Posts Tagged ‘Lot’

Part 1 – Genesis 14 – BUZZ LIKEYOU TO THE RESCUE!

Buzz LikeYou to the Rescue!

My grandson hits the ground running in the morning. He will come in at 5am while I am having my quietime and startle me by saying “Pa, you be Zurg!” and thrust into my hands an action figure with horns, piercing eyes and cape. My grandson plays the part of BUZZ LIKEYOU (I think the name is supposed to be Buzz Lightyear, but I kind of like the idea of Buzz having the name “Likeyou” so I have given up trying to correct this – imagine an action figure that actually likes you). Of course Buzz doesn’t have horns. I am always cast as the bad guy, THE EVIL EMPEROR ZURG. Zurg has the fire power of a small army attached to his arm but it makes no difference. I am always defeated by Buzz Likeyou who likes everyone except the evil emporer Zurg. I suppose that’s a good thing, but not at 5am. “Zion Brave”, I say, “go back to bed until the sun comes up at least.” He goes in to our bedroom and Nanny tells him stories of Bible heroes or he goes back to sleep beside her until it gets light.

IN GENESIS 14:1-24 WAR BREAKS OUT! This is the first war mentioned in the Bible and Lot is in the middle of it. Now there’s an interesting name. Lot by name and he wanted a lot by nature. He’s the nephew of Abram and he’s camped near Sodom and Gomorrah with his family, a lot of livestock, lot’s of servants – the lot (I know. I couldn’t help it. Who names their child “Lot”?). Anyway, that’s the reason he get’s caught up in the battle (not because of his name but because of his position. Position myself beside Sodom and Gomorrah’s kind of wickedness and I am inviting unnecessary trouble.)

It all looks good and the land is fertile and lush, but you don’t want to be in Sodom when Kedorlaomer comes (the evil emporer Zurg). You see SODOM IS A VASSAL CITY (servant city) of King Kedorlaomer. They have probably been forced by their suzerain overlord, Kedorlaomer, to pay tribute money (usually 10%. Tithing to kings was common in the ancient world), and they have refused and rebelled. Even evil people rebel against tithing.

King Kedorlaomer decides to assert his authority and brings his army to lay waste to the city and bring it back under his control. Genesis 14:10 (NLT) says, “as the army of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into the tar pits,” (I presume that means their chariots got stuck or swallowed by these tar pits. What a way to go! Was it hot tar? Uggh. Maybe they just fell into these pits in order to hide), “while the rest escaped into the mountains. The victorious invaders then plundered Sodom and Gomorrah and headed for home, taking with them all the spoils of war and the food supplies. They also captured Lot-Abram’s nephew who lived in Sodom-and carried off everything he owned.” (Genesis 14:11-12 NLT)They took the lot. Lot was left with nothing. There are consequences to choosing to get too close to wickedness. Slavery! Wickedness always enslaves.

NOW “BUZZ LIKEYOU” COMES TO THE RESCUE! Abram is no wimp. He quickly mobilizes “318 trained men who had been born into his household.” (Genesis 14:14). The fact that they were trained means that Abram was always prepared for battle. I need to have that kind of readiness in the spiritual battles I face as a Christian – A PREPAREDNESS – ahead of time for what I may face.

It also shows how many people were in Abram’s entourage. He catches up with Kedorlaomer’s army at Dan, divides up his men and attacks during the night. Kedorlaomer’s army don’t know what hit them and they run for their lives. Abram recovers all the goods that had been taken, and brings back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives.

How does this apply to me Lord?

BE PREPARED SPIRITUALLY, because the battles will come.

BE ALERT TO THE OPPORTUNITIES around me to help someone who needs my help, especially if they need to be set free from the slavery of their old life, and find freedom to live by serving Christ. The truth is we will be serving something or someone. I choose to serve Christ and my God who created me and has the best plan for my life.

BE ALIGNED WITH THE RIGHT KIND OF PEOPLE. Abram aligned himself with people who could help when things got tough. He even trained them. I went to a prayer meeting this morning with about 40 other people. I choose to align myself with God’s warriors in prayer.

BE RESPONSIBLE for others in terms of care. Abram didn’t have to help, but he did. When someone is enslaved by their sin, drugs, immorality, we have a responsibility to help them.

Galatians 6:1 (NLT) says “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” 

BE STRATEGIC. Abram planned the rescue of Lot. If we are going to rescue those who are lost and don’t know Christ, then we need a strategy.

BE INVOLVED PERSONALLY. Not just train people and send them out with a plan, but be involved personally.

BE GENEROUS. Abram returned everyone and everything to Sodom that was taken. He didn’t have to. He was generous and unselfish towards non-Christians

Micah 6:8 (NLT) puts it this way “… the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  

What happens next is intriguing but it will have to wait for another time.

God bless you Church as you are prepared, alert, aligned, strategic, responsible, involved and generous.

