Being in the World but Not of it: Lot’s Story

July 29, 2015

Ever wonder about Lot, Abraham’s nephew? He left his homeland with Abraham. He had chosen to follow Abraham in search of the land that God would give Abraham. Lot started out right.

When Abraham and Lot’s shepherds fought over land, Abraham gave him a choice. Lot chose the good valley lands. He choose the best (Genesis 13:6-13).

His choice led him to move into the city (Genesis 14:11-12). What we choose today influences what choices we have tomorrow.

But then what? He became an important official in the city (Genesis 19:1, sitting in the gate refers to a leadership position).

When the city was taken captive in a battle, Abraham learned about it. He battled for his nephew. When Lot was rescued, he chose to return to the city.

Perhaps Lot used his position in the city for ministry. Was he influencing it for good? When angels warn him to flee the city before its destruction, he could not influence the men who would marry his daughters to leave, even to save their lives.

What is the difference between living in the world and being a part of the world? When Jesus said, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this, the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19, emphasis mine.)

When God makes us His own, He does not remove us from this world. (Too bad, huh?) We’re still here. But nor should we live like we are the world, because we are no longer of the world. Confused yet?

God is making us His people, a holy people, set apart to do His work. We are here, but our focus is not.

Lot lived in the city with evil people. We do, too.

When the angels went to destroy the city, because of its wickedness, Abraham pleaded, “If you can find ten righteous people, will you spare the city?” The Lord said that He would.

When the angels reached the city, Lot ‘protected’ the angels from men who wanted to molest them. Lot offered his own daughters instead (Genesis 19:1-29). They said no. Lot could not even influence the city for a 'lesser' evil.

The city had influenced Lot. He had no ministry. He had no influence, even with his own family.

The city’s sin was enough for God to destroy the city.

God spared Lot and his family, dragging them from the city before the fire fell. Was it because of Lot’s righteousness? Or Abraham’s intercession?

Lot’s wife looked back and turned to salt.

Lot’s daughters caused him to get drunk and had incest with him.

Was Lot in the world but not of the world? The evil got into Lot.

Lot was selfish and chose the best land. He chose city comforts over dependence upon God. He wanted acceptance over influence.

Lot is an example of a man who focused on his best, his comforts, his acceptance. The world got into Lot. He was in the world and of it.

Are we any different? Given the choice, wouldn’t you want the best? Don’t you like comfort? Don’t you want to be accepted?

So how do we live in the world but not be of the world?

How much of the world is in you? Would you know it?

Next week we will look at Abraham, who was the friend of God. We will see how he lived in the world, but was not of it.

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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