Lot said to several men who were at his doorway. “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly” (Genesis 19:7). Should this not be the goal for all of us? To “not act wickedly.” But the innate nature of man is to act wickedly. So much so that these men that stood at Lot’s doorway was so determined to fulfill their lustful appetites that “they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door” (Genesis 19:9).
What was the goal of these men? What were they after that was inside Lot’s home? The men of Lot’s town were after two angels who were disguised as men. The men, who Lot called “my brothers” basically wanted to gang rape these two men. They said, “… bring them out to us that we may have relations with them” (Genesis 19:5).
What the people of Sodom failed to realize was that their judgment was upon them. When the men at Lot’s doorway least expected it, the two angels of the LORD pulled Lot back in his home, shut the door, and struck all the men at the doorway with blindness (Genesis 19:10-11). And then the angels of the LORD instructed Lot to gather his family and escape the city. So, Lot instructed his wife, his daughters and sons, and his son-in-law. The very next morning, the angels of the LORD urged Lot to flee the city immediately. For sudden destruction was about to hit the city. Although Lot and his family hesitated, out of compassion from the LORD, the angels grabbed Lot by the hand to help Lot and his family to escape safely.
There are a few points I want you to get from Lot’s near death experience.
The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave (Genesis 18:20).
I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know (Genesis 18:21).
Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? … Shall not the judge of all the earth deal justly? (Genesis 18:23-25)
If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account (Genesis 18:26).
Now, when God reaches a point when He has to judge an individual, a group, an organization, a nation, or even the world. His judgment is a loving act. Why? Because His judgment cleanses a situation, an individual, territory or region, an organization, a nation, or the world of all its corruption and evil doing. God’s judgment brings about order, wholeness, healing, and peace. His judgment gives us a fresh new start that provides us much needed mercy, grace, and His forgiveness. It also provides a way of escape to a selected few who have earned God’s favor.
God provides a way of escape
By way of the two angels of the LORD, they provided Lot instructions concerning the coming destruction and how to escape. Lot in turn informed his family - his wife, his daughters, his sons, and son-in-law. Yet, only Lot, his wife, and his two daughters made it outside of the city. And only Lot and his two daughters survived the whole ordeal.
God can and will provide a way of escape from any disasters and even God’s judgment upon mankind. But the key to surviving it is three things.
1. You personally must have a strong and existing relationship with God. This is how you are counted among one of His righteous. This is something we don’t want to be puffed up in pride about – thinking we are good with God when we are not. Therefore, it is critical that all of us seriously examine ourselves to make sure we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). So, being in good standing with God is important.
2. It is important that you hear accurately from God. Or someone you trust and close to hears accurately from God. How else are you going to be able to take in instructions from the LORD, if you or no one close to you has the spiritual ears to hear from God? Remember, Lot was able to help save some members of his household because he personally as the head of his house was hearing accurately from the LORD.
3. We also must follow the instructions God provides explicitly. Cutting corners or not adhering to God’s instructions. Or not following one of the details that were provided can cost us our lives. Remember, Lot informed 4 different groups of individuals of the coming destruction of their city.
At Genesis chapter 19, verse 12, after Lot initially mentions it to his sons, we never hear the Bible mentions Lot’s sons ever again. In that same verse, Lot also mentions the coming destruction to his son-in-law. But his son-in-law did not take Lot’s warning seriously. In fact, the Scripture says that Lot’s son-in-law took his warning as if it was a prank of some kind (Genesis 19:14). And after verse 12, we never heard another single thing about Lot’s son-in-law. As we learn in Genesis chapter 19, only 3 souls survived the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah – Lot and his two daughters.
When Lot was giving the instructions to escape and the morning came when he and his family had to put that plan into action. For a second, Lot and his family hesitated. Now, I do not know what was going on in Lot’s head at that moment.
- Maybe he was having doubts for a second
- Maybe he was having second thoughts about the whole thing
- Maybe he was questioning whether he heard correctly or not or was this all in his head
- Maybe he was even about to change his mind
Whatever the cause for their hesitation, the Scriptures said that God had compassion for them. So when Lot and his family hesitated right before the destruction was supposed to fall on that city. The two angels that were with them grabbed their hand and pulled them to safety (Genesis 19:16).
