[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lot and his daughters, by Orazio Gentileschi

by Matthew

In this picture we see the daughters of Lot with their father looking hopelessly at the lost home they have left.

The end of Lot is a sad one. Living in a cave, seduced by his own daughters and father of nations that were enemies of God.

Lot is the type of the carnal Christian, the believer who has his heart set on the things of this world and who thus fails to inherit the riches of God's kingdom.

Lot chose to dwell in the well-watered plains of Sodom and Gomorrah. He looked upon the material gain he could make in that region. he thought nothing of the fact that the people their were wicked.

In Genesis 13, we see Lot pitching his tent toward Sodom. He did not intend to live in the wretched city. He just wanted to be close enough to it to trade with the people there. Yet when we see him next in chapter 19, he is living in a house in that very city. When we get involved with the world we put ourselves in danger of getting sucked deeper into its ways. The initial compromise draws us into more involvement with the kingdom of Satan.

When he was finally put to the test, events showed that Lot had been corrupted by his time in Sodom. He had adopted a spirit of compromise. For when faced with an angry mob, he offers them his daughters to molest.

The mob of Sodomites then show the contempt with which they view him:

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.
Genesis 19:9

Lot probably believed that in coming to dwell in Sodom he would be a positive influence for good in the place. He perhaps thought that he might show them something of godly ways. Yet in the end it turned out that he had absolutely no influence at all upon the folk of Sodom. They had only contempt for the man. A lot of Christians seek to make friends with unbelievers and spend much time with them, in the hope of being 'salt and light' and being a witness. This is good, but they must beware adopting the ways of the people they seek to befriend. The world has nothing but contempt for the hypocritical Christian and will never be won by such a person. There attitude is this:

"You might think that we are sinners, but you don't mind spending time with us. You might think you are holy, but you laugh at the same jokes as us. You might think we are going to hell, but you dont mind making money off us."

And thus in the end we find Lot living in that cave, a pathetic figure. When we do not walk as the Lord would have us walk, we are in danger of the Lord's chastening. If we fall from the right path, our end state can be worse than our first.

The believer can rest assured of being in heaven, but there is judgment for the worldy Christian. The carnal Christian who has little work to show will be saved only as one saved by fire. She will not be told 'Well done, good and faithful servant.' She will not enter into the joy of the Lord.

The final fruit of Lot is his descendents. Through the incestous act of his daughters, Lot became father of two nations that were enemies of God's people, the Moabites and Ammonites. There is a lesson here. The worldliness of Christians can have lasting fruit, just as the righteous deeds of the Phillians had lasting fruit. The testimony of the carnal Christian will not be a sweet savour, but a stumbling block to the perishing. What a terrible thought, that through our hypocrisy, unbelievers might reject the Gospel and go to hell! Further, the carnal Christian is in danger of leaving a wretched testimony to her children. How many young people reject the faith of their parents because of the inconsistency of their lifestyle? Will your children grow up to be Moabites and Ammonites?

Yet let us not forget the work of grace in Lot's progeny. For Ruth the Moabitess was a daughter of Lot and an ancestor of our Lord. Grace so often works even in failure.


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