Lot the Righteous?

Lot the Righteous?

Pastor Don Carpenter

Bible Boneheads / 2 Peter 2:7; Numbers 34:13; Deuteronomy 2:9

No matter what it looked like on the outside, Lot struggled with the wickedness around him and it bothered him. Don’t judge too harshly.

Do you guys remember the cartoon with Wiley Coyote and Ralph the sheep dog. I use to love that cartoon. Every morning Ralph and Wiley would meet at the time clock which was mounted on a tree. As they clocked in they would great each other and then they would go to their respective departments.

Ralph the sheep dog went to his post on the cliff and took his position as head of the sheep protection department. Wiley, true to his nature, would slink away in to the forest to plan his strategy as head of the sheep acquisition and consumption department.

As the day wore on Ralph sat patiently at his post with a protective eye looking over the flock as Wiley tried one scheme after another in hopes of making his quota of sheep for the day. However, no matter how hard he tried it seemed that poor Wiley’s plan was always thwarted by Ralph at the last moment. Inevitably as the day drew to a close just before the whistle blew, Wiley would pull out all the stops and slip into his sheep costume and meander into the fold with the hope of finally catching his prey only to realize after his pray was in fact none other than Ralph the sheep dog who had dressed himself up as a sheep in anticipation of Wiley’s scheme. Poor Wiley never caught a break.

Wiley’s sheep costume illustrates a tactic that is used by our enemy the devil. In fact in Matthew 7.15 Jesus warns us that in similar fashion Satan will send ravenous wolves into the fold dressed in sheep’s clothing to catch the sheep unaware and snatch them away by false teaching. As we learned last week Satan will do what ever he can to destroy the flock. Therefore, it is imperative that we have discerning spirits so that we can discern the motives of those who are among us.

However, our generation, as I’m sure it has been in generations past, I believe the greatest danger to the work of the Kingdom of God is not as much when wolves come in dressed as sheep, but it is when the sheep go in to the world dressed in wolves clothing. The greater problem in modern American Christianity is when “so called” Christians wear their sheep’s clothing on Sunday only to put on their wolves clothing on Monday.

As we finish our look at a Bible Bonehead named Lot, we come to an unexpected commentary about his life written by Peter. Certainly this guy did not look saved, and yet, God’s word calls him Righteous. Our text verses give us some insight and warning about how far a believer can wonder, yet still be a blood bought child of God.

The main lesson tonight is that when a believer chooses to surround himself with sin and compromise, he will be tortured until he gets out and gets right.

Lot Was Delivered

2 Peter 2:7 (KJV)

And delivered just Lot…

Because of God’s Character

2 Peter 2:9 KJV
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Genesis 18:23 KJV
And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Genesis 18:25 KJV
That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Because of God’s Mercy

Genesis 19:16 KJV
And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

Because God Was Using Sodom and Gomorrah as Warnings to Others.

2 Peter 2:6 KJV
And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

Lot Was Just – Righteous

2 Peter 2:7–8 (KJV)

And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

Genesis 15:6 KJV
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Romans 4:3–5 KJV
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

“And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation [manner of life] of the wicked.” He didn’t go for the way they lived; he hated it. He was a just man, which means that he was justified before God because he trusted God as Abraham did, although he didn’t lead a life like Abraham, one that was a testimony to the world. Lot stands on the page of Scripture as a saint of God who was justified because of his faith, but his life denied everything he believed and he never had a moment’s peace down here.

“For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing.” Just think of the filth that that man had to listen to! Very candidly, I do not believe that a child of God can continually engage in filthy conversation. Filthy conversation will lead to filthy action.

God said to this man, “Lot, you will have to get out of the city. I cannot destroy it with you in it.” You see, in the meantime there was a man named Abraham who was not criticizing Lot but was praying for him. That is a good lesson for many of us. There is a preacher, a friend of mine, who criticizes everything and everybody. One day he was criticizing an outstanding Bible teacher whom I respect and know that God has mightily used. I said to my friend, looking him right straight in the eye, “Have you ever prayed for him?” He turned red and said he hadn’t. I said, “Instead of criticizing him, why don’t you pray for him? If you think he is wrong, pray for him.”

Abraham prayed for the city of Sodom. He wanted his nephew Lot to be spared. Abraham asked God to spare the city for the sake of fifty righteous people. He finally got it down to ten righteous people, and then he stopped praying because he was afraid that Lot was not really a child of God. But Lot was, and God got him out. God said, “I cannot destroy the city until you get out.”1

1 McGee, J. V. (1991). Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (2 Peter) (electronic ed., Vol. 55, pp. 58–59). Thomas Nelson.

