Biblical Perspectives Magazine, Volume 25, Number 47, November 19 to November 25, 2023

Genesis in Biblical Perspective:
The Gospel of Christ from Genesis –
"A Family Disaster"

Genesis 19:30-38

By Dr. Harry Reeder III

This passage in Genesis is a challenging text of Scripture if there is any in all the Bible. Genesis 19:30–38 says

[30] Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. [31] And the firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. [32] Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father." [33] So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

[34] The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, "Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father." [35] So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. [36] Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. [37] The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. [38] The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben- ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

The grass withers, the flower fades, the Word of our God abides forever, and by His grace and mercy may this His Word be preached for you.

There are times in my life that I'm so grateful I'm committed to consecutive preaching of passages in the Bible. There are times in my life that I wonder why did you do that, Harry and this is one of those passages. This passage is the end of Lot's life in the Bible. We don't know anything else about him from this point on. What a sorted story end. I have commentaries all over the place that I consult. After looking are various Scriptures on this for several days I'll then go to various commentaries and I went to one that says "homiletical helps in the book of Genesis." When I looked up this passage it said "do not preach this text." In fact it created a word I've never heard of. It said beside it "unpreachable." Yet, unfortunately I've read the rest of the Bible and it says "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable" and that includes this text.

So here's the way I want you to think about it. I want you to think about "flashing lights." On the journey of your life this text has flashing yellow and red lights, meaning stop, think, stop, think. The Holy Spirit has put this here. If you're thinking this sermon ought to be on the evils of incest that's not the purpose of this. That's assumed in the text. That's not the purpose of this text. There is something else here and it's that, that I want us to see.

I have tried to capture it in a single sentence. Here is the single sentence. You can be a believer, with some fruit and you can make careless, thoughtless decisions in your life that will not only render your life without influence for Christ or ineffective but you can actually unwittingly propagate the work of Satan and the kingdom of darkness and be a believer. There is no such thing a believer that isn't changed. II Corinthians 5:17 says [17] Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. No Christian is perfect but there is no such thing as a Christian who hasn't experienced some change. There will always be fruit and some will bear 30, 60 and some a hundred fold but there will always be fruit in the life of a believer. Believers having some fruit, knowing the Lord, being saved, can make careless, thoughtless decisions propagating the work of Satan who is a murderer, liar and deviate. That is the lesson here with Lot.

This happens a lot throughout the Bible, Lot's just a primary example. I want to give you another example out of the life of Jesus. Jesus is in the Northern part of Israel, a beautiful section that has a glorious mountain called Mount Hermon. Its snow caps actually feed the waters of Jerusalem and the River Jordan, and the rain clouds that come down that the Psalmist talks about. Jesus is walking in a city at the foot of Mount Hermon called Caesarea Philippi. His disciples are with Him and it's just moments away from the marvelous text of Scripture where it says Jesus sets His face to go to Jerusalem to die and rise again for the salvation of His people, but before that verse comes Jesus is there at the foot of Mount Hermon and says to His disciples (from Matthew 16) "Who do people say that I am?" They say "Some say You're John the Baptist, others Jeremiah, others Elijah and others say You're one of the Prophets." Then He said to them "Who do you say that I Am?" carefully using the very name of God – I Am that I Am.

Peter, whom we expect, speaks up and says in Matthew 16:16–19 [16]

"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." [17] And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. [18] And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Then Jesus begins to tell them that He would go to Jerusalem and die at the hands of the priests and He would rise again. Then Peter said to Him in Matthew 16:22–23 [22] And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you." [23] But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."

In other words, Peter at that moment, after what he had just heard, his revulsion came up and in a seemingly well motivated comment said "God forbid that this should happen to You" when in reality that's why God had sent His Son. It is at that moment that Jesus says to Peter "Get behind me Satan! Peter if you stand in the way of Me doing the will of My Father in redeeming My people, you aren't just a well meaning sentimental person but you're standing in league with Satan and the kingdom of darkness that wants to stop Me." You are thinking wrong. You are thinking the way the world thinks which is self centered, self reliant and self exalting. One man said it this way; you got stinkin' thinkin'. You need to think God centered. What is your world and life view? It must be God centered. It can't be conformed to the world's way of thinking for if it's that way then you're in league with Satan.

Peter is saved and he knows the Lord, but at this moment, carelessly thinking wrong he has aligned himself with the kingdom of darkness and its purposes which would be to stop Jesus. Now with Peter there is repentance and the Lord brings him back like Lot, but such careless moments when multiplied, there is an absolute loss of awe.

