A LIFE OF WORLDLINESS WON’T END WELL
Today’s sordid text paints the last chapter in the life of worldly Lot and his dysfunctional family. This is how Lot ended up. This is the legacy of a loser. All of the small compromises he made with worldliness have compounded and ended up in this ultimate end game of degradation and shame. We know from the NT that Lot was actually a believer – in a covenantal relationship through faith in a God who had provided him with every opportunity to enjoy God’s blessings. But time after time Lot made sinful choices that led to tragic consequences.
This text has been avoided by many well-known commentators because of its lurid content:
the old set of Calvin’s commentaries translated by the old Calvin Translation Society last century, when they get to Genesis 19, verse 31 they stop translating. They say now this passage just shouldn’t be in Calvin’s commentaries, just shouldn’t be read. They don’t even give you the Latin text. They leave it out and they move on to Genesis 20. H.C. Leupold in his commentary on Genesis (after making his few observations) says, “This is a text that should never be preached.”
What a warning to believers today. Are we truly seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness or are we pursuing a life of pleasure and possessions and worldly praise and worldly lusts? Look at how Jesus described the type of culture that will exist in the last days right before His final revelation and return to Judge the world – Luke 17:20-37.
Who claims Lot was a righteous man?
More than just in a forensic sense of justification
Parunak: This section is here for two reasons.
1.Though the chiasm has finished, this section still recalls Noah, whose final days were marred with intoxication and sexual impropriety. Like that section, it sounds the warning that when God brings judgment and delivers a remnant, sin still lives in the flesh of that remnant, and arises again to repeat the cycle of rebellion.
2. One important function of Genesis is to show how the nation Israel originated in the context of its neighbors. Two important neighbors are Moab and Ammon, and this story describes their origin and relation to Abraham.
A LIFE OF WORLDLINESS WON’T END WELL
How did it end for Lot?
I. (:30) A LIFE OF WORLDLINESS ENDS IN FEAR AND ISOLATION
“And Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; and he stayed in a cave, he and his two daughters.”
No question that this is a hole – compare Lot’s former station in life and all of the opportunities presented to him by the Lord
Remember how Lot and his daughters ended up in this hole
– Smaller sinful choices are the slippery slope that cast you down into more desperate situations
– Daughters have not made godly choices; were prepared to marry men from Sodom; only rescued via their association with their father; have not had a good example in their home upbringing
Fear and isolation are not the environment for spiritual vitality – we need faith and community
Hughes: Spiritually entombed, Lot lived a degenerated, death-like existence, sinking into ever deeper depression and corruption.
Lot has run out of options:
– Too scared to continue to align himself with wickedness in Zoar
– Too proud to humble himself and return to Abraham; not accustomed to fellowship with the righteous community
Duncan: Lot is clearly controlled here by fear and not by faith. He had initially refused God’s call and command to leave Sodom and flee to the mountains. He had begged the Lord. If you look back in verses 17 through 22 of Genesis 19, he had begged the Lord to stay in this little town. But once again we are told that he was afraid to stay in Zoar. And so now he goes to the mountains as the Lord had originally commanded him. So fear was the driving motivation on both occasions. He fears to go to the mountains first. He wants to stay in Zoar. Now he fears to stay in Zoar and he wants to go to the mountains. Even though God has assured him, and you’ll see that assurance in verse 21 that he will be safe in the city, he still fears.
Parunak: Perhaps he saw the corruption in Zoar and feared that a judgment like that of Sodom would fall on it as well. Thus the Lord often lets us have our way, that we might realize that his instruction was better after all. . . Lot was once a wealthy nomad with flocks so numerous he could not coexist with Abraham. Now he is reduced to living as a fugitive. If Zoar were too corrupt for him, he could have returned to Abraham, but his pride is too great.
Look at how the “seeker sensitivity” approach of many of our modern day evangelical mega-churches actually fosters an environment of worldliness –
Dr. Robert Gundry:
The “seeker sensitivity” of evangelicals – their practice of suiting the gospel to the felt needs of people . . . contributes to their numerical success but can easily sow the seeds of worldliness (broadly conceived). How so? Well in a society such as ours where people do not feel particularly guilty before God (though in fact they are), seeker-sensitivity – if consistently carried through – will soft-pedal the preaching of salvation from sin, for such preaching would not meet a felt need of people. As a result, the gospel message of saving, sanctifying grace reduces to a gospel massage of physical, psychological, and social well-being that allows worldliness to flourish.
Lot is an emotional and spiritual wreck – things are only going to get worse
II. (:31-32) A LIFE OF WORLDLINESS ENDS IN FAMILY DYSFUNCTION AND DEGRADATION
A. (:31) Perverted Perception
“Then the first-born said to the younger, ‘Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth.’”
Lot about 65 years old
These daughters were remarkably both virgins
Steven Cole: First they create a false crisis, a worst case scenario: “There aren’t any men on earth we can marry!” It shouldn’t have been all that difficult to match the caliber of the men in Sodom! But they’re pushing the panic button. Then they add a noble reason to make it sound spiritual: “We need to preserve our family line.” But they’re just rationalizing gross sin. . .