When I read this account this evening, it brought me to tears because it brought me back to the day that I rededicated my life to Christ. I do not clearly remember the day or date. But I can see the event as clear in my mind’s eyes as if I was reliving it through Lot's situation.
I was attending a local church service. I had been attending this church, I don’t know a year or so. At this point, I had not had any interaction with anyone in the church. I was attending on my own accord with my best friend who was coming out of the same lifestyle we both had lived. I was sitting in the upper stage part of the auditorium, middle row, on the far right-hand side. It was during the altar call, the pastor invited whoever want to come up to come. During this whole time, my eyes were opened. I was just watching as a few people went up. Nothing was really going on in my head at that moment. But suddenly I felt something I had never experienced before. At the time, I could not explain it. And without thinking about it, I just closed my eyes. And at that moment, “something” hit me. The best way I can describe it. I was in another place. It was like I was in a zone of some kind. I could not feel anything. I had no idea where my presence was. But I could still hear everything. I mean I was in another place and I had no idea. And this was the first time I had this kind of experience so I have no reference for what was happening to me. And then I heard the pastor say. “I am hearing we are waiting on one more. But you are hesitating. But you are feeling this tugging calling you up here. Your heart is racing right now and your hands are very sweaty at this point. (And yall Lord knows he was talking about me. At any rate, he continues.) Come. Just come. Listen to that voice inside of you and come. The LORD is calling you to a fresh new start. Just come.”
I’m crying as I type this because that was one of the most powerful moments in my life. But that man of God unknowing to him was calling me back home. But I was hesitating. Maybe because I knew if I took that step forward, there was no going back because I am not the kind of a person that half do things. Either I’m all in or all out. I knew by walking up there my life will change. It CANNOT BE the same ever again. So, I was hesitating.
All I can say what happened next is unexplainable to me. The next thing I knew, everything went silent. I could not hear the music, the people singing, the pastor’s voice, nothing. And when I came out of whatever that was, I was standing in front of a woman, who had one hand on my chest. The other hand on my lower back and she was asking me something I didn’t understand at first. She just sounded muffled. And when I was finally able to open my eyes, I was shocked to see this woman standing in front of me. I had no idea to this day, how I got from the upper seats, all the way down to the front part of this church building. So, I stood there in front of this woman trying to figure out how in the world???
At some point, I realize I needed to answer this woman’s question. And when I heard her words, the floodgate of tears just would not stop. And I needed a moment, a moment with Him. And they just allowed me to have that much needed moment. A moment with my Father, who grabbed my hand at the moment when I was hesitating but I needed to move. For me, that moment was a choice between life and death. MY LIFE DEPEND UPON ME GOING DOWN TO THAT ALTAR CALL. And God knew I was not, I did not have the strength to do it on my own. But He knew my heart was in the right place and it was ready. But I needed guidance to get to the place I needed to be. So, like those two angels who grabbed the hand of Lot and His family – God grabbed my hand and guided me safely down to the place where He needed me to be. Out of compassion for me, He personally investigated my heart and found it innocent. And therefore, at that pointed time, out of compassion, He personally chose to guide me to safety.
His compassion can be yours too. But we, that is you, have to purposely choose righteousness over wickedness. So, choose. I did.
Now, keep in mind there is a clear and distinct difference between one that praises and declares they know and have a relationship with God from one who lives it, one who breathes it, one who is purely a servant of God. There is a difference. Case in point.
the benefits of connections
God said concerning Noah:
- Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD (Genesis 6:8)
- Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9)
God said concerning ALL the people living during Noah’s day:
- God saw the wickedness of man was great and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil CONTINUALLY (Genesis 6:5)
- The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth and He was grieved in His heart (Genesis 6:6)
- I am sorry that I have made them (mankind) (Genesis 6:7)
- The earth was corrupted in the sight of God and the earth was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11)
- God looked upon the earth and it was corrupt, for ALL flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth (Genesis 6:12)
- The earth is filled with violence because of them (mankind – peoples’ choices and decisions) (Genesis 6:13)
Despite all this corruption going on in the world. Despite the fact that ALL men, women, and children had become polluted and infested by corruption – evil. God still found favor in the sight of one man – Noah. Therefore, God established His promise, a covenant relationship with one man whom God saw as good among the massive of evil, corrupted people. God said to Noah, “I will establish My covenant with you” (Genesis 6:18). And because of this covenant arrangement God established with Noah, Noah’s life was going to be spared when God allowed judgment to strike the land for the peoples’ evil hearts, for the corruption they have allowed to invade the land.
