God’s Grace Towards Lot
June 5th, 2008   Radio show
www.upstreamca.org
goinupstream@hotmail.com
© Priscilla Van Sutphin

One of the most amazing stories of God’s love to me is in the story of Lot.
When I look at Lot and how he was so off base on some things, and made
Wrong choices in his youthfulness, not having a bible to go by.  I see the great
Grace of our GOD.

Gen 11:27-28 NKJV  This is the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot. 28 And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans.

So we see that when Abraham was called by God that Lot, his nephew had lost his father. This might have been why then, that he desired to go with Abraham to the new land he was seeking.

Gen 11:29-32 NKJV
29 Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. 30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.  31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. 32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.

HARAN
2. A city of northern Mesopotamia where Abraham and his father Terah lived for a time (Gen 11:31-32; 12:4-5). The family of Abraham's brother Nahor also lived in this city for a time, as did Jacob and his wife Rachel (Gen 28:10; 29:4-5). The city was on the Balikh, a tributary of the Euphrates River, 386 kilometers (240 miles) northwest of Nineveh and 450 kilometers (280 miles) northeast of Damascus. Haran lay on one of the main trade routes between Babylonia and the Mediterranean Sea. Like the inhabitants of Ur of the Chaldees, Haran's inhabitants worshiped Sin, the moon-god. Second Kings 19:12 records that the city was captured by the Assyrians. Today Haran is a small Arab village, Harran. Haran is also spelled as Charran (Acts 7:2,4; KJV).

Then we see Abram and Lot leaving and going to Shechem together:
Gen 12:4-6 NKJV   So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. 6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.

Gen 13:5-17 NKJV    Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. 6 Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. 7 And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land.
8 So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left."

The Bible shows that God so blessed them, the land could not hold the both of them.
So this and maybe the spirits in the land of the Canaanites where they had gone caused strife between them, so Abraham, being a peacemaker tells Lot, LET US NOT FIGHT, but let’s separate so there is enough land for the herds. He shows such generosity by being flexible and saying…just take whatever direction you want and I will go the opposite way.

10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. 12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord.

To me, and in the movie of Abraham, it shows Lot choosing the best for himself. After all his uncle had shown him generosity, so he took it.  He chose the Jordan valley as it seemed well watered everywhere so he’d have enough for his herds.  And he was ambitious, being young to do well.  He pitched his tent even as far as Sodom it says.  Then comes the comment that the men of Sodom were EXCEEDINGLY WICKED.

14 And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are — northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 16 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. 17 Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you."

Here again is the generosity of the Lord to Abram giving him everything he can see. He tells him, his descendants will dwell in it FOREVER.  It was not, I’m sure, an easy thing for Abram to separate from Lot. In those days, family was everything. That is proven later when a messenger comes to Abram telling him that the kings attacked Sodom and took Abram and his wife, family and things, flocks with them.

Gen 14:12-16 NKJV  They also took Lot, Abram's brother's son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.  13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram. 14 Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 16 So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people.

After this Abraham has an experience with Melchizedek. Then Abraham gets a promise from God that HE will give him his own son.  Also Abraham receives a revelation about the descendents being in Egypt and bondage for 400 years. Then the whole thing with Hagar, and then God makes a covenant with Abram, changing his name to Abraham and promising favor for all the generations after him.

Gen 17:1-7 NKJV
17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly." 3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: 4 "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.

THEN comes the encounter Abraham has with the Lord and two angels, and before they leave the Angel of the Lord tells him about Sodom & Gomorrah…

Gen 18:19-26 NKJV
20 And the Lord said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know."  22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 And Abraham came near and said, "Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?  24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"   26 So the Lord said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes."

Then ensues a continued bargaining, Abraham no doubt thinking of LOT and his family, and servants, and he whittles down the agreement to TEN:

Gen 18:31-33 NKJV  So He said, "I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty."  32 Then he said, "Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it for the sake of ten." 33 So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.

Now we finally come to the situation with Lot in Sodom:

Sodom's Depravity
19:1  Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. 2 And he said, "Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way." And they said, "No, but we will spend the night in the open square." 

Lot here shows what is expected in the Word of middle eastern hospitality, and knowing the situation in the city invites the men into his house. I was a bit troubled at his bowing his face to the ground, as that is a sign of elder worship or adoration. They were no doubt formidable looking men, being angels.

3 But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.  4 Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally."  6 So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him,

Lot shows character in trying to PROTECT his guests, but what he offers after of his daughters is not something most of us would think a godly option !

7 and said, "Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! 8 See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof."

This kind of indicates that Lot KNOWS something about them, and what they are there for !  THIS IS THE REASON they have come under my roof ?

9 And they said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.

Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed
(Matt 11:23,24; Luke 17:28-32)

12 Then the men said to Lot, "Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city — take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it."
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, "Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!" But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.

The sons in law do NOT TAKE SERIOUSLY THE WARNING.  And this seems to be true in this age as well. Mocking rather than taking seriously what a prophet has said ended up with them being left behind to suffer the consequences of unbelief.

