Redemption after our failures

When Abraham and Lot were deciding to split up because there herds had gotten too big, Lot chose to go to the plains of Jordan. This is where Sodom and Gamorrah were. Even at that time Sodom was known as a place where the men were wicked and sinning against God. I would not be surprised if God nudged Lot a little to be a righteous man in such a wicked place. This was a great opportunity to have a positive influence on a city and turn it around. Turn it to good.

So Lot goes and settles around Sodom. He is accepted and continues to grow his herd and stature. When judgement was pronounced on Sodom and the cities of the plain, Lot was given the chance to flee with anyone else who would go. His family was slow to hear the warning, so the angels forced him, his wife and daughters to leave the city. In fact, Lot was told to get out of the valley where all of the cities of the plain were.

Remember, God was willing to hold his judgement if there were just ten righteous people in the city. Lot, his wife and two daughters ended up being the only righteous in the city. Lot knew he had made a mistake in not influencing the city to turn from its ways. In a desperate act to save something, he asked to go to the city of Zoar. This was one of the cities of the plain and was arguably just as wicked as Sodom. His request to allow him and his family to go there saved the city of Zoar from the judgement of God for a short time. The rest of the cities of the plains, including Sodom and Gomorrah were not so lucky.

Lot, his wife and daughters ran for their lives and were instructed not to turn around. Unfortunately, his wife stopped to look at the destruction and was turned to a pillar of salt. Most experts would say that she was longing for the life she had just left and as a judgement on her, was also destroyed. However, I believe when Lots wife turned around to see Sodom it was not because she wanted to go back to the life there. Rather, it was because she knew she was to be the salt and light in that wicked place. Since she had not taken the necessary steps to turn the tide of the wickedness, she, like Lot, sat idly by while the city descended further into the depth of human depravity. So when she turned around with a deep sense of sorrow, she physically became the thing she was meant to be to the city as a follower of Yahweh. SoLot lost his home, his wealth, his friends, his status and his wife because he had not engaged to be a positive influence on the environment.

Lot didn’t settle in Zoar and try to influence them to be a city on a hill, shining the light of Yahweh. Again, Lot failed and historians believe God destroyed Zoar as soon as Lot left. This time, it was due to fear, not because of apathy or selfishness. Instead he runs away to a cave and lives the rest of his life in seclusion. The story thankfully does not end here.

Abraham loved Lot, and I am convinced he called upon the promise God gave him in Genesis 18:19. God is walking with Abraham and says, “for I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of Yahweh by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” I imagine Abraham interceding and praying for Lot, who was part of his household. Lots father had died, so Abraham took him under his wing and treated him like a son. He was family after all. I am sure Abraham prayed for the redemption of his nephew whose inaction destroyed a city. God is just and merciful. He also had a plan to make sure the lineage of Abraham was secure, since he was to be the father of nations. God chose to redeem Lot’s and graph it back into the line of Abraham. It took seven generations, but when the lineage of Abraham and the lineage of Lot come back together they produce the line of David and a direct lineage to Jesus.

Lots daughters slept with Lot in the cave to get pregnant. The older daughter gave birth to Moab, who became the country of Moab and wher known as the Moabites. Seven generations later, a woman name Ruth was born from the line of Moab. Ruth married into a family from Bethlehem. The father in law was Elimelech and the mother in law Naomi. We are not told which of their two sons Ruth married, but we know that one married Ruth and the other Orpha. Elimelech and Naomi had left Bethlehem due to a famine and had settled in with the Moabites. When Elimelech and both sons died, Naomi decides to go back to Bethlehem.

In Hebrew tradition, when a husband died, the brother was suppose to take care of the widow. Unfortunately, both of Naomi’s son die so there is no one to remarry Orpha and Ruth. Since Naomi was already older and did not expect to marry again or have more children, she wanted to spare her daughter in laws the pain of living the rest of their lives without a husband. Naomi tells both girls to go back to their fathers and get a new husband. Orpha thought that was a good idea and left. Ruth had other ideas. In an instant she made a decision that began the redemption of the lineage of Lot. She decided to take action, something her great grandfather (seven generations before) didnt do. She chose to stay with Naomi and live with her in Bethlehem.

Her action enable God to repair the family line when Ruth met Boaz. Boaz came from the line of Abraham. God gave them a child named Obed, who had Jesse and Jesse had David who was a man after Gods heart and the direct lineage of Jesus. Where Lot failed to take action to save a city, God took action that saved the world through His son Jesus. I would guess that Ruth had no idea the legacy she would create by her actions. One thing is clear, we too can leave a legacy for future generations. We just need to listen to God, follow His leading and join Him in the works He is doing.

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