I grew up thinking the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah was just about sexual sin. I had this perspective because that is what Genesis focused on. So I always believed that Lot was fighting against the rampant sexual sin that was going on around him. It wasn’t until I dug deeper did I realize he was a righteous person standing in the middle of a broader cultural challenge. In EZK 16:49-50 we find out sexual sin was only a part of what was happening in Sodom. We are told, starting in vs 49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom (speaking to Israel): She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me.
Let look at it in the Message version. ““The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury—proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives. And you know what happened: I did away with them.”
So Lot was the only righteous person in the midst of a very destructive culture. We can learn from Lot because I believe we are living in a very similar culture, here in the United States. We can learn how he stood against the arrogant, the overfed, the unconcerned for the poor or needy and those doing detestable things before God!
The reality, is Lot didn’t do anything to stem the tide. Just like many Christians today are not doing anything to stand against the culture that is growing in influence here at home. Let me share just a few statistics that I gathers.
- Look at any top 10 or survey conducted on who the most arrogant country in the world is. You will find America tops all of them.
- On a global scale, Americans are living in the lap of luxury. The vast majority of Americans are either upper-middle income or high income. And many Americans who are classified as “poor” by the U.S. government would be middle income globally, according to a new Pew Research Center.
- American are proud and vain. Unfortunately, we value outward looks more than inward. American women spend 6.2 hours a week in front of the mirror.
- This wont come as a surprised to most, Americans are gluttonous and overfed. Americans waste about $165 billion worth of food each year. It is 4 times the amount of food that Africa imports each year. Americans also consume 3,770 calories a day, which is 46% more calories for a woman and 36% more per day for a man.
- America is ignoring the plight of the poor and needy in our borders. 45 million Americans are living in poverty, but you don’t hear about it on the news. That equates to almost 15% of the population and has grown over 10% in the last decade. One third of single mothers live below the poverty line.
- And sexual sin is becoming an epidemic across our nation. 53% of pastors do not think pornography is a problem in their church. 57% of Pastors and 64% of Youth Pastors admitted to watching porn currently or in the past. 43% of teens see porn at least monthly. Porn use among girls and women is increasing faster than men. Americans are becoming more accepting of immoral practices. Homosexuality, babies outside of marriage, sex outside of marriage, polygamy, and abortion are all on the list of acceptable practices today.
So God decides he has had enough and moves to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. First, God let’s Abraham in on his plans and Abraham gets God to agree to save the city if he can find 10 righteous people. Just 10 people out of a city of 800-1000. That is only 1% of the city. And it was not even 10 people, because we know God considered Lot to be righteous. In 2Peter 2: 7-8 “and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)”
By this time, Lot had a wife and 2 daughters, who were both engaged to be married. So Lot and his immediate family made 4 righteous people. That meant that God really only needed to find 6 more righteous people. That should not be too difficult. We know Lot was righteous, we know he had a level of influence on the city given his standing as a wealthy businessman. We know Lot lived there 15-20 years. Surely he would have made friends and had positive influence on 6 people. Surely, living a righteous life and role modeling obedience to the One True God would have made a difference. Just 6 people in 15 years. However, it appears Lot had no discernable impact on the city or its inhabitants. He had no influence on anyone else to live a life of righteousness. Lot didn’t even have a positive impact on the two men who were engaged to marry his daughters. This gives us a look at Lot’s acceptance and tolerance of the wicked culture he was living in. While he believed in God and lived a righteous life, his faith was at rest.
What do you think? Are you ok with the direction of the culture or is it time to make a change? Is it time to make a difference?