Devotional & Reflection

Week 1, July 2002

Genesis 19:29: In the World OR of the World
By Mr Teo Kok Hong, Regional Director & Trainer, Ezra Resources

Genesis 19:29 "So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived."

Every once in a while, a new concept will captivate the business world. There was a time when mass production, centralization, mergers & acquisition were popular. The current flavour seems to be globalization. There seems to be a need to venture forward economically to countries that may be termed as a land of golden business opportunities if we were to survive in the new millennium. Some are of the view that Singapore would no longer sustain the same economic growth compared with the good times. Now the best places to expand our businesses are the emerging markets which would enjoy great and sustained economic growth. "Let's strike while the iron is hot and stake our interests before anyone else." Before we jump on the band wagon to economic prosperity, we need to realize that the path ahead may be fraught with untold dangers; a path that is filled with pits and blind alleys. And I do not mean business risk as much as spiritual deprivation of our souls through syncretistic lifestyles; a destiny more frightening than losing material wealth: a lost soul.

Scripture being God's inspired Word warns us of syncretising our faith with the practices of the world; having a form of godliness but lacking in transformational power. Lot was such a man. Although described as righteous (2 Pet 2:7) he was nevertheless corrupted by Sodom's vile practices. Lot was successful, rich in herds and possessions (Gen 13:6). So numerous were his herds that he has to part company with Abraham. He chose to settle among the cities (Gen 13:12;19:1) particularly Sodam as it was the choicest of all picks but it turned out to be the most wicked of all cities of its time (Gen 13:13). He seemed to act as a judge when he sat at the gateway of the city and was probably a known leader to the inhabitants (v1,9 cf. 23:18). All in all, he migrated from a nomadic life to a city life (Gen 13:12). It seems he wanted the good life, but as we shall see the good life almost caused him to lose the eternal life.

The moment of truth came in the form of a heavenly visitation. It would reveal the kind of man Lot was and how he and his family had been entrenched in Sodom's culture and practices. Although Lot showed great hospitality to the angels, deplored sodomy and homosexuality, ironically he was willing to sacrifice his daughters over to the vice of Sodom's men who wanted unnatural sexual relations with men than with women. This earned him a strong rebuke for his double standards. In his years living in Sodom there is not a single shred of evidence that he influenced the inhabitants to righteous living but on the contrary he went along with the culture.

When it was disclosed that God wanted to destroy the cities, he was hesitant about leaving and the angels had to drag him and his family to safety. What could be more important than saving one's family! Finally when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt, a monument for disobedience (cf. Lk 17:28-32). Although Sodom was destroyed, its vile practices continued to live in the hearts and minds of Lot's daughters. Their progeny of Moab and Ben-Ammi ancestors of the Moabites and Ammonites, perennial enemies of Israel, through an incestuous relationship with the father bears testimony of how deeply entrenched they were with Sodom's culture and practices. Thus little "Sodom" was reborn in the cave. From the story, it seems that Lot was going along with the tide and as long as Lot was left alone, he would profess faith and stayed at Sodom. Had God not destroyed Sodom, Sodom would destroy Lot.

While we are in the world, we need the grace of God to overcome the vices of the world. The primary reason for Lot's deliverance was his relationship with Abraham, the father of faith (Gen 19;29). Although he was saved from the fire, all that he had and possessed were burned up. Even what was left, his daughters were corrupted by the worldly values. It is interesting to note that after Genesis 19, there is no mention of Lot and his family as they no longer positively contributed to the story.

1. How does Lot's life contribute to the story of Genesis?
2. What are some areas that might have caused you and your family to miss participating in God's redemptive story?
3. What positive influence are you making in your place of work?

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