Category Archives: teaching

Humanity is not complete without woman. Her role has been supportive to man and the growth of the society since creation. Even though her position was reduced from that of man in the day she disobeyed and listened to the ministration of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, whereby she caused the fall of man. However, that position has improved gradually through the cause of time, and now, she has proved herself to be up to the task of her role to be partner in progress with man.

Another dilemma facing women from ages is the stigma of negativism, associating her role as being an agent of enticement, seduction, pressure and urge, capable of luring man into ensnarement. From time in memorial, man has been falling victim to a woman’s plot – Sisera and Jael (Jug. 5:24-27); Samson and Delilah (Jug. 16:19); Jezebel (2Ki. 9:30), Athaliah etc.

However, this is not true of all women. Does this erase the good works of women in our society? No, despite the relegation of women’s role in the Bible, there are many women who serve as good examples for today’s women to emulate; courageous women who boosted the courage of their husband like the virtuous women praised in the book of Proverbs 31. We have women of faith who received the fulfillment of those things which they earnestly seek from God – Sarah, Hannah, Esther, Elizabeth etc. Also are women who were obedient and true worshipers of the living God – Deborah and Dorcas.

Esther: an example of a godly woman

For any woman who is a mother to excel to the point of being respected, being equal with man, being adored; to be called a virtuous mother; a mother to be honored, a mother to be remembered, who cut above the rest, she must possess the following characteristics found in Esther.
• Humble – not proud, she associated with her people, disregarding her position as a queen. She respected the person of her husband.
• Obedient – she was obedient to her instructor and to Mordecai
• Unselfish – she would not take credit for the secret Mordecai discovered.
• Caring – a woman of great concern for the condition of her people; seeking the good and peace of others.
• Law abiding – would not abuse her position as queen to go before the king without invitation
• Courageous – laid her life down like Jesus to safe her people from destruction
• Wise and polite – requested the presence of Haman to a banquet; she did not throw the bombshell at the first banquet, but at the second banquet; creating unsuspecting plan to indict Haman.
• Spiritually sound – she tackled her problem through fasting and prayer. At any critical juncture in life, when severe crisis struck, you must apply fasting to your prayer, a period of earnest seeking God for intervention.
• Sacrificial – she denied her right in order to save others
However, Esther, like any other person had her own shortcoming; she overdoes her request. After the Israelites had destroyed their enemies, she requested again that Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows (Esth. 9:13-14).

To whom will I liken a mother who deserves to be honored and celebrated?

The book of Proverbs chapter 31 verses 10-31 summarized it all; especially, verses 27-30, which reads
“She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised”.

By Lawrence Abitogun


“So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”
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. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. 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. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD. (Gen.13:8-13)
Background
With love and accommodating nature of Abram (Abraham), he acted with kindness in order to avoid conflict between his nephew’s and his herdsmen: Because, through God’s blessing upon Abraham, Lot had shared in his uncle’s prosperity. Because both of them have become prosperous, their togetherness seems not to be working right for them, this situation created dispute among their herdsmen.
Abram gave Lot his nephew the choice to choose first, the scripture states,

“So Abram said to Lot …Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left”.

Abram showed lack of selfishness, believing that God is able to bless wherever is left for him.
Lot covetously chose before his uncle, Abraham, the green pastured land, and left the dry land for his uncle; not knowing what is beyond the watered land he had chosen. According to an adage, ‘what comes after six is more than seven’; unknowingly, Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, a land that was destined for destruction. (Gen. 13:5-13)
Many people today think that everything that shines is gold, not knowing that many perishable materials are being overlaid with gold. Our judgment on physical things may be wrong if not viewed from spiritual perspective. We should not be too impressed by merely looking at a thing or envy those who have made it or fret about the rich; not all those who are rich acquired their wealth righteously. Therefore, do not envy them or go their way, many of their ways are destined for destruction.

