Sodom and Gomorrah, we learn at the beginning of this chapter, are in bondage. What an interesting thing to learn - that they are in bondage to a king named Chedorlaomer. They had been serving him (most likely with payments of money as well) for 5 years - but decided to rebel against their bondage. They quickly learned that they did not have the power to break free from this bondage. Their lesson - a battle where they were soundly defeated - where they were taken captive - where they lost all their possessions - and where even their food supply was taken from them. The picture painted here is bleak - but it is also fascinating. Think with me for a few moments about what this meant for Sodom and its newest inhabitant, Lot.
They were in bondage from which they could not deliver themselves. Their physical situation mirrored their spiritual one. They were also sinners exceedingly against the Lord - and couldn't break from that bondage either. When they tried to become free, they did not have the power to break that bondage - the same was true of their sinful condition. They lived defeated lives - hiding from their enemy - even while the enemy pillaged them. They lost everything in their defeat - all their goods and even their families. Then finally, even their daily food supply was gone as their enemy took it and left them starving and unable to respond with any viable counter-attack that promised any deliverance. Without a deliverer to come to their aid - they were dead. And in verse 12 we read these words about Lot's situation: "They also took Lot, Abram’s nephew, and his possessions and departed, for he was living in Sodom."
There is a lot we can learn from Lot in all this. When you locate yourself near sin - and then move in with sin - your lot in life (no pun intended) will be the same as theirs. Regardless of all the years he followed Abraham - now Lot's future was identical to those with whom he identified. What happened to sinful Sodom - was now happening to Lot. He was in bondage. He was unable to free himself. He was defeated. He was subject to losing everything. He was now destitute. He was robbed of everything. He was facing death and slavery unless someone came to deliver him.
So - before we move on to the deliverance - we should ask a few questions. Where have you moved in your life? Have you moved away from following the Lord and toward sin? Are you identifying with this world more than you are God? Are you finding that your lot in life is changing because of your new affinity with sin? You will be in the same bondage - the same slavery - the same defeat - the same loss - the same destitute condition - and even in the same death spiral with none to save. For the true Christian - to find our hearts far from the Lord - and our condition more in line with the judgment of the world has to be a shock when we finally realize it. We are children of the King and sons of the Father - and yet here we are living in a pig pen longing to eat the scraps and leftovers the pigs are eating. Oh that we would awaken by the grace of God to see our condition and realize even our Father's slaves are better off that this. Oh that repentance would overwhelm us - and we would return to our Father rather than remain shut up with the pigs any longer. Moving away from a heart for God and choosing the pig sty of this world is so very foolish. It may begin with promise of immediate gratification and a valley of abundance - but it ends in bondage, defeat, and spiritual starvation.
Who will deliver us from such a fate - from our cruel bondage to the Cruel one? This must have been the thought of Lot as he stood among the captive slaves. But even as hope slipped away from him - word had reached his uncle about his situation. In a glorious type of Christ - Abraham sprung to action and gathered the all who were with him and moved to deliver his nephew. Abraham attacked Chedorlaomer and defeated him decisively - not only destroying him, but also delivering all those enslaved to him. This is what Christ Jesus does for us. We are unable to deliver ourselves from slavery to sin - but He comes and wins the victory defeating our enemy and delivering us from bondage to him. But what would be Lot's response to this wonderful deliverance? How would he respond to seeing the radical difference between the godly Abraham and the ungodly king of Sodom? Would he turn from living near the ungodly - indeed living with them - to return to the influence and nearness of the man of God?
Once this whole event was over - Lot returned to Sodom and lived among them. He didn't see the incredible contrast between living among the godly and living among the ungodly. The whole deliverance was lost on him. In our next visit with him - we will see that he has not just moved near Sodom - he is settled among them. He has so identified with them that he lives among them - chooses his daughter's future husbands among them - and allows his wife to so identify with them that leaving the lifestyle and company of Sodom seems horrific to her.
Oh precious saints of God - there is MUCH we should learn in a warning from Lot. There is much for us to see - and in seeing fear God and learn to hate sin as He hates it. There is nothing for us by moving closer to sin. What is promised as abundance and pleasure is only the disguise of the chains that will one day bind us and enslave us. Come out from the midst of them and be separate. Embrace holiness and shun a relationship with the sinful world. Turn from an identification with them and their lifestyles - and embrace a relationship with God that involves mortification, mercy, and ministry. Mortification as we die to sin and its lure of us away from the Lord. Mercy as we have compassion on those still entrapped and in bondage to it. Ministry as we go to them, love them, and share the only One Who can deliver them from it.