Sunday, June 24, 2007

Remember Lot's Wife (and his daughters)

And while [Lot] lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. . . .Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. . . .And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto 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 seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine. . . .Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father (from Genesis 19}).

In studying the life of Lot, I found him to be spineless when it came to leading his family in the way of righteousness. Peter tells us that he "vexed his righteous soul" in seeing the wickedness of Sodom all day long, every day. Apparently, the sin of the city really bothered him. Some commentators I've read (Matthew Henry, John Gill) suggest that he sat in the gates of the city not as a ruler, but to look out for passing travelers who may need a place to stay for the night. They say that Lot did not want these travelers to fall into the hands of the Sodomites as they lodged in the streets all night, so he opened up his home to them. If this is true, it is another indication that he was bothered by the sin of the city and sought to do something good.

But Lot was spineless. He knew the laws of God from having lived with Abraham for many years, but his family learned to love the world. Instead of leading his family in righteousness, standing for what was right, he let them lead him further and further into the world.

This blog is for women, so let's leave Lot and focus on his wife. What I have just said about Lot is partly speculation, but I think we can still learn some lessons from this.

For the wives: Are we honouring the Lord with our lives, our desires, and the way we train and influence our children, especially our daughters? Do we leave all, take up our crosses and follow Christ? Or are we lingering on the plain gazing at the world and all its things, fame and pleasure? Are we helping our husbands build a godly home, or are we nagging at them to get closer and closer to the world? Are we training our daughters to love and submit to their future husbands by teaching them to love and submit to their fathers? Or are we training them to manipulate men to get what we want from them?

For the daughters: Most fathers have a soft spot in their hearts for their daughters. Daughters, especially youngest daughters, can wrap their dads around their little fingers. Daughters are usually born with a master's degree in manipulation and flattery which they use to get what they want from their dads (and later their husbands). So, daughters, what do you want from your dad? Do you want your dad to love and honour God? Do you want his help in being godly yourself? Do you crave his godly counsel in all areas of your life? Do you want him to be a man God would use in a mightly way?

Here is a message, a testimony, actually, from Duncan Campbell. He details how God worked in and through him all through his life. I encourage you to listen to this message, paying extra-careful attention to how God used his daughter to rebuke and encourage him during a time of spiritual declension in his life. It is a message that brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

From this link you can choose to either play the audio from your computer, or you can download to your mp3 player. This is an old tape, and sometimes hard to listen to both because of the quality and Mr. Campbell's Scottish accent. But it is well worth the effort.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Little by little, down the slippery slope

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom (Genesis 3:10-12).

And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed (Genesis 14:12).

But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, and said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly (Genesis 19:4-7).

Lot's progression into the world:

1. He looked at the world ("lifted up his eyes").

2. He considered the world and its possibilities ("beheld").

3. He got as close to the world as he could without actually living in it ("pitched his tent toward Sodom").

4. He made the world his permanent home ("dwelt in Sodom").

5. He considered worldlings to be his family ("I pray you, brethren").

More about Lot next time.