“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. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed East. And they separated from each other. 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.” Genesis 13:10-12
All sin is an immediate danger, even at the earliest of levels.
It has always looked good!
For a brief and fleeting moment, it may even feel good. Sometimes it feels good over longer periods of time. It provides momentary satisfaction. It’s deceiving and dangerous.
It leads to depravity. It leads to immorality. It leads to pain. It leads to an inability to maintain relationship. It leads to lack of self confidence. It leads to false expectations. It leads to divorces. It leads to a life separated from God. It leads to ultimate destruction.
Have you ever heard the story of boiling a frog? If you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will immediately jump out. However, if that frog is placed in warm or room temperature water and heated to a boil, the frog will stay in and ultimately die. Our flesh reacts very similarly to sin. Especially when we minimize it’s destructive impact or excuse it. Over time… it destroys us.
So why the story about Lot separating from Abram?
Lot was Abram’s nephew and both men had a significant amount wealth, herd and herdsmen and had left Egypt together with intention to settle in new lands. Their herdsmen began to bicker and have disputes, and Abram decided that they should split up so that there would be no long term dispute between them. At that time, they had come upon the lands of Canaan near Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abram told Lot he could pick his land and Abram would take the opposite direction. This is where the story gets very important, related to the temptation of sin. Lot looked out over the land and saw what he thought was the best. He saw good lands, and he saw a city (Sodom). He chose poorly in the moment, and he was deceived by seeking instant gratification. He not only chose the lands that God ultimately had to destroy due to the amount of sin occurring, but he slowly moved closer and closer to the sinners becoming one with them and dwelling amongst them. Lot was sitting in the lukewarm water, and oh man was it about to heat up!
How often do we see immediate satisfaction as our best option? How often do we fall to the temptations of sin that ultimately lead to pain and suffering? Our flesh loves that lukewarm water.
What can we do to avoid this?
Prayer and dedication to God. Seeking His voice and Spirit in our daily life. We’re not always going to be perfect. We’re destined to stumble at times. We’re forgiven though. We only have to repent and request forgiveness, but also not carry on in our sin.
In John 5, we recall the story of the lame man at the pool (Bethesda). The man was actively sinning, relying on superstitions for healing, but then Jesus. Jesus shows up, healed the lame man and warned him to go and sin no more lest worst things happen to him. What could be worse than being lame for 38 years?! Eternal separation from God. That was exactly what Jesus was warning him of.
We don’t know if the man heeded the warning, but we do know that Jesus healed him and called him to not dwell in his sin. Jesus was very clear about that. It’s unrealistic that the man would live the rest of his life completely without sin, but it is absolutely possible to not accept, dwell in, and choose to continually sin against God.
Do not choose to pitch your tent near Sodom!
Do not accept and minimize sin.
Do not make excuses for sin.
If you stumble, repent and turn away from the sin.
Read the Word of God. If you are unsure if an action is sinful, read what the Bible says about it and talk to someone who also studies God’s word.
Be active with an accountability partner (or partners).
Speak with God. Keep His Spirit close!