This sorted story is hard to even read but it really shouts out to us today. Number two is a big number in this story. As we have been going through the book of Genesis, in the first part of chapter 19 we had two angels come down and rescue Lot and his family, yet it's not Lot and his family that get out. Lot and his two daughters get out but he loses his sons in law and his wife. There are two messengers who come down and give two warnings to Lot. Lot goes out and warns the city but his two sons in law begin to laugh at him in his warning. They reject him and they perish. His wife looks back while Lot is lingering. Then Lot goes to Zoar with his two daughters. Notices what happens in the text now to Lot and his two daughters.

They are in Zoar and because Lot is not living by faith but living by sight for what he sees in this world, which he started a long time ago (back in chapter 14) when he looked to Sodom, instead of living for the Lord, then he pitched his tent near Sodom. Then he had his house in Sodom and when they were drawing him out it says that Lot lingered in Sodom. His lingering became the impotence for his wife looking back, manifesting that she did not know the Lord and the judgment upon Sodom also fell upon her. This is the man who in protecting two messengers, he offered his two daughters to this crowd of rapists who had intent on homosexually raping these messengers.

You may be thinking "Why do you keep saying Lot is a believer?" It is because the Bible makes me say it. If I was just reading this text I am ready to dismiss him. When I go to the New Testament it refers to Lot three different times as 'righteous Lot' and there are evidences that he is a believer. It says that his soul was vexed by the immorality of Sodom. He must have been making some pronouncements against it because the people of Sodom in Genesis 19 had gotten angry with him when they said to him "Who set you up as a judge over the way we live!?" So there was evidence that Lot was speaking out and there was evidence that his soul was vexed for the Bible tells us that. There was also the evidence that he sensed his responsibility because he was willing to step outside the house, closed the door and tried to protect the two men in the house even at the possible expense of his life.

Then when the men of the city press about him, laugh at him and dismiss him, Lot comes up with a solution that is not godly. It is a pragmatic solution. It is a worldly solution. It is a man centered world and life view. He says to those bent on sexual deviation "I'll give you my daughters for sexual fulfillment who have never known a man" thinking he could appease them. That just more enraged them. Now he lingers, loses his wife, goes to Zoar and now the man who is walking by sight and not by faith becomes afraid and fear takes hold of his life. He flees and this man who at one time was in the comfort of the tents of Abraham is now dwelling all alone with his two daughters in a cave on the side of a mountain as sin takes them deeper and deeper and deeper but they haven't gotten to the depth yet. They will promote drunkenness with him and then an incestuous relationship will occur in order to have these children.

These two daughters, who at one time Lot would use them to fulfill sexual purposes without their knowledge, will use their father Lot to fulfill their purposes without his knowledge. The sins of the father go to the next generation, but this moment has come not because they're alone, without husbands and want a child, this moment came not when Lot decided not to live in Sodom but when Lot decided Sodom would live in him. It's this light that's flashing. I was going through this text I began to think of Lot and the implications of it. I live like you in a very similar sexualized, promiscuous, perverted, deviant society in which once that which was unthinkable is now thinkable, becoming acceptable and socially approved.

There is a lesson here you need to see. When a society walks away from God, no longer acknowledging Him, that society will be evidenced by sexual preoccupation. Sexual preoccupation will move to sexual promiscuity. Sexual promiscuity will move to sexual perversion. Sexual perversion will move to deviation and any individual who gets caught up in that death spiral or any culture, there is never a landing place. It is a bottomless pit of perversity. In one chapter you have seen it in the culture of Sodom and its infiltration into the life of the family of Lot. As you and I live in this society which pains my heart, I have to know something. My society that is bent on sexual preoccupation, sexual promiscuity, sexual perversion and social permission for all that I've just mentioned, it will not get to a plateau and level out. It will continue into a bottomless cesspool of destruction. It will continue to the unheard of things that the Bible warns us against when men live independent of God in self gratification. It will not end and it will move to pedophilia, incest and bestiality and all unheard of things will become common place in that culture.

