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Discover the Book - Aug. 22, 2008

  • 2008 Aug 22

Flee the Lust of the Eyes - Remember Lot

What happens to those who don’t flee for refuge to Christ when lust comes as a great temptation? What happens when we allow lust to dominate us? Abraham and Lot will give us a sobering lesson.

Look at Genesis 13:10. Look at Lot’s choices to feed his lusts. Lot never restrained his physical eyes from controlling his life. Lot was a believer, but lived with the consequences of his lust instead of the blessings of faith.

Lot was tempted and didn’t resist. In the end that small choice, as it seemed then, cost Lot everything. The steps to Lot’s fatal choices are clearly written down for us in God's Word.

In four short verses we see the pathway of tragic consequence that all started with the lusts, the strong unbridled desires of the eyes.

Genesis 13:10-13 “ And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. 12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord.”

First we see that Lot lifted up ‘his eyes’, not his heart in prayer, not his soul to the Lord his Maker, just his eyes. He relied upon his flesh which would end up paying him back bitterly in the end.

Next we see God noting that Lot ‘chose for himself all’. He took whatever was best for his agenda for life. Note that the Lord didn’t even figure into that decision. No thought of the long term effect of that choice. No seeking what God might want him to do. No it was all based on what was best for himself. And with that choice he showed that Lot was living for Lot. Abraham, who lived for the Lord, as far as we know never built anything but altars, never bought any land except a plot to bury his beloved wife, and never lived in anything but a tent.

Finally we see that Lot was comfortable with the evils of the world—‘Lot dwelt’. The Hebrew word for pitched his tent means laced it right up against, or right on the edge. Lot clearly placed himself by the world. Not just any manifestation of the world, he wasn’t troubled at being surrounded by, living with, and sharing life with those who were ‘exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord’. These aren’t normal sinners that are lost, these were aggressive enemies of God. And Lot faced them, watched them, got comfortable with them, was drawn towards them, and finally moved in amongst them! 

Thus the contrast—Lot lived for Lot, picked the best for himself, looked at life through the lens of what makes me happy and successful, amassed enough fortune to retire in the big city of wealth and entertainment, and grew cold and distant from God. Gradually any effect that living with Abraham, seeing Abraham’s altars to God, hearing about Abraham’s talks with God—all of that was gone. Lot’s heart was in Sodom long before his body arrived there. 

What was the result of that small choice Lot made? Just trace quickly Lot’s steps after this point:

  • He looked at Sodom from afar (Genesis 13.10-11).
  • Then, he turned his tent towards Sodom (Genesis 13.12).
  • And finally, he moved into Sodom (Genesis 14.12).  

What did Lot’s small choice to follow the lust of his eyes cost him?

  • He lost his fellowship, accountability, and friendship with Abraham when he separated from Abraham and moved into Sodom (Genesis 13.14). That uncle who loved him, shared God with him—was now not as interesting as the glittering lights on the horizon that marked the city of sin and fun.
  • He lost his testimony (Genesis 19.9). The citizens of Sodom mocked him and said that he who lived among them couldn’t comment on their lifestyle choices.
  • He lost half his family who wouldn’t leave and were destroyed with Sodom (Genesis 19.14). His own family mocked him when he warned them of God’s pending destruction of the wickedness of Sodom.
  • He lost his ability to respond to God when he was urged to flee and he lingered so long (Genesis 19.15-16) that the angels had to drag him by the hand out of the cauldron of destruction.
  • He lost his wife when she wanted to stay in Sodom (Genesis 19.26) so God killed her and turned her into a pillar of salt. She had been so blessed by God. She was given the opportunity to live with a man (Lot) who knew God, travel with a man who was God’s friend (Abraham) and undoubtedly hear and see the wonders of God through their lives, see angelic messengers, witness their power to push away the crowd at the door of her home, strike them with blindness, and finally to hold the hand of an angel and be pulled toward the plan of God. And all that was not enough. Her soul longed for the world, her desires were so strong she couldn’t obey the only command they gave her—‘don’t look back’.
  • He lost the rest of his family as his remaining daughters began to act like the people they lived around so long in Sodom (Genesis 19.30-35). They knew the tricks, they had watched the sinful ways of Sodom so long. They just did what they had learned and tricked their dad.
  • He lost his legacy as his children were defiled and their children (Genesis 19.36-38) became the enemies of God.  

“It would be difficult to decide whether or not Lot was a truly saved man by reading his story in the Old Testament. He made no positive contribution to the life of faith. He chose the lower, the carnal, the worldly path. He left the fellowship of the faith at the earliest possible moment and was never restored to that fellowship. He made no mark for God. His family ended in disaster. The last we see of him in the narrative he is drunk and dishonored.”

“Indeed, were it not for a brief but remarkable statement of Peter written thousands of years later (2 Peter 2:7-8) we would be justified in concluding that the root of the matter had never been in him at all. Such is the life of a backslider. May God deliver us from a life like that."

Lot was tempted and never seems to have resisted. God allowed him to choose to go up the hill towards Abraham and he said NO, and went down the hill towards Sodom. Look how his life turned out.

  • Lot was drawn toward the wrong things, the things that were against God, not the things that were for God.
  • Lot looked at Sodom (temptation of the lust of the eyes); faced his tent toward Sodom 13.10-13; and lived/moved into Sodom 14.12.
  • Lot seems to have never built an altar (altars seemed to be places where Abraham marked and remembered God’s promises in his life).
  • Lot was a friend of world (James 4.4); conformed to world (Romans 12.2).  



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