Many lessons come to us through Lot’s choices and the results that follow those choices. Chief among those decisions is that even a good man can make bad decisions – he can conduct himself in mannerisms that will drive a wedge between him and his family. It is important that we know that the decisions we make early in life will determine our destiny – decisions either have rewards or consequences.
One of the saddest verses in the life of Lot must be in Gen 19:14. Lot was pleading with his family to move from the place that they were. “Hurry!” he says. “God is going to destroy this place!” But his sons-in-law, his family, thought he was joking. They mocked him.
The fact is, Lot made so many compromises that he had forfeited his ability to be taken seriously when he recommended a spiritual course for his family. He had lost credibility as a spiritual leader in his family and community. Unfortunately, he paid a terrible price for an indulgence in worldly things.
However sad this situation may sound, Lot’s condition did not emerge suddenly. Much of it dated back to his early life and early attitudes. Lot had much concern for Lot. He selfishly chose the best and the first for himself and put himself above other men, including his uncle Abraham. This reminds us of the rich fool in Luke Chapter 12“I will pull down my barns, and build greater barns; there I will bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry”. Just like Lot, the rich fool had no concern for anyone but himself. Self-love is a tragedy. Self-love has been referred to as the mote in every man’s eye. Ben Franklin said “He that falls in love with himself will have no rival.”
How did Lot’s downward trek begin? First, he pitched his tent toward Sodom. That was his first step in that direction. It gets easier after that first step. I can image that Lot saw the city lights, heard the laughter, and could feel the ground vibrating with all the city dancing. So, he moved closer. And a little closer. And just a little closer.
Before he knew it there he was sitting at the city gates with his tent rolled up tightly under his arm laughing, dancing, and having a good time. His morality has been compromised, his influence is gone, and his reputation is tarnished. And so the cycle of sin has gone full circle in the life of Lot: He made a decision that would determine his destiny, pitched his tent toward sin, moved closer to it, and he finally compromised with it.
We should all wonder how strong our influence is with our family and friends. Instead of compromising with the worldly things we should be setting our standards towards the heavenly things. What does it really say about us when our children watch us engage in sin with no remorse in our lives? Or, when they watch us act ungodly in God’s Church? When we preach hypocritically at them for doing the same thing that they see us do? The hinges of our prayer closets are rusty. The fabric on the alter kneelers is as fresh as the day the church bought it. How close are we to the Sodom of our day?