2014 Sermon Series
- March 30, 2014
Tender compassion ministers to compromise in peril
Genesis 14 takes a “compare and contrast” method to present truth. Lot’s story continues as a subplot in the Abram narrative, showing the life of a righteous person who does not persevere well as Abram did. Lot’s life demonstrates that the way of the transgressor is hard, and it doesn’t get easier.
In contrast, Abram dwells in stability, prosperity, hope, and peace. As we walk with the Lord, darkness around us will naturally be exposed.
Lot: A Study in Backsliding
For those unfamiliar with the term, backsliding is a word that describes a Christian who is not walking with the Lord and does carnal things. There is no neutral ground in the Christian life – you are either growing or going backwards. Lot is a backslider, choosing to live in compromise while still enjoying the spiritual fruit of Abram’s righteousness.
There are times when even God’s people do dark things. Genesis 14:12 finds Lot living in the wicked city of Sodom. He likely didn’t intend to live in wickedness, but Lot followed a process that led to compromise: he looked, he chose, he pitched his tent towards, he lived in, and by Genesis 19 he is a leader in the sinful city and miserable when he has to leave it. As a result of his choices, Lot would lose his family and, apart from God’s grace, his own soul.
Lot’s Ongoing Dilemma
Three points defines Lot’s lifestyle:
- associated and unsafe
- stiff-necked and compromised
- calloused and unthankful
Lot associates himself with the wrong things and brings danger to himself and his family as a result. He doesn’t care how his decisions will affect anyone around him. The Bible repeatedly witnesses that wise decisions are always made with care for the personal integrity of others. Spirit-governed people are aware of their influence.
Lot is not grateful for his spiritual heritage and environment and carelessly throws both away when his desires lead elsewhere.
Abram: A Study In Perseverance
Abram’s geography is detailed in Genesis 14:13 to show that he is right where he is supposed to be. As a result, he has allies that allow him to live in peace.
Abram’s response to his backslidden relative’s trouble is not what would be the first reaction for many of us. He is not angry, resentful, or even discouraged by Lot’s worldliness. Righteous people always hurt for relatives who aren’t walking with God.
Abram’s Determined Compassion
In contrast to Lot, Abram is:
- separated and safe
- merciful and ministerial
- worshipful and thankful
Abram refuses to be associated with darkness at all (verse 22). He stands as a living example to Lot and the kings – and to us. The world certainly can do good and exhibit common grace, but God’s people must stay away from public displays of darkness. Light cannot have fellowship with darkness, but we can have a compassionate attitude towards people who live enslaved in darkness.
We will expand on these points more next week.
- Are you backsliding? Search your heart to see if you truly are walking with the Lord. Does your conduct show a carnal or worldly lifestyle? Your life outside of the church building will show whether your heart is truly with the Lord or following your own desires like Lot.
- Do you have a relative or friend who is backsliding? Take Abram as an example for your attitude toward them. Righteous people always respond in love even as they grieve, and pursue straying believers because they don’t want their life to be hard.
- Are you separating yourself from darkness? What influences do you allow in your life or in your home? Parents, what do you allow in your child’s life? Are you forming any associations with darkness? Take a sober lesson from Lot’s story. Separate yourself from these things and keep yourself and your home in the Lord’s safety and stability.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore:
- 1 Peter 2:7-8 – Lot verified as righteous before God.
- Ephesians 5:8-13, John 1:5 – Light exposes darkness.
- Proverbs 13:15 – Disobedience makes life difficult.
- 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, 1 John 2:15-17, Romans 13:12-14, John 17:15-17 – the need for Christian separation from evil.
- Other Bible narratives showing the principle of separation:
- Jehoshaphat – 1 Kings 22
- Daniel and friends – Daniel 1, 3
- Peter and Paul – Galatians 2:11-21
A Hymn to Encourage: “May the Lord Find Us Faithful”
God has not given us the spirit of fear,
But has given us the strength to obey.
With power and sound mind, with love, the unfailing kind,
O be not ashamed of His way.
May the Lord find us faithful,
May His Word be our banner held high.
May the Lord find us faithful
Every day, thought we live, though we die.
No man that seeketh after things of this life,
Is a soldier who passes the test.
Be faithful, bw working, be running, be serving,
Be searching His Word for His best.
Living or dying, may honor be Thine,
From this wretched life, You loved and forgave.
A life that is on fire, be only our heart’s desire.
Be faithful from now till the grave.
Quotes to Ponder:
Satan’s strategy is seen in the life of Lot. He never intends to have someone plunge into sin all at once – he leads them gradually, step by step. How careful the Christian needs to be even in choosing a place of residence.