The High Cost Of Compromise
A daily devotion for June 18th
12 The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished."
16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"
18 But Lot said to them, "No, my lords, please! 19 Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die. 20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared."
21 He said to him, "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it." (That is why the town was called Zoar. )
23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father."
33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, "Last night I lay with my father. Let's get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father." 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab ; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi ; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.
So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. (Genesis 19:36)
Before this incident, these two girls were physically virgins, but they were already debauched in their minds. They had long since grown accustomed to obscenity and unrestrained luridness, so, up in the cave on the mountainside, they seized the thinnest tissue of excuses, and the story ends in a foul orgy of drunkenness and incest. Lot had nothing but heartbreak and grief to show for his years in Sodom. The Lord said,
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it (Matthew 16:25a). So Lot, trying to get the best out of both worlds, lost all and has become for all time the picture of the Christian who is saved,
but only as one escaping through the flames (1 Corinthians 3:15b). He has nothing but wasted years to look back on and eternity ahead. When you attempt to gain the best of both worlds, you destroy others beside yourself. What was the greatest pang in Lot's heart when he awoke there in the cave in the mountains and learned all that had happened? Do you think it was grief over his lost wealth, his vanished honor, his troubled mind? Don't you think that the greatest, deepest wound of all in that man's heart was the recognition of what he had done to his loved ones in Sodom his little girls, his wife?
Your children are watching you who are parents, and they see your outward respectability, your desire to be right and to do good. But in some of you, they also see that the deepest thing in your life is to get gain or to enjoy pleasure. They see that you will quickly sacrifice a prayer meeting for a night out, that you are always willing to take a bigger salary, regardless of what it may do to the family in terms of new conditions or new circles of friends. They see that the things for which you sacrifice and are willing to skimp and save are not missions or the church or the work of God, but a new car, a new television set, nicer furniture, a longer vacation, or a pretentious home. They are watching, and they see all this.
Bit by bit these children lose interest in the Bible and church. They resolve to get ahead in the world and win the respect of Sodom no matter what moral restraint they have to throw overboard to do it. This is why we see the tragedy of Christian homes where children are turning from God. And the deep sorrow these parents will carry to their grave, the deepest sorrow of their heart, will be that, though they still have their own faith, because of their compromise, they have lost their children. This tragic story of Lot is taking place here and now, in the modern Sodom and Gomorrah in which we live.
Father, thank You for this stern but loving warning from the life of Lot. Help me to make those choices that will result in those I love seeing and wanting all that You are and all that You provide for those who follow You.
Life Application: We need always to remember we do not live in isolation. Do we weigh our choices, mindful that the direction we take has serious fall-out consequences on others?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.