Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.”
Genesis 19: 30
King James Version
“What Goes Around Comes Around”
“Never worry too much about the things you can replace, worry only about the things you can’t replace.”
Is there a child who is looking to me to be an example of deep spiritual and moral values?
What kind of example am I reflecting to them?
“Most overnight success usually takes about fifteen years.
Little drops of water, little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean and the beauteous land.
And the little moments, humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages of eternity.”
“Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. And the first born bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.”
Genesis 19: 36-38
King James Version
Their journey began in Ur where God instructed Abram to travel to a promised land – the land of Canaan. However, it wasn’t just Abram and his wife who made the trip. They were joined by Abram’s nephew, Lot, along with his family.
And while their trip was marked by building altars along the way so they could worship the God of heaven and earth, sadly there were also detours beginning with time in Egypt.
Now I want to make a very important point in this story that is so critical it cannot be overlooked. Abram was the leader – the surrogate father of Lot. Abram was God’s example as the spiritual light for his family. Yet we find that not only did he distrust God and take his family to Egypt but when he ran into trouble, fearing Pharaoh would kill him when he found out Sarai was his wife, the family leader told his wife to lie then offered her to Pharaoh as a “gift.” All the while, young Lot was watching his uncle. He saw the behavior of Abram. Lot watched his uncle as he took matters into his own hands and disrespected his wife.
And when Abram took Pharaoh’s gifts and left Egypt a very wealthy man --Lot watched. Even though this wealth was given to Abram based on a lie – he took the bounty. And Lot watched and learned.
Do you see a trend developing? Abram disrespected Sarai, and Lot began to think it was alright to disrespect women. Abram got riches from a lie, and Lot began to think it didn’t matter how you got your wealth.
So one day when strife arose in the camp, Lot decided if it was good enough for old Uncle Abram to get money any way he could, the same rules applied to him, so he made a greedy grab for the best land, the most beautiful plot, and for the view of Sodom. Watching his uncle, Lot had learned a thing or two.
There’s more! When two men came to Sodom as guests and were invited to Lot’s home to stay, as we see, the men of the town came calling and in order to protect his guests, Lot, who had seen his uncle offer his wife as a “gift” to pacify Pharaoh, offered his two “virgin” daughters to the men of the city for their pleasure. If Uncle Abram could “pimp” his wife, Lot decided he could “pimp” his daughters. Such disrespect by a father for his daughters shows just how far Lot’s moral level had sunk in Sodom. No wonder, when he went, as the Bible tells us, and asked his sons-in-law to leave the city, they just scoffed at him. Lot had absolutely no moral leadership in the eyes of his family. Not his wife. Not his children. Not the in-laws. Not even the people of the city respected him by the time he finally had to be dragged out of Sodom by angels.
Next a lifetime of disrespect came around to haunt Lot as his two daughters got him drunk, had sex with him and ended up having two boys who became the “fathers” of two of the most wicked nations on earth.
Lot watched Abram. Lot’s children and wife watched Lot. And what a terrible price was paid by the horrid example shown by those who were in a position to be spiritual leaders in their families and community.
As I personally thought about Mrs. Lot’s attachment to Sodom, I asked, “How can I prevent myself from becoming so attached to the wrong things I wouldn’t want to follow the angels’ path to safety?” And then it hit me. What if Mr. and Mrs. Lot’s children had watched their parent’s exhibit noble, uplifting, heavenly characteristics? What if the spiritual tie in this family was so strong it could never be broken? What if a father, who showed complete respect and love for his daughters and their husbands had invited them to safety? Would they have come?
Many years ago, before my father passed away, he was talking with my husband, Jim. My dad told Jim that if he had lined up all the boys in the world and tried to chose someone as my husband, that he (my dad) could not have chosen a better or more perfect man for me than my Jim. I have to tell you, my husband has lived his life treasuring those words from my dad. And if my father, because of his devoted example, had come to my Jim and said, “Let’s leave Sodom,” Jim would never have hesitated. He would have left because he’d have known how much my father loved and respected his two daughters and his wife and Jim wouldn’t have wanted to do anything to destroy that love.
You see, so often it is the little daily decisions that we adults make that children watch. Lot saw Abram distrust and disrespect, Lot’s family saw him distrust and disrespect and in the end it brought the destruction of Lot’s family. I believe this is why Jesus, Himself, told us to remember this family. We are told to watch, too. And we are to learn. Cicero wrote thousands of years ago that we, “do more harm by (our) evil example than by (our) sin.” In looking at Lot’s family, I must agree. May we not forget the words of Thomas Morell, “The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example.”
“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.”
Building the Bridge for Him
“An old man, traveling a lone highway;
Came at evening cold and gray,
To a chasm deep and wide.
The old man crossed in twilight dim,
For the sullen stream held no fears for him,
But he turned when he reached the other side.
And builded a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” cried a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
And you never again will pass this way.”
“You have crossed the chasm deep and wide.
Why build you a bridge at eventide?”
And the builder raised his old gray head:
“Good friend, on the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet will pass this way.”
“This stream which has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired boy may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”
W. A. Dromgoole
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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