The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. (Genesis 19:1)
Today, we see the final, tragic culmination of what was set in motion when Lot first “pitched his tents toward Sodom” in Genesis 13:12. It’s a warning of what happens when we become too familiar with sin.
Lot is mentioned three times in reference to Sodom. The first is when he and Abram separate. Lot looks toward Sodom, and it looks like the garden of Eden to him. It’s well watered and desirable (Genesis 13:10). There’s no question that the people of Sodom are exceedingly wicked, even at that point, as the next verse makes clear (13:13). But maybe Lot is like the guy who builds a house overlooking the Las Vegas strip. He has no intention of participating in the wickedness of the city, but the lights are just so pretty at night. So Lot pitches his tent toward Sodom.
Fast forward one chapter, and Lot is now living in Sodom (Genesis 14:12). Uncle Abram has to mount a rescue mission to bring Lot back. Shouldn’t that have been a wake up call for Lot? It should have been, but it wasn’t. Because by the time we get to Genesis 19, Lot is sitting in the city gate. The city gate was where business was conducted, so the text suggests that Lot has risen to some position of prominence in Sodom society. He may not be the mayor of Sin City, but maybe he’s an alderman.
And you know the rest of the story. Sodom is destroyed. Lot is rescued. His wife gets a-salted (Gen. 19:26, sorry for the dad joke), and Lot becomes both the father and the grandfather to his daughter’s children (Eww. See Genesis 19:30-38)
It is the same progression of sin we are warned against in Psalm 1. Notice the parallels between Psalm 1 and Lot’s story:
|Psalm 1||Lot’s Progression|
|Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly||Lot pitched his tents toward Sodom|
|Nor stands in the way of sinners||Lot was living in Sodom|
|Nor sits in the seat of mockers||Lot was sitting in the city gate of Sodom.|
Beloved, we can be a lot like Lot (another dad joke! Sorry!). We are early in this reading plan, and many of you probably began it at the beginning of a new year. So it’s not too late to make it a resolution. Let’s not become comfortable with sin. Among other things, this can mean:
Using discernment in your media choices. What is your tolerance level for sex, violence, and profanity in movies? Have you gotten too comfortable with it?
Paying close attention to your relationships outside your home. With those of the opposite sex, there is no such thing as harmless flirtation. Even with your guy friends, guys, there’s no such thing as an acceptable level of locker room banter. Ladies, there’s no tolerable level of gossip. Ephesians 4:29-31 is a passage worth memorizing:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
Ephesians 4:29-31 ESV
Beloved, we all are a lot more like Lot than we want to admit. We have to die to sin every day. Otherwise, as the Puritan John Owen said, “Be always killing sin, or it will be killing you.”