Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Know What You're Fighting For

I'm sure you've heard of Abraham, but what about his brother Lot?

One of the saddest stories in the Bible to me is the downward spiral of Lot and his family.

He traveled alongside his brother Abraham, until they became too many for the land to sustain them both because of the favor and blessing God had given them, so he was given a choice as to where to go.

His choice?  The Jordan Valley, which included Sodom and Gomorrah, cities known for their wickedness.

I'm sure his motives were pure (maybe?) but history proves that it doesn't take long to get sucked into a culture that you are surrounded by.

Genesis says, "So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east...and settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom.  Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners of the Lord."

Just 5 chapters later we see that Lot had eventually moved inside the gate.  He had gotten closer and closer to the wickedness.  Tip-toeing in, just a little bit at a time.  When 2 angels of the Lord showed up to see if there was any righteous among the cities Lot sees them and urges them to stay out of the town square and pressed them strongly to go with him in his house.  He KNEW what the people were like, yet he chose to live among them, saturated by their ways.

He made them a feast and they ate,
"But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house.  And they called to Lot, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight?  Bring them out to us, that we may know them.'"

Lot tried to go out and rationalize with them, even to the point of offering them his two virgin daughters "to do with them as you please".  They refused and pushed harder to get to the men in Lot's house, until the angels struck them with blindness.

The angels quickly urged Lot to gather all who were with him to leave because the city was about to be destroyed.  And wouldn't you know, the only people who had any sense to go with him were his two daughters and his wife.  He hadn't gained a single soul for the Kingdom by saturating himself in that culture.

Even the command to "quickly" leave didn't carry much weight for his own family.  They stayed the night there.

In the morning the angels again urged him to grab his family and leave...but he continued to linger!
"So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.  And as they brought them out, one said, 'Escape for your life.  Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley'...But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt."

That's not even the worst part!  When there is no repentance and no changing of your ways, the sin will stick around and it will grow and bleed into more and more areas of your life!

Here is what happened next:
His daughters began plotting, "Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth.  Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father."

They didn't just succeed the first night with the oldest daughter sleeping with her daddy, but they did it again the next night for the younger daughter as well.  All of it premeditated.

By this point their outlook on life, on God, on family, was completely skewed.
Their actions shouted of their unfaithfulness for the Lord to provide for them.
They had moved away from the wickedness, but it followed them in their hearts.

They were warned to get out.  To flee because their home was about to be destroyed...yet they lingered!

What are you fighting for?  What are you refusing to flee from?  What are you looking back over your shoulder and longing for, instead of looking ahead to the hope and freedom from the Lord?

Know what you are fighting for, and make it worth the fight.
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