So, as we know, as a symbol of this covenant relationship, God instructed Noah to build an ark (Genesis 6:13-22). See, we have to be mindful, when God establishes a special relationship with you, you do not get to sit back and take your ease. No! God has His part and we have our part to do. There is some work on our part involved. Outside of living by God’s holy standards and keeping ALL God’s commandments, Noah was required to preach about the coming judgment and to build an ark. The very ark that will spare his life during the coming judgment that was placed upon the people of his day. When we look closely at this situation, this coming judgment, this ark was being made specifically for Noah because God had found Noah to be a favorable man. A man that was upright and holy and that God could trust to do EVERYTHING – TO FOLLOW EVERY WORD, TO FOLLOW EVERY SINGLE LETTER, TO FOLLOW EVERY INSTRUCTION that God gave Noah to do. Not only did Noah built the ark exactly the way God instructed him to do so, but he gathered every animal and all the necessary edible foods that God told Noah to collect, AND WHEN God told Noah to collect them. Noah never went ahead of God’s instructions, nor did Noah lag behind God’s plan. He followed them explicitly.
And because of Noah’s obedient heart, Noah’s family reaped benefits directly from Noah’s personal relationship with God. They directly benefited from the blessings God was pouring upon Noah. Their lives were being spared ONLY because of their connection to Noah. Noticed God’s wording when He spoke directly to Noah concerning his relationship with Him. God said to Noah, “I will establish My covenant with you” (Genesis 6:18). Not a covenant with Noah AND HIS FAMILY. But a covenant with only Noah. AND AS A RESULT OF NOAH’S COVENANT WITH GOD, God also said to Noah, “you shall enter the ark.” And God continued, “you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” Noah’s wife, his three sons, and his three son’s wives were only granted access to enter the ark was because of Noah. Their connection with Noah allowed them access, a special privilege they otherwise would not have had if they were not connected to Noah – a man who had favor in the eyes of God.
- Haughty eyes
- Lying tongue
- Shedding of innocent blood
- A person that devises wicked plans
- A person who is quick to run to any forms of evil
- A false witness
- One that spreads strife
Another list you can refer to that notates what is evil in God’s eyes is listed at Galatians chapter 5 verses 19 through 21.
- Impurity (something that is impure or being obscene)
- Sensuality (gratifying the flesh)
- Idolatry (worshipping of gods of any form other than God Almighty)
- Sorcery (magic, witchcraft)
- Enmities (animosity, grudge, feud, hatred, conflict, discord, unfriendliness, ill will)
- Strife (bitterness, disunity, division, infighting, hostility)
- Outburst of anger
- Carousing [orgy, drunkenness (this includes different forms of drug abusers)
To make sure there are no misunderstandings about God’s standard concerning what constitutes evil, let’s do one more – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
- Effeminate (unmanly mannerism, a male having feminine qualities untypical of a man)
- Covetous (craving what another person has)
- Swindlers (to rob by the use of trickery or threats)
I think you all get the point. And this is only the short list of what all God considers to be evil.
The point is, Noah, a man of righteousness certainly did not practice nor participate in any of these. Therefore, God favored him because of his faithfulness, because of his dedication, because of his devotion toward God. Therefore God, upon the completion of the ark, instructed Noah to “enter the ark” (Genesis 7:1). But Noah did not enter the ark alone. God told Noah, “enter the ark, you and all your household….” Noah’s family was granted access because of their connection to Noah. This was also the case concerning Rahab the harlot. Rahab’s and her entire household lives were spared because of their connection to Rahab, who in a moment, changed her entire life trajectory and the lives of her household by her honoring two fearless men of God. Without Rahab's willingness to be obedient to what she felt was right in her eyes concerning God, and choosing to go in a different direction from the people of her nation concerning God, Rahab’s story may have been written differently in God’s word the Bible. Maybe it would not have been written at all. She and her household could have ended up as another tragic story we never hear about. Just another family life that was tragically taken due to the bad decision making of those who were leading their household. But instead, Rahab’s actions spared her life and the lives of her entire household. (See Joshua 6:22-25).
