This past week in my bible study class, we talked about some of highlights of last weeks daily readings, and one thing that stuck out was Lots sin. I began to see this story in a whole new light.
Most of us are familiar with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Lots wife turning to a pillar of salt because she looked back when they were fleeing the city. But the moral of the story is really to teach us not to allow sin to get entangled in our lives.
When Abram and Lot decided to part ways because their flocks and livelihoods have become too big (Gen. 13:6), Lot chose the land that looked the most enticing, with plush gardens and lakes and flowers. It was most appealing to the eye, and he thought that is where he wanted to be. Genesis 13:12 tells us that Abram settled in Canann, but Lot pitched his tents near Sodom, the city known for sin.
Now Lot did not live IN Sodom, but he camped NEAR Sodom – near enough for the temptations of sin to slowly lure him in. Many of us probably recall that one of the major sins in Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality, but the entire city was full of people not only practicing immoral sex acts, but also the sins of greed, cheating, pridefulness, deceipt, and dishonesty. It truly was a city of sin.
The Bible does not tell us specifically that Lot was engaging in any of those things, but we can all understand that if you live in that type of culture every day that you will probably be tempted to take part eventually. But despite Lots bad decisions, God had mercy on him and sent angels to rescue him before the city was destroyed.
I imagine that Lot knew that the sins of Sodom were, in deed, sins. He had to be acutely aware of all the things going on, especially since some commentaries tell us he held a high place in running the government and the city gate. So I can only imagine that even though he was a beliver in God, that he was lured into sinning because of association. He, like us, was merely human.
At first, Lot resisted Gods rescue, and hesitated, but eventually came around to understand that God was going to destroy the city, and he needed to obey. He thought he was a strong enough man to handle his temptations and the sins going on around him, but God knew that he needed help.
So many times we think we are strong enough to fight off temptations to sin on their own, but if we are camped too close to sin, then the possibility exists that we truly do need to be rescued.
As I pondered this story, I thought about what I tell my children regarding choosing their friends wisely, because basically, you really are who you hang out with.
If you hang out with people who do drugs, eventually you will probably do them as well, despite how strongly you believe that it is not right.
If you hang out with people that drink a lot of alcochol, eventually you will be tempted or pressured into drinking too, or maybe even drinking too much, even if you know it is wrong.
If you hang out with people who think that it is okay to drive drunk because they have done it many times and never had a wreck, then eventually you may be tempted to do it yourself.
Bad language – gossipping – – telling little white lies – telling big huge lies – watching pornography – homosexuality – drinking – drugs – stealing office supplies from your work……
Whatever the sin, we decide how close we are going to camp to it.
We were born as sinners, and it is impossible to think that we will not be tempted, but the farther away we stay from those temptations, the less likely we are to get pulled in.
If you are camping close to sin today, move your tent somewher else.
If you have been hanging out with friends who make bad choices, with husbands who dont care about how their actions affect their wives, with mothers who dont make their children a priority, with acquaintances who are involved with doing things are shady – pick up your tent, and move.
Simply put – if you know something is not right, FLEE from it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it”.
Its hard to break bad habits. Its hard to find a new circle of friends. Its hard not to give in to temptations or desires. But its even harder suffering the consequences, and living a life apart from God.
God is there to helps us move our tents. If you need His help with moving today, just give Him a call.