What to know about Sodom

Sodom was the twin sister city of Gomorrah; both cities were mentioned in the book of Genesis. These two cities along with other three – Admah, Zeboim and Bela were supposed to have been situated on the Jordan plain in the southern region of the land of Canaan. It was a land that was well watered, the scripture states, “that it was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD”.
Divine judgment by God came upon the five cities. Sodom and her neighbors except one, Bela (Zoar) were completely consumed by fire and brimstone because of their wickedness. Sodom and Gomorrah has since then become synonymous with impenitent sin. They have been used as metaphors for vice and homosexuality.
Sins of Sodom
The sin of Sodom is viewed in two perspectives, Physical sin of homosexuality, and non physical sin related to cultural importance of hospitality. The scripture states
And the LORD said,

“Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” (Gen 18:20-21)
In this passage, two offenses are recorded against Sodom:
1. there is an outcry against Sodom
2. the sin of Sodom is very grave
At this juncture of the Lord’s meeting with Abraham, His intention was to go and verify whether this outcry against Sodom is true or not. This allegation against Sodom turned out to be true, the allegations were demonstrated against the angels when they arrived at Sodom just as they were alleged; the Bible recorded this in Genesis chapter 19.When the two angels got to Sodom, Lot welcomed them into his house, a generous act of hospitality toward men he recognized as special guests on his part. What happened next? The scripture states,

“Now before they (the two angels in the house of Lot) lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.” (Gen 19:4-5)
Lot pleaded to protect the angels from being abused by the unruly mob of the men of Sodom; even to the extent of offering his two virgin daughters instead of the angels. But the men of Sodom were adamant and bent on knowing the angels carnally; this is a grave offense; this is homosexuality; an act that was forbidding by God. The men of Sodom were homosexual; this is evident when they disregard the available women; even after they were struck with blindness (Gen. 19:6-11).
Furthermore, other books of the Bible pointed to the sin of Sodom. 2Peter 2:7-10 described the men of Sodom as unprincipled; therefore, they are unruly and corrupt people who despised authority. Ezekiel defines the sin of Sodom as, pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness. Amos 4:1-11described Sodom as oppressing the poor and crushing the needy. Jeremiah compared the sin of Jerusalem to that of Sodom as adultery, lying and strengthening the hands of evil doers. What more evidence do we need to proof the sin of Sodom had caused an outcry unto the Lord.
Collation of the sins of Sodom
1. lack of hospitality
2. lack of compassion
3. treating visitors in sadistic manner
4. violation of hospitality as well as violence
5. the sodomites tried to rape angels
6. engagement in homosexuality
7. they lived ungodly (2Peter 2:6)
8. gross immorality and going after strange flesh (jude7)
9. pride,
Summing up these sins, the sin of Sodom is grave, ungodly, lawless and sensual conduct of unprincipled men. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of many things; however, the principal among them is the sin of homosexuality.
Ignorance is no excuse
My concern for writing this article is not actually for the reason that Lot did not respect Abraham, his uncle; but that one should not make choice based just on mere outlook; but through divine directive. “Not all that glitters are gold”. We should not allow greediness or first appearance to dictate the final decision on our choice.
Was Lot ignorant of Sodom to have pitched his tent toward her; a corrupt and wicked city? If at all he was ignorant of it, after he had gotten there and found out of her wickedness; in reality of all the wickedness perpetrated by the men of Sodom, and for Lot, having known of the waywardness and perversion of the men of Sodom; why did he remained in the city? Why did he prefer to stay among them if not that something astonished him about the life style of the city? Why should a child of God prefer to stay among people or in an environment that will influence him/her negatively?
The Lord being merciful, He could have destroyed the city of Sodom and Gomorrah without telling Abraham and Lot. But because He is a merciful God, His angels grabbed Lot and his family and brought them out forcefully to safety (Gen. 19:16). If not for God’s mercy, Lot and his family would have perished with the people of Sodom. In spite of the mercy, Lot’s wife was lost because she could not take her eyes off the world around Sodom; she looked back, defying the angel’s command. The scripture states,
“But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
The scripture states again,
“Evil company corrupts good habits” (1Cor. 15:33).
It is Important for all Christians not to take any decision without applying discerning spirit for guidance. Knowledge alone does not make a person wiser; the fear of God must accompany it – do not leave God out of your decision.
The scripture states,
The fear of the Lord leads to life and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil (Pro. 19:23).
The choice Lot made without minding what comes after is evident in the result of the evil that visited him after he had settled in Sodom. The success or end result of anything or action can only be accurately known if we commit our way to the spirit of God to guide us.
There are situations in life that we need to make a choice; this moment calls for caution; we must be careful about the choice we make. Our choice should not be based on high profile, face value or popularity of the choice. However, we need to apply a discerning spirit and commit our way unto the Lord to help us choose.
The choice of watered land sent Lot to pitch his tent toward Sodom. He was living big in the city because he was one of the elders. The end of living a high life turns to living a low life – from living in the city to living in the cave; and from living in the cave to living in the mountain. A decision that is not divinely guided can send someone into desolation and isolation.
It is dangerous to pitch toward Sodom
What do I mean? Why is it dangerous to pitch one’s tent toward Sodom and then settle down there? We know the background of Sodom and what it stands for; and we know what happens to Lot for choosing to live in a city that was ravaged by wickedness: that is the result – destruction. The following are among the many ways we pitch our tent toward Sodom:
• Do things that we know to be wrong;
• Rashly take a decision without thought
• Deliberately decide to follow a path that we know can lead to destruction
• choosing a carrier of profession we are not good at because of money and popularity
• Ignoring a good advise that works contrary to ones destructive concluded choice
• We chose a wrong person as spouse because of high profile or appearance
• We go into wrong business because it is gold mine for some people
• We like city life without minding the evil and crime that occurs frequently or time consuming to get our way around there.
• Deliberately rush into something to deprive others from having access
• Willfully remain in a situation because of the unrighteous enjoyment derived from it
• Sometime allow flesh to preside over their spirit – a minister of God working outside his/her calling – “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;” (Jude:6)
• For selfish reason, we do not consider others
• We live ungodly to fit the norms of the day with the aim of being recognized
• We fill we have to sell ourselves to be accepted by the society
• We join crowd to get power to oppress or to avoid being oppressed
• We lived among wicked people because we are ashamed to be identified with Christ
• Because of unrighteous gains we pervert justice
• Because of idleness, we engaged in all sorts of immorality to fill the wasted time
• Because of intolerance, many lack hospitality and thus become violent
Should I continue to give more examples? “A word is enough for a wise”. As children of God, this is just to open our eyes to the many ways Christians pitch their tent toward Sodom. That is, we take decision or make choice without divine directive; the end of that choice can be destructive. Peradventure we took a wrong choice and we realized later that our choice was wrong; we need to do what is necessary to avoid being destroyed.
Sodom represents any choice (undertaking, business, life style, aspiration, pursuit etc) we don’t know much about or what we know later to be a way or place of destruction. If we deliberately follow it or settled there, what is going to be our fate? Will the gracious God that spares the life of Lot and his two daughters spare us? Can we have a second chance? Sodom is the way to destruction; likewise, deliberate sinning is a way to destruction.
The scripture states,
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Rom. 6:1)
The conclusion of this article is your choice.

