day of his trial because of the slow deterioration of his spiritual frame.

It could be reasoned that Lot did make it into the Kingdom of God. God does, after this, call him righteous. But God wants us to understand that, though we may forsake Him, and though He is magnanimous, merciful, forgiving, and full of grace, life could have been so much better.

It could have been so much better for Lot and his family. The Bible shows, especially in Genesis 19, that his voice carried no weight at all in the city of Sodom. No one listened to him. Not even his family listened to him. His family showed him little or no respect, even mocking him and showing contempt.

Why? This happens to anyone like Lot. They are eventually despised because their friends and relatives cannot deal with their insincerity. They would say, "Surely if he believed what he professes to believe, he would not do as he does."

Furthermore, there is a significant, meaningful omission in the Old Testament. The Old Testament writers have a pattern of telling what happened to a person at his death, but it says absolutely nothing about Lot. He just disappears from the scene, in a painful silence. This omission is the Bible's admission that this godly, righteous man had no impact.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part Three)

Genesis 19:9

Lot's word carried no weight with them; they did not respect him. There was apparently nothing attractive or appealing about his way at all. As verse 14 shows, even his family showed him little respect.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part Four)

Related Topics: Lot


 

Genesis 19:14

In Lot's family was a measure of contempt. Lot seemed to his sons-in-law to be joking. It is as if they said, “Who cares for anything you say?” Was Lot's wife different? She looked back. Lot's daughters? They escaped, and then proceeded to involve Lot in one of the vilest sins in the entire Bible, incest. Contempt is not unusual for a lingerer, for they are despised by their families, who cannot deal with the person's inconsistency. They are hot, then cold. They blow this way, then that. They command, “Do this,” but they do something different. Their lives do not live up to the words that they say. Lot was a man whose works burned, but he himself was saved (I Corinthians 3:15).

This is not a way that God wants His children to live. Even though He mercifully intervenes and saves, He wants His children to enjoy the best of the abundant life and to be prepared for His Kingdom.

Most are familiar with Herbert Lockyer's series of "All" books: All the Prayers of the Bible, All the Parables of the Bible, All the Promises of the Bible, All the Women of the Bible, etc. In All the Men of the Bible, he says that Lot is the representative man:

Perhaps there is no figure in the Bible who represents so many men of today as Lot of Sodom. Where you will find one Abraham, one Daniel, or one Joshua, you will find a thousand Lots.

Lot had much wealth, but he did not have the abundant life of God because of his choice to coexist with the world, whose constant, degenerate pressure virtually destroyed his true spirituality. Lot was not a sinner in the normal sense, but a spiritually small and lean man.

There is an interesting contrast between Abraham and Lot. Abraham was probably exceedingly wealthier than Lot, but Abraham lived in a tent, while Lot lived in a house. This clearly shows that Abraham lived his life in such a way that everybody understood that Abraham was just a pilgrim. He did not put roots down in this world, while Lot, his nephew, did.

Lot was converted but carnal. He was a man of weak faith. His hopes and dreams were in the world, and his interest was in the things of this world. Lot had the same vision as Abraham, but by choice, he was firmly anchored in the world. All of Lot's goodness was virtually wasted because his spiritual life was going nowhere.

One might say that, because Lot was "saved," there is more than one way to skin a cat. There might be many poor ways of skinning a cat, as well as some good ways, too. But there is only one best way to skin a cat. Why not choose the best way of doing it? That is the lesson of Lot's life. Why let our works that we have built burn up? Instead, why not do things the way God says?

God was not in all of Lot's thoughts (Psalm 10:4) because he was living by sight. Lot might very well be what we might call the quintessential second-generation Christian. He believed, but all of his passion was spent pursuing the amusements of this world. Lot, whose faith was weak at best, was not committed like Abraham was. The whole aim of Abraham's life was to give glory to God, while Lot, though righteous, lived by sight (II Corinthians 5:7). His aim was essentially to grasp at life, to do it now and enjoy it, rather than work to develop his relationship with God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part Four)

Genesis 19:17-22

Compared with the rest of the story, there is a sudden change in the pronouns from plural to singular. Notice verse 17, "So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said"—one of the messengers speaks. In verse 18, Lot addresses them and uses the term "lords." Keil & Delitzsch Commentary says, No, "lord" is singular in the Hebrew.

Adonai, "Lord," is the name of God. Is it the name of Melchizedek? Was Melchizedek there to destroy the city? If the messenger was not Melchizedek, why did Lot call him "lord"? Why in verses 21 and 22 does the angel take the authority to himself to destroy the city? He says to Lot, "I cannot do anything until you arrive there," and then verse 24 relates, "The LORD rained down. . . ." Is the LORD the same "lord" who was the "I" of verse 22? An interesting sequence of verses.

Not only does Keil & Delitzsch say this, but the Jewish Publication Society's Tanahk, the King James Version, and the Revised Standard Version all reinforce this idea in various ways.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part Four)

Related Topics: Adonai | Angels | Angels appearing as Men | Lord | Lot | Melchizedek


 

Psalm 83:1-8

The nations listed in Psalm 83:5-8 comprise a fairly complete rundown of the ancient enemies of Israel, and Edom, the descendants of Esau, is given primacy of place. After Edom come the usual suspects: the Ishmaelites, Moab, the Hagarites, Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, and Tyre; and Assyria joins them, specifically helping the children of Lot.

