“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

 

 

Related posts:

  1. Do not pitch your tent toward Sodom – conclusion
  2. Do not pitch your tent toward Sodom – part 2
  3. Do not pitch your tent toward Sodom
  4. Worldliness Leads to Backsliding

About the Author

Lawrence B. Abitogun, called by the special grace of the Almighty God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by the empowerment of the Holy Ghost, witnessing and preaching the gospel to the world, was born to a Christian parents at Uso, Ondo state, Nigeria. He received his elementary and secondary education in Nigeria from 1959-1971. He obtained a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts and a Master of Science in Industrial Arts at North Texas State University, Denton TX USA in 1979 and 1982 respectively.

We'd love to get a feedback from you... Please Comment!




© Copyright 2005 - 2017 ChristianEdification.org by Lawrence Abitogun