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“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! 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.’”—Genesis 19:12-13 (NKJV)
Heaven’s appraisal of the city of Sodom was complete. After a ravenous mob attempted to break down the door to Lot’s home in order to abduct him and the angels that had taken refuge under his roof, the sentencing was complete. Lot was to flee with his family as fast and as far as their legs would take them. Watch what happens next: “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” (Genesis 19:14 NKJV).
Try to put yourself in this scene. We don’t know how big Lot’s house was, but evidently it was large enough for his two sons-in-law to have missed the narrow escape at the front door. They’re lounging in some other area of the house when all of a sudden their father-in-law rushes in and frantically tells them they all have to evacuate immediately because the Lord is about to destroy the city.
Their reaction reveals a lot about Lot. Imagine if someone you hold in high spiritual regard gave you an urgent warning from God. What would you do? If it’s someone whose spiritual connection you really trusted, you’d definitely listen to them, and probably take some course of action. However, you definitely wouldn’t do what Lot’s sons-in-law did; they laughed at him.
They didn’t take him or his warning seriously because they didn’t have any spiritual respect for him. And that’s because . . . well, we don’t have any specifics other than the fact that Lot had shown a pattern of pursuing pleasure instead of the things pertaining to God. Abraham was a friend of God, but Lot was more a friend of the world. That, sadly, was the reputation he’d established for himself, and his sons-in-law knew it, which is why they tuned him out at this point, and that would cost them their lives.
The warning here is self-evident. We’re continually establishing a testimony for ourselves. What we pursue, the choices we make, our appetites, the things we befriend . . . adds up to our reputation. And that reputation will either be respected or disrespected in the hour when it matters most.
Let’s use today to establish a reputation that can serve the needs of tomorrow. May we not be as Lot. Rather, may we consistently seek the Lord and the things that will add up to a respected reputation.
DIG: What does the reaction of Lot’s sons-in-law reveal about his reputation?
DISCOVER: What’s the warning we can take away from this?
DO: Consider the reputation you’re establishing for yourself and ask God how you might grow in this regard.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.