January 11, 2010
The man stood outside with his back against the front door of his house, afraid that any moment the mob would rush in and drag his twovisitors outside. He wanted to protect the two men who had just shown up at his home, but that was wishful thinking. The men of the city were fierce, determined, used to having their way. Any time a visitor had wandered into the city for the last year, the mob had hunted them down. Even now they were shouting obscenities and threats, demanding that he move aside and hand them over. He shuddered to think of the vile acts the mob would commit against these two men who seemed so pure. Suddenly he struck on an idea and shouted, “I beg you not to take these men for your own wicked pleasures. Instead, you may have my two daughters, who have never been with a man. Take them to satisfy your lusts, but please leave these men alone.”
What? Did you do a double-take when you read that plot twist? This man is trying to protect two visitors from despicable acts of sexual violence, so he offers up his two daughters as sacrificial lambs instead? I hope it shocked you to think about such things. But here’s the real shocker: That’s a true story, not a plot out of Hollywood. The man’s name was Lot, the city he lived in was Sodom, and the two men who were visiting were angels, sent from God to warn Lot and his family to flee before the city was completely destroyed by fire from heaven. The good news is that the mob did not get to ravage either the two daughters or the two men visiting Lot’s house that night. They were blinded by the angels and later incinerated by God. The bad news is that Lot had been changed so much by the city he had moved to some years earlier that he would now entertain the idea of turning his two precious daughters over to a vile, perverted mob, to do with as they pleased. Forget about “Taken,” and Bryan Mills’ (Liam Neeson) heroic acts to save his daughter from the sex trade. This story could have been called, “Surrendered,” the saga of a man willing to hand over his daughters along with any shred of righteous influence he might still have left. When Lot later tried to persuade his sons-in-law to take his other daughters and escape the wrath God was about to bring against Sodom, they refused. To Lot’s sonsin-laws, he “seemed to be joking.”
How does a man of God get to this place? One day at a time. One compromise at a time. One small capitulation at a time. Lot’s story bears this out, and you can read about it in Genesis 13 and 19. He first chose to dwell in the land with his family that was close to Sodom. The Bible says he “pitched his tent even as far as Sodom.” Then we find Lot moving into Sodom. Finally, Sodom moved into him. Here’s an important spiritual principle, friends. We will become attracted to what we give our attention to. Like the old rule in driver’s ed: “Whatever you look at, you will move toward.” Lot was immersed in the culture of Sodom, and had been changed by it, and here’s the scariest part. He didn’t know it until it was too late. Lot ended up paying a high price because what he looked at became his treasure, and where your treasure is, your heart will be also.
January 11, 2010