Theme: Faith (Part 11)
(Key verses: Gen 19:1-16)
In our discussion on the foundational theme of faith, we come to Chapter 19 of Genesis where the focus is placed on Lot, the nephew of Abraham, and the ultimate judgment of God on the city where he and his family live, namely Sodom. Lot moved with Abraham from Ur in the Chaldees to Canaan. In this whole process he also, like Abraham, became rich in goods, even after their stay in Egypt, which caused them to split because of the limited pasturage and water holes:
Gen 13:8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
Gen 13:9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
God brings separation for various reasons to fulfil His purposes in our lives. This separation is also symbolized by a door in the scriptures – the door of faith through which He also cause spiritual blindness on some and enlightenment on others (Psa 24:7; Mat 6:6; Mat 25:9-13; Mat 28:2; Mar 1:32-33; Mar 2:1-4; Joh 10:1; 1Co 16:9; Col 4:3; Jas 5:9):
Act 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
Like the cloud that made a division between the Egyptians and the Israelites in the wilderness, in the same sense the faith of Christ is the door or way to God that brings the division through His righteous sword (Exo 14:20; Joh 14:6; Gal 2:16; Php 3:9; Eph 6:17; Rev 3:20-22):
Joh 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Through this door of faith a few are given to enter and find pasture and are enlightened by truth, while many are kept outside to be deceived by darkness and its fake light (Gen 4:7; Mat 6:23). Those in the darkness are deceived by their own “lesser light”, even as Satan and his messengers appear as light to those in the dark (Gen 1:14-19; 2Co 11:14-15). It is only the light of the truth of Christ that can set us free from our own deceptive carnal hearts when we are first given to apply the blood on our own doorposts which brings the initial separation with the world, which is spiritually called Egypt:
Exo 12:23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.
Smiting and destroying the outside Egyptians is just the start of a process of separation which few will be able to complete in this life (Mat 22:14). Abraham gave Lot the option to choose where he wanted to live. Lot then “journeyed east” which is actually the wrong direction as it is the opposite direction in which God wants us to move if we obey Him. When we follow God’s way, we enter in at God’s “door” in the east, and then we move from east to west as the tabernacle and temples in the Old Testament also symbolized. But Lot’s movement was very important for those who know these things were written for our learning (Rom 15:4):
Gen 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.
Gen 13:11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
Gen 13:12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
Lot and Abraham “separated themselves the one from the other” as Lot had to face his own trials at that point in time as every man will have to “prove his own work” for his own spiritual development and personal reward in Christ (Eze 18:20). It is not profitable to plough with another man’s heifer (Jdg 14:18):
Gal 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Gal 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
While Lot was under Abraham’s covering, he did not face the very important fiery trials of faith through which all must go to be spiritually matured:
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
This choice of Lot opened the door to his trials and tribulations – the hedge which Abraham supplied around Lot was now removed. Although Lot initially pitched his tent towards Sodom, he and his family eventually lived in the city, and there his “righteous soul” was very unhappy with what he had to endure day in and day out:
2Pe 2:7 …just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
2Pe 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
Lot is used in this passage as a type of the righteous elect who is “in the world” but are not “of the world” (Joh 1:10; Joh 9:5; Joh 15:19; Joh 16:33; Joh 17:14-16). It was in Sodom where Lot and his family came face to face with extreme wickedness and also the necessary temptations which are the very trials that reveal the natural heart’s desires and lusts (1Jn 2:16). But more importantly these trials also supply the needed exercise to be become overcomers in this life to mature in faith (Jas 1:2: Jas 1:12-13; Rom 8:35-39; Heb 5:14):
Gen 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
God kept Lot faithful while he lived righteously among all the evil and promiscuous seductions in Sodom. The two angels met Lot at the gate of Sodom which confirms Lot’s relationship to that city:
Gen 19:1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate [Hebrew: “sha‛ar” = gate/door] of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.
Sitting “in the gate” of the city in those days included positions of rulership and being a judge of that city (Gen 19:9; Deu 21:18-21; Rut 4:1-11; 1Sa 4:18; Pro 31:23). The gate of the city relates to the door of a house as things enter and exit at that point. This links spiritually to the heart in us through which all “issues of life” pass. The door to our heart, which is the spiritual word for our mind (which is also our heaven), is to be guarded by doing the commandments of the Lord with all diligence (Rom 12:2).
Pro 4:23 Keep [Hebrew: nâtsar = guard] thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
In the scriptures a gate of a city or the door of a house is also associated with deliverance, but also linked with bondage or slavery (Gen 4:7; Exo 12:23; 2Ki 7:1; Job 38:17; Mat 12:35):
Psa 118:19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:
Psa 118:20 This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.
Deu 15:16 And if he [the slave] says to you, I will not go away from you, because he loves you and your house, because it has been good for him with you;
Deu 15:17 then you shall take an awl and put it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. And also to your slave-girl you shall do so.
