One Choice, Many Consequences

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), January 6

God gives man the freedom to make choices, but the consequences are out of man’s hands.

imagesHad Eve known that eating the piece of fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would cost her the death of one son, the cursing of another, problems in her marriage, eviction from the garden of Eden, and alienation from God, she would not have eaten the fruit. Consequences are always hidden and come later. One bite. Endless number of horrific consequences. The deceitfulness of sin always takes you farther than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, and charges you more than you want to pay.

When Lot chose to pitch his tent toward the verdant plains of Sodom and Gomorrah, he had no idea that his decision would cost him everything that he had (Gen. 13:10-11). The writer of Hebrews warns about the deceitfulness of sin, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13). A step toward Sodom was a step away from God.

Lot had no righteous impact on the city of Sodom, but, boy, did Sodom impact Lot and his family!

The scene begins with Lot sitting in the gateway of the city. Typically, in ancient history, city leaders sat at the gateway to settle disputes and run the affairs of the city. Lot sees the two angels traveling incognito and insists that they spend the night at his house. It isn’t long after darkness settles over the city that men from the city show up and demand to have sex with them. It is at this point that Sodom’s impact on Lot and his family becomes evident:

  • Lot offers his daughters to the sexual deviants. What kind of father would do that? The angels could defend themselves, his daughters could not.
  • Though a resident and a leader, Lot was always an outsider. He is mocked by the men of the city, “now he wants to play judge” (9:19). Lot’s not the leader of the city that he had thought.
  • His sons-in-law think that he is joking. In fact, this is probably the first time ever that they’ve heard Lot mention “the LORD.”
  • Lot is a compromiser and tries to negotiate terms with the angels. He is a man driven by fear.
  • Lot’s daughters come up with a sick plan to ensure the continuance of Lot’s lineage. Perhaps they had been watching one of today’s popular sitcoms on TV.

One step in the wrong direction led to the all of this. One choice. Many consequences. All bad.

Questions from today’s reading (Genesis 18:1-21:7): 

What does Abraham understand about God from the flood story, and how does he use this understanding in his intercession for Lot and Sodom?

What does Abraham assume about Lot’s influence in Sodom?

What influence did Lot have on the citizens of Sodom?

How had being raised in Sodom affected Lot’s daughters?

What sinful strategy did Abraham use to protect himself while in Gerar, and how does God break him of that strategy?