“But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. “ 2:7-8
I’ve been thinking about this chapter all day, specifically this verse. God rescued Lot because he was a righteous man? The only thing I could remember about Lot was the time he tried to hand off his virgin daughters to an angry, perverted crowd beating down his front door in the name of hospitality (Genesis 19). The Bible doesn’t give us all the puzzle pieces, and God is the only one who can truly know a man’s heart. I can only imagine the things Lot experienced day in and day out living in Sodom, a city so wicked that God completely destroyed it by raining down fire and sulfur.
Sometimes I feel like I live in Sodom. 1 in 4 of my son’s preschool aged friends will (statistically) be sexually abused by someone they know. Corruption seeps out of every institution, even the church. Another senseless American shooting happened this weekend, inside the walls of a building where people were seeking an experience with God. I feel very blessed to live in this country, for the most part, and realize we have it so much better than some of our neighbors in other parts of the world. But I too feel tormented in my soul by the wickedness I see day after day.
I cannot simultaneously hate this world and also be a light to the people in it without Jesus. He loves the lost. He hounds their hearts. Yet he despises sexual immorality, greed and arrogance (2 Peter 2:10-11), things that run rampant in our culture. I need his Holy Spirit to help me find the middle ground, to be marked by love but to be known as Lot was known, by being righteous and hating the evil taking place around me. I’m starting with prayer. It’s the most tangible way for me to immediately get involved in the Good Fight and posture myself towards the Holy Spirit. It gives me space to hear from him and invite him to shape my heart towards holiness.
Where do you stand? Do you need to ask for more compassion towards people who don’t know God? Or are you on the other end of the spectrum, needing to separate yourself from culture?