Lot was diligent to keep the law of God as he understood it, and he was different in that sense from the inhabitants of Sodom, and it was obvious for all to see. He was a servant to others, hospitable and always looked at the needs of others, even strangers, more than himself. This is also demonstrated when he met these two visitors:
Gen 19:2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
Gen 19:3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
But the Sodomites had other ideas which were contrary to Lot’s ideas, as the mind of the flesh is contrary to the mind of the spirit of God (Gal 5:17):
Gen 19:4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
Gen 19:5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
The sin of homosexuality is what Sodom became notorious for, but it encompasses a broader spectrum of sins in which all mankind in Adam is naturally involved in. Every sin found on this earth is in all of us, as we are from Adam who was made marred and devoid of truth and spirit life from the hand of the Potter:
Jer 18:4a And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter:
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.
Those who can receive this will accept that we are guilty of all sin, as we live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, even the very commandments that come from God’s mouth which we cannot obey naturally:
Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Naturally homosexuality refers to man on man intimacy on a sexual level which spiritually points broadly to our own intimacy with mankind, even the man of sin in us (Ecc 3:18; 2Th 2:3-4). Sodom refers to our natural inclinations when we love ourselves and follow the ways of mankind in various ways (Rev 13:15-18). This is when we are impressed by natural beauty, wisdom and achievements of mankind in which God has ensnared all of us in our appointed time (Lev 18:22; Rom 1:27 1Co 1:19-29; 1Co 3:4; 1Co 3:19; Jas 3:15-16):
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
The same spirit of homosexuality is seen in us when we want to rule and exercise authority over other fellowmen and sow our ideas and words (our evil spiritual seeds) in others to impress them or to show superiority over them:
Mar 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
This is the spirit of the world in us when we are controlled by pride and lusts, which is not after the spirit of our heavenly Father:
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
We are all naturally born in Sodom and we live there until God will drag us out of this wicked city of flesh (Joh 6:44). Adultery and lies are all linked to Sodom in us when we also associate with others in their wickedness and false doctrines under the guise of being prophets of the new Jerusalem:
Jer 23:14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
The young and old in Sodom surrounded the house of Lot to get to “know” the visitors on a sexually intimate level. We all meet the Sodomites in us from the first day we are born when we scream and shout for attention. In this immature spiritual state we want everyone to hear our problems and demand that our needs be met first:
Eze 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
Eze 16:50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
Pride, material gain, haughtiness and idleness are some of the sins in our sodomite hearts as we are greedy to get the most from others at the lowest price and with the least effort. These evil attitudes can be clearly seen and witnessed by others around us:
Isa 3:9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
Our own speech and daily living betray the sodomites in us as we also depend on our human abilities and fleshly alliances with others with the same mindset in our own valley of Siddim (“birds of a feather flock together”). But this valley of Siddim is always full of slimepits which reveal the snares and trappings of our natural dependence on earthly strength and material gain (Gen 14:10; Jas 5:1-2):
Gen 14:8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim.
Lot’s solution to this evil request from the men of Sodom to “know” the visitors is for some very troublesome – he wanted to give his own virgin daughters to these men:
Gen 19:6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
Gen 19:7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
Gen 19:8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
But this also indicates that Lot knew that these Sodomites will not be interested in his daughters. Sodom is not interested in purity and the narrow way of God. The twisted false doctrines and the broad way are more acceptable than the truth in natural minds who like to “make [them]selves of the number” (2Co 10:12). Lot “shut the door after him” is showing us how “the door of faith” makes a division between our natural relationships and our spiritual relationships. This division is also revealed by the enemies in our own household:
Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Mat 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Mat 10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Sodom in us is a very aggressive and competitive brute beast which is very impatient when things are not going according to its liking and understanding (Pro 10:9; Pro 19:3):
Gen 19:9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.
We fornicate spiritually when we aggressively pursue intimacy with false and twisted doctrines of the harlot Babylon (“spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt”), which is foreign or strange to the doctrine of Christ (Rev 11:8). These cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and all other fleshly cities in us will all be consumed by the fiery words of God’s truth (Jer 5:14; Jer 23:29; 1Co 3:13-15; Heb 12:29):
Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange [Greek: heteros = altered or twisted desire/contrary to nature] flesh are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
God’s true messengers will bring us into the house of God and will show us not to have contact with those who have been blinded to the truth. We will progressively learn how God shuts the door of faith to those who will “wear[y] themselves to find the door…of faith” unsuccessfully in this life. The door of faith is shut to them who come with their stubborn idols in their hearts to God’s Word (Eze 14:1-9).
Gen 19:10 But the men [the two visitors] put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
Gen 19:11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
God gives spiritual blindness to all those who claim they can see long before they can even notice it, even as they are 100% convinced that know where the door is (Joh 9:39-41; 2Th 2:11). This judgment will be brought by God’s own messengers, even now through His very few elect who will also be the lake of fire bringing His justice and truth to all in the generation of the first Adam (Isa 33:5-24; Rev 20:4-6; Rev 20:14-15):
Gen 19:12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:
Gen 19:13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
The ways of God are indeed foolishness to those who are easily influenced by deceitful Sodom as Lot’s own sons-in-law mocked him when he told them the truthful words of the messengers of God (1Co 2:14):
Gen 19:14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
God initiates salvation, and He also works it – from start to finish. Our flesh does not want to let go of the attachments of Sodom, but God is indeed a true Saviour who will bring us all out of this evil city of flesh (1Ti 2:4-6; 1Ti 4:9-11):
Gen 19:15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
Gen 19:16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.