May 17, 2010

Rescued

"and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);"
II Peter 2:7-8 (ESV)
These last few days, these verses have been scrolling through my mind. I know that when most people pull these verses up for some sort of discussion, it is usually to debate the "righteous"ness of Lot. "Was he really righteous?" or "How could he have been righteous considering all that he did?" If people aren't using these verses for debate, they are using them to talk about peer pressure. They want to show how Lot's choice to be around the people of Sodom and Gomorrah was "distressing" and "tormenting" him in such a way that he was experiencing an erosion of morals.

That isn't why I have been thinking of these verses.

The thing about Lot is that most of us make too many assumptions.  I am sure it is possible that he may have had poor, possibly shallow motives for moving into the city, but I'm pretty sure that it doesn't actually say that.        Maybe he just wanted to be a little nearer the local market, maybe there were good schools, maybe he just didn't like living in the country.  He could've wanted to be near things to do and places to go.  Maybe there weren't enough restaurant options ... I mean, how many times can you eat at the Negev Nook anyway?  And their special is always some form of lamb!

The point of this passage is not that Lot was giving into peer pressure, and we need to learn from his mistakes, there might be some lessons there, but there is the bigger truth that God knew how to rescue him!  Listen to the beginning of the next verse:
"then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,"
II Peter 2:9a
In this life, no matter how much I try to keep myself from the things of this world, I have often found myself in situations where I am surrounded by people with conduct that I have found "distressing".  The lack of morality would wear me down day after day.  That is what that first word means in the greek, the word that is translated "distressed" means "to wear down with toil".  From truck driving jobs, being a warehouse worker, and public school teacher, all of them have had their aspects of an ungodly atmosphere.

But God... He knows how to rescue.  

In Lot's case, it was fairly drastic, but God will go to extremes.  Keep reading II Peter, it gets even better!