To be continued

By Lawrence Abitogun

 

 


 The Word as written in the Bible contains

  1. Books of the law
  2. Books of the prophets
  3. The gospels (truth) – teaching of our Lord Jesus
  4. Impartation of the Holy Spirit (Epistles)

All four works together to achieve the same goal: They are intended to impart the thinking, habit, speech, characteristics and behavior of a born again Christian; or a morally justified person. A major problem with believers is that, they failed to apply biblical truth to their lives. Always inclining to hear, sometimes reading the Bible like literature book; however, they failed to be the doer of the word.

The scripture states,

“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (Jas. 1:21-25).

To have a full understanding of the Bible, do not read, believe or obey only one part without the others; no one part can stand by itself; they are intertwined to make the word of God. Because of lack of knowledge and understanding due to false doctrine; believers have been brainwashed by false ministers to adhere partially to the word of God.

The law is the same thing as light (Jesus Christ), which illuminates the path that leads believers, to everlasting life (Ps. 119:105). How? The law tutors us to Christ (Gal. 3:23-25). Jesus said that He has not come to destroy the law, but to establish it.

Jesus’ response to all the three temptations was to quote the word of God in the Old Testament to win the evil one. This demonstration is to show Jesus’ followers of which you are one, the power of the whole scripture. Read the whole Bible without leaving any part out; the Bible is a whole, not pieces.

The blessing that was promised the believers comes when you observe to do according to the commandments of God (Jos. 1:7-8). True success in life cannot occur apart from knowing and doing the will of God. Success or victory depends more on spiritual state and the degree of obedience to God’s word than man’s wisdom. Keeping the word of God is treasure, but not keeping the word is treacherous.

By Lawrence Abitogun






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