15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, "Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city."
16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife's hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, "Escape for your life!  Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed."

So the angels tell them to leave, but it seems Lot was hesitating, as he was lingering it says. Maybe since it was his wife who looked back he was having trouble getting her to leave her things behind ?  And the LORD BEING MERCIFUL TO HIM, IT SAYS, THE ANGELS take them by the hand and lead them OUT of the city and warned them NOT TO LOOK BACK.

18 Then Lot said to them, "Please, no, my lords! 19 Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. 20 See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live."
21 And he said to him, "See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there."  Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

Can you believe it ? HE BARGAINS WITH ANGELS & GOD thereby, saying, I’m afraid I might die in the mountains, let me escape to this city.  I think Lot was thinking, how will I make money for my family if I go to the mountains, and it may be too humiliating to go back to my uncle, though surely Abraham would have helped him, being a just & compassionate man.  But it was just too much for Lot. 
It seems to me by this, that God expected Lot to return to his Uncle and reconcile by sending him to the mountains that divided them.

23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar.

24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.  26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Wow, this is hard isn’t it, but she makes the mistake to look back when she was told NOT to, and immediately turns to a pillar of salt.  Like someone caught in a volcanic eruption, is left as a pillar of salt. Interesting that Jesus says we are the SALT of the earth, so there she is, forever made a symbol of what we are supposed to be, but what she was not apparently.

GOD WANTS OUR PERFECT OBEDIENCE.

I want to share an experience with you where I did not listen to the Lord, but took His direction, then got distracted, and hadn’t hid that commandment in my heart enough.
I was doing an attempted deliverance with a couple other ladies on a woman who’d wanted deliverance “she said” but turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. She was MPD supposedly, and had training in ACTING later found out.  So we were praying with her and God had told me, “DO NOT TOUCH HER”.  So I hid that, but did not take it to heart ENOUGH, and forgot.  And at one point in the prayer, she switched
“personalities” supposedly, and started speaking like a little girl, and crying, and in my motherly instinct I reached out to comfort her !  It was a total ploy of the enemy.  And as I touched her, I FELT A SPIRIT GO UP MY ARM AND INTO MY CHEST !

GOD WANTS OUR PERFECT OBEDIENCE, MORE THAN OUR SACRIFICES.

1 Sam 15:22 NKJV  So Samuel said: "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
So more than money and tithes, or anything we can give to the LORD, HE DESIRES OBEDIENCE !
Zoar – the place where Lot escaped to means to be brought low, be small, ignoble.
OT:6820 ru^x) Tso`ar (tso'ar); from OT:6819; little; Tsoar, a place East of the Jordan:  KJV - Zoar. OT:6819 ru^x* tsa`ar (tsaw-ar'); a primitive root; to be small, i.e. (figuratively) ignoble:  KJV - be brought low, little one, be small.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace. 29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.

This should give you GREAT HOPE for any loved ones that you have.  Look how merciful God was to LOT when Abraham prayed for him so righteously !  What a mighty GOD we serve, and how merciful HE was to save LOT out of that mess.  And HE makes it clear here, with these words, that he did it for ABRAHAM’S sake !  When we approve of the sins of others, we partake in their sin the bible teaches us. So it is a merciful thing that God allowed he and his daughters to escape.  I’m not even going into what his daughters did in their idiocy.  When people lose HOPE, faith wanes. But this family was tormented day and night living in Sodom as it tells us later in 2 Peter…

2 Peter 2:7-11 NKJV
7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds) —  9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,

Do you see it ?  Here Peter says RIGHTEOUS LOT. WOW, if he lived today, most Christians would NOT call him righteous.  Many of us today are being tormented with the same thing because of the wickedness growing in the earth.  But most would not call LOT righteous. LOT lived BEFORE THE LAW OF MOSES.  GOD called him righteous because HE looks upon the heart of a man, not just the outward sinfulness.
And THAT IS THE GRACE OF GOD !

Many of us would have him hung, drawn and quartered seeing these actions.  WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE DEPTH OF GOD’S LOVE NOR HIS GREAT GRACE TOWARDS MANKIND OR EVEN TOWARDS THOSE IN THE CHURCH. How many times did Abraham himself make mistakes ?  How many times did DAVID who did have the LAW make mistakes, and not just “little” ones ?  Think twice beloveds before you condemn the people who are trying to serve God. NOT ONE IS PERFECT. YOU are NOT PERFECT, perfect in the Greek has to do with being made whole. But many of the saints, even apostles were NOT PERFECT.  Peter whose SHADOW healed people, was prejudiced and acted the hypocrite at least once.  Paul had to admonish him for walking in hypocrisy and a religious spirit when around the Jews.

So we are JEWS in the Spirit, grafted in, but what kind of JEW are you ?  Are you a Pharisee, a sad-u-see, or are you righteous by the BLOOD OF THE LAMB of GOD WHO TOOK AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD ?