Genesis 19 is one of those chapters which are almost too horrible to read but they are nonetheless included in the canon of scripture to teach, rebuke, correct and train us in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3.16.
So what can we take from this part of God’s Word that will do any or all of these four things for us today.
I venture just three things which, unsurprisingly I think, are warnings
The danger of living by sight and not by faith
Lot was in Sodom because when invited by Abram to chose from all the land that was before them both (Chapter 13) he chose what was attractive to the eyes, on the surface just what suited him, while rejecting what seemed to difficult. Someone has said, ‘Life is hard and then you die’ and there is a certain truth in that so the temptation is always to look for the easy way. The Christian life is a wonderfully fulfilling life but Jesus never indicated that it would be an easy life teaching that to follow him is to take up one’s cross! But as believers we are called to
‘fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4.18
And to ‘live by faith and not by sight’ 2 Corinthians 5.7
The danger of a blunted conscience
2 Peter 2.7 describes Lot as ‘a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men’
I cannot help wondering if his association with Sodom and its evil had so infiltrated his mind that even though he was righteous and distressed as Peter says, he had got to the stage where he was unable to do anything about it. His righteousness was not his own but from God and therefore secure but his usefulness was blunted by his surroundings and he was rescued by the grace of God but suffered loss. See 1 Corinthians 3.10-15
The long term consequences
The whole chapter has a sordid ring about it and this carries right through to the end when the consequences of the whole account result in two nations being founded which in subsequent years would be opposed to God’s people.
It seems a strange thing to say but I will say it anyway! How glad we should be that we have in the pages of Scripture a brutally honest account of the consequences of sin. At the same time it is a glorious thing to say that we have in the pages of Scripture the truth that God’s grace is sufficient and we see it time and time again in his dealing with sinful yet righteous men, as here with Lot.
So may we learn from and rejoice in such a God but at the same time being ‘distressed’ as Lot was by the horrors of sin!