Descendants of Esau actually appear three times on this list, as Amalek (see Genesis 36:12) and Gebal (here, a region of Idumea, often confused with the Phoenician city of Gebal or Byblos) are tribes that became distinguished from the bulk of the Edomites. Evidently, these tribes struck out on their own and eventually established their own identities. Amalek, in particular, was a thorn in Israel's side.

Bible history, from about Genesis 16 on, records that all of these nations rose up against Israel and Judah perpetually. Only very rarely did they ally with Israel for any length of time, and when they did, it was usually because they faced an even stronger, more dreaded enemy. It seems that Israel had peace from them only when they were conquered and put under tribute.

The only major nations missing from this list of Israel's persistent enemies are Egypt and Babylon. There may be several reasons for their omission. First, the context speaks of a particular historical "confederacy" against Israel, and Egypt and Babylon may not have been part of it. Second, as major powers in the region, Egypt and Babylon were generally unconcerned about Israel, or at least did not posses the visceral hatred of God's people that these other nations did. Third, the peoples that are mentioned were either ethnically related to Israel or lived in close proximity to her, while Egypt and Babylon are not related to Israel and inhabited distant realms.

Finally, as a prophecy of the last days, Psalm 83 may not consider Egypt and Babylon to represent the physical peoples that they did anciently. In fact, a physical Babylon does not seem to exist in the end time; the ancient city lies in ruins for tourists in Iraq to behold. If Egypt, a modern Arab nation, is contemplated in the prophecy, it may be included under the Hagarites, as Hagar, mother of Ishmael, was an Egyptian (Genesis 16:1). In addition, Ishmael's wife was also Egyptian (Genesis 21:21), making the Ishmaelites three-quarters Egyptian.

Nevertheless, all of these different peoples—Edom, Ishmael, Amalek, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, Tyre, and Assyria—are among the major players in the Middle East today. These are peoples from whom the Jihadists and the Islamic fundamentalists hail, making up what is known as the "Arab" or "Muslim world." Today, these people inhabit the nations of Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, etc., and the pseudo-nation of Palestine.

Psalm 83 lists a group of peoples—a confederacy—whose main enemy is Israel. Today, there exists a worldwide jihad against the West, particularly aimed at the "Great Satan," the United States, and the despised Jews, the State of Israel. The physical descendants of ancient Israel—the English-speaking peoples, the democracies of Northwest Europe, and the Jewish Diaspora—are the standard-bearers of Western civilization. The same players are still in the game!

Who has initiated the conflict over these last several years? For the most part, Islamist or fundamentalist Arabs have been the aggressors. The terrorists have mainly come from Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, North Africa, Iraq, etc.—that is, Arab nations. The philosophical or religious underpinnings for these attacks have their source in the virulent and violent anti-Western teachings of Wahhabism (spread from Saudi Arabia), militant pan-Arab socialism (cultivated by despots in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, etc.), and anti-Semitism (practiced hypocritically by a majority of Arabs, who are themselves Semitic peoples, descendants of Abraham).

Where have most of the attacks taken place? Although many of them have occurred in the Middle East, they have been predominantly against Western interests. Terror organizations have targeted Western people, planes, helicopters, ships, homes, shops, hotels, and embassies—anything Western seems to be fair game to them.

For example, the bombing in Beirut against a U.S. military installation in 1983 killed hundreds of Marines in their barracks, and jihadists attacked the U.S. mainland on September 11, 2001. The State of Israel, of course, has endured a heavy share of the militant Islamic violence since its founding in 1948. More recently, Britain, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, and other predominantly Israelite nations have also suffered terrorist atrocities. This in no way discounts the terrorism that has also struck non-Israelite but Western nations like Spain and Italy.

Putting Psalm 83 together with what we know about these nations' ancestries and with what we see on the evening news, these prophecies are coming to pass before our eyes!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
All About Edom (Part Two)

2 Peter 2:6-9

Three times in this section, Lot is called "righteous," and once he is called "godly." Yet, when we look at his story, found in Genesis 11 - 19, everything that is written about the man is negative. It is not good. He is not put in a good light at all, yet Peter calls him "righteous" and "godly."

It is even more shocking to consider Peter's obvious inference that he was righteous while all the evil, wicked things were happening in Sodom. From this, we can conclude that he did not become righteous through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ after the shock of events that occurred with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, but that God deemed him righteous before that time and through the event. Lot, that righteous man, was troubled with what was occurring within the city.

Lot, then, was not what we would consider a bad or evil man. He was, in fact, what we would consider to be a converted man. He had received the grace of God, so righteousness was imputed to him, even as it is to us.

Peter writes that Lot was tormented by the things that he saw in Sodom and Gomorrah. What does this mean? It means that he clearly understood sin. It does not seem that the Sodomites were concerned at all, but Lot was. He understood that his neighbors were far off the mark.

However, though he was not wicked himself, he did nothing to remove himself from his evil situation. There is the problem. He lingered. He was willing to coexist with sin.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part Three)


Find more Bible verses about Lot:
Lot {Nave's}
 




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