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A Family Torn To Shreds

Leslie M. Grant

From Grace & Truth January 1994

In reading Genesis 19, !t is hard to believe that Lot, the nephew of Abraham, was a believer, a "righteous man", as 2 Peter 2:7-8 says he was.

Abraham was not only a believer, but a faithful, devoted follower of the Lord, and this was seen in his family life. But Lot, though a believer, did not give the Lord the first place in his life. While Abraham would depend on the Lord to guide him as He saw fit, Lot depended on the sight of his eyes, and chose the plain of Sodom as his dwelling place because it looked so pleasant and prosperous. At this time we do not read of his having a wife or family at all, but he did not remain in the apparently fruitful plain; he soon gravitated into the city of Sodom. But the people of Sodom were extremely wicked in the eyes of God.

A Bad Atmosphere

What a place it was for him to find a wife! He might very likely excuse himself for marrying a woman of the world because there were no believers he could find to marry. But where should a believer look for a wife? Can he expect to find a good wife in a bar or a dance hall, or other places of worldly attraction? The believer is warned by Scripture to make no unequal yoke with an unbeliever (2 Cor.6:14). If he frequents places where Christians are present, he will most likely meet Christians. If his heart is concerned about obeying God, he will be led to the wife of God's choosing, which will always be good. If he does otherwise, trouble will surely befall him.

The day came when Lot was visited by two angels sent from God. They appeared as humans and the men of Sodom were determined to take them from Lot's home and subject them to homosexual abuse. Only by the unusual miracle of the angels' blinding them was this avoided. Then the angels said to Lot, "Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city - take them out of this place! For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it" (Gen. 19:12,13 NKJV).

Just as Sodom was destined to a sudden and terrible destruction, so the world today lies under the imminent prospect of the awesome judgment of God. Yet far too many believers are much like Lot. They have no realization that judgment is very near. But the urgency of the warning was clear. Let Lot at least bring out of Sodom all his relatives.

A Questionable Testimony

He went to his prospective sons-in-law, delivering the warning. But they thought he was joking. Why?

Had he never before told them of God's displeasure with the wickedness of Sodom, and that God must judge sin? Had he slipped into a habit of not being serious so that when he was serious, it had no effect? If we have nonsensical inclinations, let this speak deeply to us.

But what of his sons? How many he had we do not know, but we are not told that he warned them at all. Did he determine that it was of no use? Had his testimony to them been so negative that they saw nothing in the truth of God? Had they therefore descended to the same level as the rest of that wicked city?

What a lesson for every parent! Let our words and also our example be so clear that our children may be convinced that we believe the living God.

As he lingered, unwilling to leave the city himself, the two angels had to take him, his wife and two daughters by the hand and practically drag them out of Sodom, then urge them to escape for their lives without even looking, behind them. But Lot's wife did look back, and was turned into a pillar of salt, a preserved memorial to the folly of preferring Sodom to deliverance by the grace of God. Of course, she may have been concerned about her sons, but it was too late now. It was time rather for her to be concerned about her sins! Why had the parents not prepared their sons for such an occasion?

A Tainted Future

Lot saved nothing of his possessions from Sodom. He is like the Christian who has nothing to show for his life on earth. He became so frightened at the terrible destruction of Sodom that he took his daughters to the mountains where they lived in a cave.

Even there, the repulsive character of Sodom's wickedness comes out in his daughters. He was so depleted in moral strength that he allowed his daughters to give him liquor to drink until he was totally drunk; and in this state he had children by both of his daughters, without being conscious of his having had sexual relations with them. Thus the moral corruption of Sodom had invaded his whole family, and left a trail of shame and ruin.

How deeply responsible we are for the influence that we exert over our marriage partner, over our sons and daughters, over our in-laws and over other family members. Are we encouraging them to trust and love the Lord and to believe the truth of His Word? Certainly, this is contrary to the course the world is determined to pursue, but the world is due for terrible judgment, and our friendship with it will only entangle us.

Leslie M Grant