Now I'm in the world so how do I deal with this? I don't want to be like Lot. I don't want to lose my influence. I don't want to lose my family. I really grappled with the Lord saying "Lord, why am I in this text and especially on Mother's Day?" There was a wife and a mother that became a casualty of a man who wasn't a man of God, walking with the Lord, but walking with Sodom. I hope you men have enough sense to have a meal, a card, a hug and a present but what your wife needs is a husband who is a man of God, who refuses to think like the world, even though he's in the world. Here is Lot shouting out to me "What does it mean to be a man?" What does it mean not to lose your impact and influence? Lot steps out to warn his sons in law and they don't listen to him but they laugh at him. His city doesn't listen to him but they ridicule him. His wife doesn't follow him, but looks back. His daughters will abuse him for their own gratification. How did he get there and is there another place?

I have a couple of things. First of all I can't miss the fact that the family has a double edged sword. We just witnessed a baby being baptized into a covenant family and acknowledging God's covenant promises of how He uses the family when He said "I'll be a God to you and your children after you. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, you and your household." God uses the family but if the leadership of the family says 'no' to the Lord and 'yes' to the world then the sin and the world will use the family as sin is visited to the third and fourth generation.

I know moms and dads that there are times in your life that you don't think you're having an impact. You think it's the football player, the basketball player, the singer, or the actor who is actually impacting my child and for good reason you need to know they do impact. It is an absolute overwhelming fact that most of our students are forming their world and life view not from true Bible teaching in the family and in the church, but from the movies that they go to see. That is a fact but do know that your child is set up in their heart to be influenced by you. What are you bringing? God, how can I be ready to bring that which will influence my child, training them up in the way they should go so that when their old they'll not depart from it but be brought to it? The family cuts both ways. My children are learning from me, more with their eyes than their ears as they watch me.

What does it mean to be in the world but not of the world? Students I've tried to think about how to get this across to you. We say "I want to be holy. I want to be used of the Lord" and the tendency is when the world is reaching out with the computer, television, the radio, its music that we want to go buy ten acres, put up a wall and retreat but Jesus says "No, I don't allow you to do that. I don't want you to get out of the world, I want you to come to Me and get the world out of you. I want you in the world. If you get out of the world, you're not of use to Me. I want you in the world but not of the world."

So here is an illustration that I'm very unfamiliar with and that's a boat. I have no idea how boats work. I've only been on one a couple of times. I do know that those who have boats that don't want their boat to get in trouble will take their boat out of the lake and put it on dry dock. Now if you take the boat out of the lake it will be preserved and it will not sink because it's not in the lake, but the only problem is that it is no longer of use as a boat anymore, if it's up on dry land. A boat is no good unless it's in the lake. The Christian was saved to be in the world for Jesus Christ. Go and preach the Gospel to all the nations.

If the boat is not seaworthy then it gets a hole in it and the water gets in it. When water gets in it then it will sink and that's what happened to Lot. Sodom got into him and he sank. He lost his influence. He lost his impact. He lost his wife. He lost his sons in law. He lost his children. More than that two children come from this incest from which will come two nations that will be the most bitter enemies against the people of God – the Moabites and the Ammonites. Deuteronomy 23:3 says [3] "No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever" for they were the enemy of God's people. Where did this start? It wasn't that Lot was just in Sodom but Sodom got into him, he walked by sight and embraced the corruption as the solution to life in Sodom and it destroyed and he not only lost influence but others.

Don't get out of the lake. Don't retreat. Don't take your family, build a house and act like it's a castle. We are in the world. We need every believer out there in the world, building relationships for Jesus Christ but at the same time ask God "Don't let the world in me." When that water got into the boat what happened? When the boat is not in the lake it's no good as a boat but if the lake gets in the boat then it's no good as a boat. You want the boat in the lake but you don't want the lake in the boat. You want the Christian in the world but you don't want the world in the Christian.

Where do you need to go? You need to go to Jesus Christ and know that no matter where the death spiral of depravity is in the culture, God's grace is greater than all of our sin. We can go with our mind and intentionally say to the Lord "I want my mind transformed. Take my heart and conform it. Take my will and renew it. Take my mind and transform it. Lord, I don't want to be like Peter and slip into a man centered way of thinking so that I have become the personification of Satan and I don't want to be Lot that looks to Sodom, pitches his tent near Sodom, live in Sodom, then Sodom begins to live in him and then I lose my influence, my impact, my family and finished poorly, even though I have a relationship with You and there is some change in my life, but I've lost everybody along the way bringing no one to the finish line with me. I don't want to be there so help me make the right decisions."