Pastor Ross

PART 4 – GENESIS 19:1-38 – JUST CAUSE! GAME OVER!

Just Cause! No Chances Left!

Genesis 19 reads like a VIDEO GAME. It opens with a powerful weapon in the arsenal – Abraham’s prayer (Genesis 18:23-32) which provides firecover throughout the story. The two angels that come into town are the heroes on a RESCUE MISSION from HIGH COMMAND called “JUST CAUSE”.

Here’s how it plays out for SODOM AND GOMORRAH. The two angels are not hired by THE AGENCY but they are on a MISSION FROM GOD. And they are here to RESCUE Lot and his family and DESTROY the city. Along the way they will BLIND a marauding mob, and then they will DESTROY Sodom with firepower that can only be described as volcanic. In the EXPLOSIVE BEDLAM that takes place, the question is “WILL LOT AND HIS FAMILY ESCAPE?”

The angels are doing their thing and the whole town is IGNITING like an errupting fuel dump, DETONATING everything around them as the city is TORCHED and panic is the order of the day. 

If this was a video game of “JUST CAUSE” these angels would be racking up the POINTS as an enormous amount of devastation obliterates everything in sight. The official orders are “civilian casualties are regrettable but sanctioned. In fact neuk the whole town!” (my translation) as hot lead (fire and brimstone) rains down on Sodom. This is not DIGITAL CHAOS but the real deal. And the judgment of God is NO VIDEO GAME!

9/11 for Sodom and Gomorrah! A Terrorist attack? No! A terrifying example of the judgment of God. Jude 1:7 (NLT) says “Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.” 

EARTHQUAKE, VOLCANIC ERUPTION, SULPHURIC GASES, ASHES, UPHEAVAL, DESTRUCTION, CATASTROPHE!

2 Peter 3:9 (NLT) “The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 

Why would a loving God rain down fire and burning sulphur from the sky on SODOM? Perhaps a better question is “Why does He NOT rain down fire and burning sulphur on SYDNEY?” Or any city for that matter? I would. Turn a few politicians and anyone else who I feel deserves it into PILLARS OF SALT! If God was FAIR according to our standards we wouldn’t be here. Lot’s wife pits herself against God’s ABSOLUTE JUSTICE and loses. PILLAR OF SALT! GAME OVER!

Why did the angels go to all the trouble of bringing them out of Sodom if Lot’s wife was going to become a pillar of salt? Lot’s wife runs out of chances! ONLY ONE LIFE in this game. Hebrews 9:27 (NLT) says “…each person is destined to DIE ONCE and after that comes JUDGMENT” 

Jesus said in Luke 17:32-33 (NLT) “Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.” It seems Lot’s wife was trying to cling onto her old way of life in Sodom, lagging behind. IT ONLY TOOK A SPLIT SECOND! MINERALISED! GAME OVER! NO MORE CHANCES!

When Jesus speaks of His return He says in Luke 17:28-30 (NLT) that “the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business-eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building-until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”  

God bless you Church as you trust in Christ who like angels of old also came on a mission from God to rescue us from Judgment.

John 3:16-18 (NLT) “For God loved the world so much that He gave His One and only Son, so that everyone who BELIEVES IN HIM will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to SAVE THE WORLD through Him. “There is NO JUDGMENT against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has ALREADY BEEN JUDGED for not believing in God’s One and only Son.” 

Pastor Ross

Part 3 – Genesis 19:1-38 – TWO WRONGS AND A RIGHTEOUS MAN

One Way3.jpg

“One Way” © Picture created Ross Cochrane

Sodom and Sydney have much in common. When a mob of men from their “gay mardi gras” demand to sexually abuse Lots guests (two angels in human form) in Genesis 19:7-8, Lot goes out to them and says “Please, my brothers, don’t do such a wicked thing. Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can DO WITH THEM AS YOU WISH. BUT PLEASE, LEAVE THESE MEN ALONE, FOR THEY ARE MY GUESTS AND ARE UNDER MY PROTECTION.”

I am disgusted and revolted by these men but equally by what Lot says as he offers up his daughters. What! Does he think that his daughters will be safe in the hands of this mob because they’re homosexuals? My mother used to say “TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT!”

HOMOSEXUALITY, RAPE, DRUNKENNESS, INCEST, DISOBEDIENCE! We find it all in this passage. Who deserves judgment? THEY ALL DO! Lot included!

Yet 2 Peter 2:8 says “Lot was a RIGHTEOUS MAN who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day”.

He still has a CONSCIENCE and it is working overtime. He is TORMENTED by what he sees and hears, but I still flinch at the word “RIGHTEOUS” being used of Lot, because it sounds as if he should ACT ON HIS BELIEFS and put the “TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT” principle into action.

What does it mean when it says that Lot is RIGHTEOUS? One thing is obvious. It doesn’t mean he is PERFECT. It seems both Lot and Abraham have some skewed ideas about women.