Your connection does matter, especially in this season. For there is an inevitable judgment that is coming upon this nation. A judgment that is in the distant future that will impact every family, every household, and every person on the face of this earth. And like the days of Noah, there are a few men and women that do found favor in God’s eyes. These ones like Noah, God will instruct and these instructions will be the key in sparing the lives of these ones and anyone that may be rightfully connected to these ones. I say rightfully connected because Noah’s family also had a role to play in preparing for the coming judgment during their day. They helped to build the ark, to gather the animals and the food, and I am sure they also played a role in witnessing to all those people as well. Either way, when God told Noah and his family to enter into the ark, notice the clear distinction God made concerning Noah and Noah’s family. God said to Noah, “enter the ark, you and all your household, FOR YOU ALONE I HAVE SEEN TO BE RIGHTEOUS BEFORE ME in this time” (Genesis 7:1). Noah was the only righteous soul during his era in God’s eyes. Therefore, God made provisions for Noah. But Noah’s family only benefited from those provisions because of their connection to Noah. So, they too enter the ark. And on that day, they enter the ark, then the earth experienced something the people had never seen before – rain – so much of it that it eventually led to the greatest flood this earth had ever seen. But Noah, a righteous man who found favor with God was spared and those that were connected to him were spared as well.
The fall of man in Genesis chapter 3, shows us not only the inherited root of all sinful desires innate in man, but also God's response to our blatant disobedience as a parent, a loving father.
At Genesis 3:14-15 God gave Satan, the main protagonist and antagonist in this plot, his final judgment that we will have the privilege of seeing fulfilled in the future. In verse 16, God stated the sentence or punishment for Eve's role, her part of disobeying God. We as women are still feeling the effects of her bad decision to this very day. And verses 17 through 19, God states to Adam his sentence or punishment for the role he played. Our men, brothers too are still feeling the effects of the bad decision Adam made to this very day.
God could have taken a different route and terminated mankind from the historical records right then and there. Terminating the human race forever. Or He could have wiped out Adam and Eve and made two more humans who will get it right and not make the same mistakes Adam and Eve did. You know, like the TV series Travellers, where a group of people were sent back in time to the 21st century to change the bad decisions of a few selected people so that the future world will turn out right.
Any rate, God lovingly decided to extend grace and mercy to Adam and Eve, despite their mistake and point them in the right direction they need to go. God did not shame them, abandon them, reject them, or left them in want. But He held them accountable, allowed them to feel the full efforts from their bad decisions. They no longer could benefit from ALL of God's provisions and blessings. Hence why they were removed from their paradise home, the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22-24). Everything they need and want was provided for them right there in that garden. BUT! The moment they choose to disobey ONE of God's requirements, God could no longer continue to bless them in an overflowing manner. God now could only provide them with the bare necessitates. Life - ability to breathe (Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-25). A home that they now have to sustain themselves (Genesis 3:17-19, 21-24). And a garment to cover themselves that they initially did not need prior to their sin (Genesis 3:20-21).
The point is, our blessings and provisions from God look a whole lot different when we are completely submitted and obedient to God than when we are disobedient to ONE of His commandments. God does not look the other way or ignores our sins as so many teach from their pulpit this is how God's grace and mercy looks like. Like the situation during the fall of the entire human race at Genesis chapter 3, God held each individual who played a role accountable for their part. Satan out of the 3 had committed the unforgivable sin therefore he was given a judgment instead of experiencing God's grace and mercy. Satan was told what he will have to endure for a season and then eventually his death. But Adam and Eve were shown God's grace and mercy. God removed most of His provisions and blessings He was providing them. Now they were required to do many of the things God would have done for them naturally. But because of their disobedience, it was necessary for God as their Father to correct and hold them accountable (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17). God DID NOT shield them from the consequences of their own bad decisions.
We today are no different from Adam and Eve. This generation does not get any special pass or treatment or privileges from God. We all still have to abide by the same set of rules, laws, principles, standards, decrees, and commandments of God.
God's word is for the edification, exhortation, and consolation; for teaching, reproving, correcting, and training so that every Christian is equipped for the work of service, to build up the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:3; 2 Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 4:12).