I know believers that will never miss a television program but they'll miss the preaching of the Word. They will never miss an entertainment event but they'll miss a time in the Word personally. Satan just keeps coming and coming and coming with everything that he has and he's so subtle in this technology today but the evil is not in the computer or the television but it's how you give yourself to it and what I should be giving myself to so I can think clearly. We are so sexualized in this culture that we sell everything from cologne to cereal with sexual innuendos. People pay $30 million dollars to put on those commercials but we're just going to go right by it with our remotes, right? It's amazing how they grab you. Everything has a commitment to a world and life view, either world centered or God centered. Some of its worse than others and some of its better than others but everything is there and it grabs you and you don't even notice. What is LSMFT? Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco – people still know what that means and those ads came out in the 1950s and 60s, but they grab you.

God, may I immerse myself in spiritual songs and hymns. May I come to Your Word so that the meditations of my mind and the words of my mouth are acceptable in Your sight. Can I think on Your Word and meditate on it so that I might not sin against You? God, may I hear Your Word preached so it deals with my heart. God, may I take the Word that I read and the Word that I hear and break it down in little pieces so that my children take hold of it. God, can I lay before my children an example of what it means to walk not carelessly but carefully in this world? I'm not out of the world but in the world, but not the world in me. God can You give to me that careful intentional, thoughtful way of life?

I know the Gospel of grace tells me salvation is free but the book that transformed many lives from my generation was a book by Dietrich Bonheoffer titled Discipleship Costs. It cost him his life. Salvation is free but to grow in grace costs – thoughtful, intentional commitment to walk before the eye of the Lord. Lord, let me see with Your eyes. Think with the mind of Christ and live for the Lord, then in the world but not of the world. Even though I'm not perfect God will start using me in my family, among my friends, in my world, where I work, God will use me. God will use you.

There was a man who lived in a pagan city who served in a pagan kingdom, who had a position in a pagan kingdom and his name was Daniel, but he would walk only with the Word of God. Lot was in Sodom. Daniel was in Babylon. Lot was under King Sodom and all that way of thinking of power politics. Daniel was under King Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon and the King of Persia. When Lot spoke they laughed. When problems came up where Daniel was, they said "Forget my wise men, get me Daniel." There is a man who knows his God.

We think in the church that the way we're going to reach this world is how much like them we are and what they are looking for is a difference that has grace and truth. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, with the love of the Lord constraining us. It wasn't that Christians were like me that drew me to Christ but it was that they lived where I did but they lived different than me. I wanted to know what in the life of Cindy Miller made her different. I wanted to know what made them different. We think in the church today that its how much like them we are that will bring them into the pews and we have begun to think like the world. We don't talk about conversion anymore. We talk about getting people churched. We don't talk about character but we talk about personality. We don't talk about virtue but we talk about values, personal values. We don't talk about the Gospel that delivers people from their sin but we talk about a gospel that will make you feel better about yourself or will be the avenue to get more success in business.

I know a man who lived in a pagan empire. His name was Joseph but he was a man who would not walk according to the world even though it kept costing him. Even when Potiphar's wife wanted him to go into that illicit relationship he said "I will not sin against my God and I'll not sin against my master." It got him thrown in prison and the first thing he does is start ministering to prisoners. He became the second advisor and second in power in a pagan kingdom. You can be in the world with influence in your family and others but only if the world is not given a resting place in your heart because your mind is transformed. Romans 12:1–2 says

[1] I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [2] Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Say 'no' to Lot. Say 'yes' to Joseph, Daniel, Nehemiah by saying 'yes' to Jesus. You may be thinking "I'm over there in Moab. I want to get out of Moab." He'll do that too. It won't be too long before we get to the part where He'll reach over there in Moab and pull out a woman and from her will come kings, and from her will come your Savior. It is Ruth the Moabitess. You're not too far from God for He's ready to save you and change you so that you might love Him with all your heart, soul and mind. Let's pray.


Father, thank You for the time we could be together and to be in Your Word. God would You speak to us even now? We as believers need to be encouraged that we can walk away from the way of Sodom, even though we live in places like Sodom. We can walk in the way, the truth and the life of Jesus Christ and You'll use us to bring others, including our family instead of losing them, we win them. O God, as a church, we want to be in the world with compassion, grace, truth, the fear of the Lord and the love of Christ. God, there are those reading this who right now hear that call of the Savior who will save them, forgive them, renew them and He says to you "Come!" Lord, we make this prayer and we exalt in Jesus Christ, in whose Name, I pray, Amen.

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