It never occurred to them that they could pray and wait on God to provide them the husbands they desired. . .
Compared to what they were used to seeing in Sodom, drunkenness and incest were no big deal, especially if it served a noble purpose! By degrees, a culture that is living after “the manner of the earth” degenerates into increasingly abhorrent corruption, but it doesn’t regard it as bad!
Once you adopt the values of the world, your worldview and your perception are corrupted.
That is why Apostle John warns:
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2: 15-17)
– Materialistic Orientation – need to seek first God’s Kingdom
– Pleasure-seeking Obsession – need to live to please our Lord Jesus Christ
– Entertainment Driven – our food is to do the work of the Father who sent us
– Conformity to the Ungodly Culture – be transformed by the renewing of our mind
– Addicted to the Lusts of the Flesh – controlled by the Spirit of God
B. (:32a) Perverted Plan
“Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him,”
Nothing sinful about drinking a little wine … but so easy to cross over the line to sinful inebriation
No lack of alcoholic beverages in this isolated cave existence; probably Lot was used to drowning his sorrows in strong drink; it wasn’t difficult to get him drunk
Prov. 23:29-35 If you pursue strong drink … how will you end up???
Rom. 13:13 “Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy:
Gal. 5:19-21 deeds of the flesh vs. fruit of the Spirit
Ephes. 5:18 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit”
1 Pet. 4:3 “For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.”
C. (:32b) Perverted Purpose
“that we may preserve our family through our father.”
Is this a family worth preserving??
Hearkens back to our title: Legacy of a Loser!
Would have been a lot easier for the nation of Israel if Lot’s daughters had never conceived;
Where is the interest in seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness??
No biblical sense of purpose governed their actions
III. (:33-36) A LIFE OF WORLDLINESS ENDS IN DRUNKEN IMMORALITY AND MANIPULATION
A. (:33) Older Sister Takes the Lead
“So they made their father drink wine that night, and the first-born went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.”
David Thompson: abominable sin of incest with his own daughters; this sin was even immoral by standards of Sodom culture – they even forbade this; law of God forbids this [Lev. 20:11-13; Ezek. 22:10, 11]; drinking brought down his defenses; his moral fiber is gone; doesn’t just happen overnight; you never deal with sin; you linger in a Sodom-environment; look at what alcohol did to Noah; one sin leads to another
B. (:34-35) Younger Sister Follows Suit
1. (:34) Repeating the Sinful Rationale
“And it came about on the morrow, that the first-born said to the younger, ‘Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father.’”
2. (:35) Repeating the Sinful Act
“So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.”
C. (:36) Both Sisters Impregnated by Their Father
“Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father.”
Most sins you can’t undo … you can seek forgiveness and cleansing from the Lord;
But you must live with the consequences
1 Cor. 10:12-13 an example to us; written for our instruction; “let him who thinks he stand take heed that he does not fall”
IV. (:36-38) A LIFE OF WORLDLINESS ENDS IN SOWING SEEDS OF FUTURE UNGODLINESS AND ENEMY OPPOSITION
A. (:37) Moabites
“And the first-born bore a son, and called his name Moab;
he is the father of the Moabites to this day.”
Not ashamed of what she had done; look at name she gave to her son:
Moab = “from the father”
Mercy of God
Yet God is still merciful and gracious – look at Ruth who ended up being important link in the Messianic line — she married Boaz, King David’s great grandfather.
Likewise, Naamah was an Ammonite and she was one of King Solomon’s wives, the one who gave birth to Rehoboam who was also in the royal lineage of Jesus Christ.
“to this day” – perpetual, ongoing problem; no relief
lived just east of the Dead Sea
Moab led Israel into Baal worship on its way into Canaan (Num. 25:1–3).
Their chief god was Chemosh
B. (:38) Ammonites
“And as for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi;
he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day.”
Ben-ammi = “son of my people”
occupied the countryside north of Moab
worshiped the gods Milcom and Molech
Molech was a fire-god with the face of a calf; his images had arms outstretched to receive the babies who were sacrificed to him.
Both the Ammonites and the Moabites hired Balaam to curse Israel as it journeyed toward the Promised Land and were thus forbidden to enter the Lord’s assembly (Deut. 23:3–4).
Prophetic word of judgment against these 2 nations: Zephaniah 2:9
“Therefore, as I live,’ declares the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Surely Moab will be like Sodom, and the sons of Ammon like Gomorrah—a place possessed by nettles and salt pits, and a perpetual desolation. The remnant of My people will plunder them, and the remainder of My nation will inherit them”
We hear no more about the life of Lot as we continue through Genesis – this is surely
The Legacy of a Loser!
Apostle Paul understood the difference between the Legacy of a Loser and Finishing Strong:
Phil. 3:13-14 “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prized of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”
1 Tim. 1:19 “keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith”
2 Tim. 4:7-10 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course. I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica;”