Lot Was Vexed

Psalm 119:158 KJV
I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; Because they kept not thy word.

Two different Hebrew Words translated vexed in KJV.

2 Peter 2:7 (KJV)

And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

Vexed” is katapone? (?????????), “to tire down with toil, exhaust with labor, to afflict or oppress with evils.” The vile lives of the people of these two cities wore Lot down as his soul rebelled against the filth he saw always about him.1

1 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 12, p. 51). Eerdmans.

Vexed -exhausted by, oppressed by Filthy Conversation.

1 Timothy 3:5 KJV
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

The Greek term used here, meaning “lack of restraint,” occurs elsewhere in nt listings of sexual sin (e.g., Rom 13:13; 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19; 1 Pet 4:3). The sexual misconduct of Sodom was so extensive that men from the city attempted to rape the angels visiting Lot (Gen 19:1–22).1

1 Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., Whitehead, M. M., Grigoni, M. R., & Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (2 Pe 2:7). Lexham Press.

Filthy” is aselgeia (????????), “unbridled lust, excess, wantonness, shamelessness.” The word is in the locative of sphere following the preposition en. (??.) Peter is referring to the behavior of the lawless in the sphere of unbridled lust.1

1 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 12, p. 51). Eerdmans.

Vexed – Tortured

2 Peter 2:8 KJV
(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

James 4:17 KJV
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

“Vexed” is basaniz? (????????), “to torment, to torture.” Strachan remarks: “It is somewhat peculiar that the active should be used. ‘He vexed, distressed his righteous soul.’ May it not be that in the use of the active a certain sense of personal culpability is implied? Lot was conscious that the situation was ultimately due to his own selfish choice.” Strachan translates, “day in, day out.”

Translation. For, in seeing and hearing, the righteous one having settled down permanently among them, day in, day out, tormented his righteous soul with their lawless works.1

1 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 12, p. 52). Eerdmans.

Lot’s waning faith is unpacked for us a bit more in verse 8: “For as that righteous man lived among them day by day, his righteous soul was tormented by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.” What Lot saw and heard day in and day out took its toll on him. The exposure to the “lawless deeds” of the unprincipled people of his city literally tortured his spiritual nature. Lot was wearing down when God rescued him.1

1 Shaddix, J., & Akin, D. L. (2018). Exalting jesus in 2 peter, jude (2 Pe 2:6–8). Holman Reference.

Self Inflicted Wound Due to Personal Choice

Genesis 13:13 KJV
But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

Dwelling” is egkatoike? (??????????), “to live in a home,” kata (????), “down,” and eg (en) (?? (??)) “in,” or “among.” Katoike? (????????) speaks of the act of settling down permanently. It was used of the permanent residents of a town as contrasted to the transients who lived there only for a time. Lot had settled down permanently among the inhabitants of Sodom.1

1 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 12, p. 52). Eerdmans.

“Seeing” is blemma (??????) (from blepo (?????)), “a look, a glance.” It is used of the look of a man from without. The person looking is an onlooker but not a participant of the thing viewed.1

1 Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 12, p. 52). Eerdmans.

Conclusion:

This commentary in 2:7b–8 about Lot’s weakening defense likely is included for a couple of reasons. First, Peter wants to warn his readers about passive exposure to wickedness, especially of the sexual nature (see 1 Thess 4:1–8).

The portrayal of Lot provides a warning to a generation of people who will view without protest television material that, a generation ago, they would never have considered seeing at a movie. (Vaughn and Lea, 1, 2 Peter, 173)

We’ll never completely be able to avoid hearing and seeing everything that’s evil. But the default response to that predicament is not to throw up our hands and welcome the world into our lives and homes. When that happens, we stop crying out to God for his deliverance. Instead, we need to run from godlessness (cf. 1 Cor 6:18; 10:14; 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22), partly because of its devastating effects on our spiritual sensitivity and defenses. We must avoid settling in to our cultural climate. The biggest danger many of us face as believers is not being martyred for our faith but having our faith dulled by exposure to wickedness.1

1 Shaddix, J., & Akin, D. L. (2018). Exalting jesus in 2 peter, jude (2 Pe 2:6–8). Holman Reference.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:12 PM April 20, 2022.