Being polluted by the world

Today’s Bible readings

Abraham had a nephew named Lot, who lived in a horrendously depraved city called Sodom.  In God’s righteousness and justice, He was poised to destroy the city, and in His faithfulness to Abraham, He resolved to rescue Lot and his family from the destruction. 

When the angels arrived, the reader of the passage can see that even though Lot is still a godly man like Abraham (2 Peter 2:6-8), he has been polluted by the world around him.  Now, mind you, this is not explicitly said, but here’s where we infer the conclusion: 

1. He calls the mob “brothers”. 

When the orgy-craving mob came to rape the angels, Lot said to them, 

and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. – Genesis 19:7

In some way, Lot identifies himself with the people of the city, despite their wide departure from God’s law written on their hearts.  

2. He offers up his daughters instead. 

Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” – Genesis 19:8

Though Lot was righteous to defend his guests, he seems to have been desensitized to the wickedness of giving up his own daughters to be raped instead.  When you live in a place where debauchery is commonplace, it is easy to have your values twisted.  

3. He lingered. 

15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.”

16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. – Genesis 19:15-16

Despite the grave warning of the angels, Lot was hesitant to leave.  Perhaps it was because of his attachment to his home or city that prevented him from obeying the Lord more readily. 

4. Under his leadership, his wife looked back. 

As the city was being destroyed, we read,

But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. – Genesis 19:26

This action, that seems to show an attachment to the wicked place, is a reflection of Lot’s leadership of the family. 

Now, these are inferences, but they’re safe guesses.  The evidence is stacked up. It seems that Lot and his family were polluted by the world around them. 

We, too, can be polluted by the world around us.  Consider, for example, what we’re willing to watch on TV.  Sex sells, and Hollywood sells it heavily.  It seems that 90% of the new shows that come out have some sort of sex scene or nudity in the first couple of episodes.  The makers of the series, after all, need people coming back.  But many of us have become desensitized to it.  Perhaps fifty years ago, it would’ve been unthinkable for that to be on television.  But we have been polluted by the world around us. 

Or consider traffic laws.  According to the Bible, to obey God would be to obey those traffic laws (Romans 13).  But since everybody speeds, we feel okay to speed alongside them.  Evidence of pollution.  

This is why it’s crucial that we have a Savior who Himself was not polluted.  We do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but was tempted in every way, yet without sin.  It was because He was unpolluted that He was a worthy sacrifice to pay the penalty of our pollution.  And its His victory over sin and death that allows us, through faith, to be unpolluted in the Father’s eyes.  

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