Sunday, January 23, 2011

The gate

Gen. 19:1 "and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom"
There are so many thoughts that come to my mind as I consider Lot sitting at the gate of Sodom:

I wonder how he ended up there.

I wonder how he felt the first time he walked through the gate he was sitting at that day.

I wonder how he could have left the comfort of the country side, the fresh smells, the clean air and what lie he told himself that convinced him he needed to move into the city of Sodom itself.

I am of the opinion that it was not overnight.

In fact, for me the progression into sin is not that one day I am fine and the next I am sitting in the gate of Sodom wondering how I got there. Rather, it is slow, calculated, laden with excuses and reasons that all seem harmless and innocuous at first.

A man in our family Sunday school class pointed out that when we sin we have made provisions for it. Like a man getting ready for a trip, he packs all the things he needs, all the things he will want, and all the things for a "just in case" emergency. In other words, he "provides" all the things he might have occasion to use.

Making provision for the flesh is no different, only dangerous. Instead of providing for good and for right, we start putting things into our nap-sack that will hinder us, and cause us to stumble, and then occasion our fall.

He went on to say, we subscribe to things that do not direct our passion toward Christ but toward the flesh.

I think Lot hardly ever expected to lose his family as a result of moving to Sodom. I don't think that the day he pitched his tent "toward" Sodom that he thought, "Hey, this is great, soon my wife will fall in love with the wicked generation of Sodom, and my daughters will want to commit incest!"

That is hardly the way we find ourselves sitting in the gate. Rather it is so subtle, so slow and progressive that we actually think good is coming from it.

Pointing our tent toward Sodom gives us the opportunity to see the trade routes in and out of the town. We can see how often the flow of wool and produce move in and out as well. That will help us to know when to better time our deliveries.

We don't know the progression that Lot took to get to Sodom, but we know in Genesis 13 he pitched his tent toward it. Then just a couple of chapters later, with no word as to what happened, we see him living in Sodom, and the next time he is apparently an Elder, sitting in the Gates of the City.

Often I ask people when they are in counsel with me, "What happened?" Wanting to know how they came to the sad position they were in. Their answer many time is, "I don't know what happened, just all of a sudden..." And they are right. We don't plan for our marriages to fail, we just don't plan for them to succeed. We don't plan for our lives to become absorbed with sports, hobbies, excess, but then, we don't plan to avoid the snares that those things by nature are prone toward.

The afternoon sermon was from 2 Chronicles and Brother Joshua Miller pointed out that several people purposed in their heart to follow the Lord. But there were many who did not. The result of each persons decision was directly related to what they purposed to do, what they set their heart to do.

Let us plan NOT to sin. Let us plan to obey the Word of God and be found somewhere other than the gates of Sodom, unless it is to rescue the perishing.


Pastor Josh said...

This is such a fundamental truth and yet so hard to implement as it takes a new, conscious decision every day. Thanks for sharing!

Anna Michael said...

We are to follow the leader of our soul and march into battle boldly with the sword of the spirit in hand. With what God has given us to equip us for battle how can we turn and flee (even if small step by small step) when we have a true and worthy calling? Thank you!