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“‘Get out of our way,’ they replied. ‘This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them.’ They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.”—Genesis 19:9 (NIV)
It can be tough being the new person. Whether at a new school, job, neighborhood, or even to a new city, state, or country, sometimes no matter how long you live somewhere, or how much you try to fit in, you’re still seen as an outsider.
In today’s passage, we see Lot receiving some not so neighborly treatment. As we look back, these men were coming to sexually assault the two visitors (angels) Lot brought into his home. He did this because, as Charles Ellicott points out, he knew “the licentiousness (“disregarding sexual restraints”) of the people; but the angels do not readily accept his hospitality, as they had done that of Abraham, because his character had deteriorated.”
Living amongst such wickedness, being surrounded by it daily, had weighed on Lot and influenced him. It had caused him to compromise his morality. Just take a look at Genesis 19:8 and at the heinous, hideous deal he tried to strike with these men.
Lot tried to prevent disgraceful sin by offering despicable sin. He tried to prevent one sin by offering them another. And guess what? These worldly people didn’t receive him with open arms. They rejected his offer. I imagine these men may have thought to themselves, Who is this guy to tell us what is right and wrong? He’s no better than us! He may even be worse than us, offering his daughters for us to have our way with them. He’s got no leg to stand on!
Even through compromise, they still didn’t see him as one of them. He was still an outsider, but now he wasn’t an outsider above reproach or an example of faithfulness; now he was a hypocrite and had lost all credibility . . . but he still wasn’t one of them. He was still going to be chewed up and spit out because the world doesn’t want to embrace and welcome compromised believers, it wants to devour them.
This is a lesson to us all about what can happen when we surround ourselves with overwhelming wickedness. When we allow the ways of this world to penetrate the outer defenses of our heart, compromise always comes; when we allow the messages of the world to infiltrate our worldview, sin soon follows.
Friends, we are to be in the world, but never of the world. So, be careful. Do not allow bad company to corrupt your good character (1 Corinthians 15:33). Instead, we ought to bring light into darkness, hope into despair, and the righteousness and grace of Christ into this lost and dying world.
DIG: Why was Lot’s detestable offer rejected? Why did they respond with such hostility?
DISCOVER: How have you seen this principle play out in your life or the lives of others? Can you think of a time when you or someone else compromised because of destructive, sinful influences?
DO: Pray the Lord will give you strength, discernment, wisdom, and boldness to be in the world, but not of it. Seek His Spirit to help you live above reproach, and pray for the courage to resist the devil and flee from temptation when it rears its ugly head.
If there is anything, whether entertainment, social media, water cooler gossip, a certain place you go to, or anything else that lowers your defenses and causes you to compromise, cut that out of your life, confess to a close, trusted friend, and seek restoration and healing.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.