The Foul Fruit of Sin
“Then Abimelech called for Abraham. “What have you done to us?” he demanded. “What crime have I committed that deserves treatment like this, making me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin? No one should ever do what you have done! Whatever possessed you to do such a thing?“ – Genesis 20:9-10 NLT
In these two chapters we see the continued ramifications of sin in the lives of men. Lot, who had greedily chosen the land near Sodom (Genesis 13:10-11) when given the opportunity by Abraham, had ended up settling right in the city itself. He had become a regular fixture in the community, even sitting at the gate as one of the city leaders. But he had chosen to live and raise his two daughters in an environment that was anything but righteous. All indications are that Lot had retained his belief in Yahweh. He had not taken part in the unrighteous behavior of Sodom. Surprisingly, Peter refers to Lot as a good and righteous man. “But at the same time, God rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a good man who was sick of all the immorality and wickedness around him. Yes, he was a righteous man who was distressed by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day” (2 Peter 2:7-8 NLT). Lot had made a bad decision and found himself living in the midst of extreme sexual perversion. It was so bad, that it even got God’s attention so that He sent angels to bring judgment on the city. But rather than move, Lot chose to stay. He had become comfortable living where he was, even though the lifestyles of his fellow Sodomites “distressed” him. He probably thought he could survive unharmed and untainted by all that went on around him. But he had already allowed his daughters to become engaged to two men from Sodom, who both laughed in his face when he tried to warn them to flee the judgment to come. Lot’s own wife had fallen in love with Sodom and gazed longingly back at the city when given the chance to escape. The result was her own destruction.
All throughout these chapters you see the sad consequences of disobedience to God. Lot’s seemingly innocent decision to live in Sodom was now having dramatic effects on his family. His wife was dead, his daughters’ fiances had been destroyed, and he found himself living in a cave. It is there that we see the influence living in Sodom had had on his own daughters. They come up with a plan to keep their family’s legacy alive by having sex with their own father. That these two girls should come up with such a plan is shocking, but not surprising when considering the environment in which they were raised. They had seen it all. They had been exposed to some of the most degrading sexual perversions known to man. And it had had an influence on them. The result of their perverted sexual encounter with their own father were two children. One was Moab and the other was Ammon. The descendants of these two boys would be the Moabites and the Ammonites, two nations that would become enemies of the nation of Israel.
Deja Vu All Over Again!
Lot’s sins had ramifications. But so did the sin of Abraham. Once again, he resorts to protecting his own hide by putting his wife at risk. He exposes the mother of his future heir-to-be to the sexual advances of the king of Gerar by convincing her to lie and say she is his sister. The king takes her into his harem with the intent of treating her as one of his sex slaves. That Abraham would do this again, after being chastised by God the first time, is amazing. This man of faith still struggled with a lack of faith at times. And had it not been for the protective hand of God, this whole story could have turned out for the worse. But God intervened and warned the king in a dream not to touch Sarah. When the king finds out the truth he confronts Abraham. He is angry and confused. Why would Abraham do this to him? What had he done to Abraham to deserve this kind of treatment? He was innocent and blameless compared to Abraham. And yet, all Abraham could do was give three lame excuses for his actions. But those actions almost had disastrous effects. God was about to bring destruction on an entire nation because of the sin of Abraham.
Sin Is A Cancer
Sin is anything but harmless. How many time have we heard someone say when confronted about their sin, “I’m not hurting anybody else!” We somehow believe that our sin is isolated and has no impact on anyone but ourselves. But these two chapters and the whole of the Bible prove otherwise. Our sin spreads. Like a cancer, it grows and influences those around us. Our decisions have consequences. Our sin produces fruit. Sure, we can be forgiven if we confess. That is a promise of God. But that does not mean our sin will not have an impact on us and those around us. God rescued Lot, but his own daughters had already been soiled by the sinfulness of Sodom. God spared Abraham, but not before an entire nation found that all their women had become barren and unable to conceive because of the judgment of God (Genesis 20:18). Our sins produce fruit. Which should cause us to think long and hard before we commit them. The Scriptures give us a clear picture of what our sins can produce. Our subtle sins can produce serious ramifications.
Father, help me to see the seriousness of my own sin and the negative fruit it produces. I want to learn to stop rationalizing it and justifying it like Abraham did. I want to be able to claim integrity of heart and innocence of hands like Abimelech did. But I know that to do that I have to lean more and more on You and less on myself. I have to grow in my aware of and dependence on You. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
One thought on “Genesis 19-20”
God’s mercy is so powerfully evident in this part of Lot’s story. As the angels of the Lord were trying to hurry Lot and his family out for the safe of their deliverance, he hesitated. How may times have I done that? Hesitated on obedience to God’s Word. But when he hesitated, these angels grabbed their hands – Lot’s, his wife’s, his daughters’ – and led them out safely from the city. Most of the times in these passages we read between the lines, the merciful hand of the Heavenly Father. In this passage, it is spelled out for us, “the Lord was merciful to them” (v. 16). The other message that follows for me is, if God is merciful and provides a way, “Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere along the way…” words spoken to Lot’s family as they fled. This is a word to me…”run for what I for you,” says God, “and don’t look back!!”