LOT IS A RIGHTEOUS MAN but he fails in the FATHERHOOD department, big time. There are times when he GETS THINGS WRONG, really wrong. ME TOO! When I am faced with wickedness, what do I do? Sometimes the decisions aren’t all that easy, and whatever I choose to do seems to be the wrong thing. Romans 3:10 is right when it says that by ourselves “NO ONE IS RIGHTEOUS-not even one…”

Righteousness is not based on some RELIGIOUS, SELF RIGHTEOUS, SANCTIMONIOUS, HOLIER THAN THOU, COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIAN LIFE.  

So how can I be MADE TO BE RIGHTEOUS? Romans 3:22-25 tells me clearly. Listen to this! This gives me a whole lot of HOPE...

“We are made RIGHT WITH GOD (righteous) by PLACING OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. And this is true for EVERYONE who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we ALL FALL SHORT of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, DECLARES THAT WE ARE RIGHTEOUS. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are MADE RIGHT WITH GOD when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. …God did this to demonstrate HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, for He Himself is fair and just, and He DECLARES SINNERS TO BE RIGHT in His sight when they BELIEVE IN JESUS.”

The invitation is to ask that all important question that Lot should have asked himself long before opening the door. WILL MY CIRCUMSTANCES DRIVE MY DECISION-MAKING OR MY BELIEFS?

Pastor Ross

Part 7 – Genesis 18:16-33 – HOW COULD A LOVING GOD SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?

Chinese War Sword

In the early years of her life she witnessed horrific events as members of her family were beheaded in conflicts in China. Although she was only a little girl, MI LEE (not her real name) was forced to watch and still hallucinates about these terrible and barbaric events.

At 93, she can’t speak much now and her eyes are not the best, but her lovely face lights up when her daughter tells her that the Pastor is saying hello to her. This little old Chinese woman who attends my devotions faithfully served as an officer in the Salvation Army for most of her life, helping the poor and destitute and preaching the gospel.

WILLIAM BOOTH, the founder of the Salvation Army would have been proud of Mi Lee. Her faith in God and in her Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, is strong despite the evils perpetrated against her.

If 9/11 taught us anything, it is the presence of evil in this world. All of a sudden the world believed in evil, but people like William Booth and Mi Lee seek to hold back the tide of evil, to introduce the flavour of eternity into the world, and expose such evil to the light. To be salt and light. (See Matthew 5:13-16)

London had William Booth. Australia has Mi Lee. SODOM HAD A MAN CALLED LOT. They answer the question “HOW CAN A LOVING GOD SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?”

In Genesis 18, Sodom is about to be destroyed by God’s judgment, but God’s grace and love have given the people of Sodom every opportunity to repent. They have had the EXAMPLE AND LEADERSHIP OF LOT in their midst. Did Lot try to represent God to Sodom? I think he did.

I have heard messages about how Lot gave into the temptations of evil as he first LOOKED TOWARDS SODOM (Genesis 13:10), then WENT DOWN into the valley, by CHOOSING THE BEST LAND (Genesis 13:11) “then Lot MOVED HIS TENTS to a place near Sodom and SETTLED AMONG THE CITIES of the plain” even though “the people of this area were extremely wicked and constantly sinned against the Lord” (Genesis 13:12 NLT). Then he began to LIVE IN SODOM itself (Genesis 14:12) and finally we find him “SITTING IN THE GATE” which indicates a place of authority in the city. He’s received a lot (excuse the pun) of criticism.

Lot is always spoken of as WORLDLY AND SELFISH but is he seeking to be an influence for good? Is he simply being salt and light in a tasteless and dark city (see Matthew 5:13-16)? It’s not enough to say he was wrong to mix with evil people. William Booth did and he made a difference. Jesus did and the Pharisees accused Him of doing the wrong thing too. Lord let me always be willing to be a positive influence for you with those around me who don’t know you.

2 Peter 2:6-9 (NLT) says “…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….” Maybe Lot means well by bringing up his family in this evil city. Not sure I’d want my children brought up in Sodom and Gomorrah. Sydney is bad enough! But perhaps he has good intentions as a leader in the city.

But despite any possible efforts of Lot, now their evil has reached the point of no return and JUDGMENT IS IMMINENT. An outcry for justice, perhaps from those who were oppressed in Sodom, has risen to God and the only appropriate response is about to take place.

DID SODOM DESERVE JUDGMENT? Oh Yes! And as a matter of fact I do too! It’s only by God’s grace that I am saved.

God bless you Church as you are instruments of God’s grace giving lost people with whom you interact everyday the opportunity to repent and give their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mi Lee didn’t turn away from God when life was overwhelmingly assaulted by the forces of evil. She didn’t bring her beliefs down to the level of her circumstances. She reached out to Christ and lifted her circumstances up to the level of her beliefs. As a consequence she has made a difference in the world and showed the love of Christ to those around her with unmet physical, spiritual and emotional needs. She still does. Help me to make a difference such as this, Lord.

Pastor Ross