Spiritual Downfall (Genesis 13:12–13) - Radical

Spiritual Downfall (Genesis 13:12–13)

“Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now, the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.”
-Genesis 13:12–13

This is a very strategic moment in the book of Genesis and specifically in Abram’s life and in Lot’s life. So as they enter into the land, Abram says, “Hey, which part of the land do you want?” And Lot can choose from anywhere and verse 12 says, Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. And then verse 13 tells us, the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord. And in this geographic decision, we see set up for spiritual downfall. Lot goes near the people of Sodom and he pitches his tent there and he settles in the vicinity of great sinners that will eventually have a great influence on his life.

When Lot pitches his tent next to Sodom, he sets himself up for spiritual downfall.

Fast forward, Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed under God’s Holy wrath and Lot and his family are fleeing. If you remember the story, Lot’s wife looks back and she ends up dying on the spot. Lot had no idea the ramifications that would lie ahead for him, for his family, for his wife, as a result of settling near the camp of Saddam.

And as I read this story, I just want to warn you, even as I myself am warned reading this passage. When you pitch your tent, settle your life, in the influence of, to use the language from Genesis 13:13, wicked, great sinners, do not be surprised when you are taken in and when you are affected in adverse ways.

This passage is just shouting to you and me today. Don’t flirt with sin. Don’t toy with temptation. In your life and my life, be vigilant to pursue holiness, never to justify, rationalize, getting near sin and temptation.

Obviously, we love people in the world, sinners in the world, even as we are sinners before God. At the same time, we run from sin. We don’t rationalize it. We flee all sin, idolatry, immorality, temptation. We don’t toy with it and I’m just guessing there’s some listening right now who are tempted to toy with sin in this way or that way today, even as I am prone to wander in my own life.

We just pray, God, help us not to toy with sin and temptation. Help us not to rationalize it in our lives, to try to justify it. Help us to run toward you and holiness and the goodness of your word and obedience to all your commands and purity.

God gives pure minds and pure hearts and help us to speak with purity. Help us to act with holiness. God, we pray that you would keep us from the attempts of the adversary, to deceive, distract us today.

God, even as I’m praying this, I know that there’s an adversary who wants to pull every single one of us. Who’s listening to this, away from you, who wants to pull us into wickedness, in all kinds of different ways. So God, help us to be holy. Help us to be pure. Help us to honor you and in the process, experience the good life that you have called us to.

God, help us to run from temptation, even as you taught us to pray. Lord Jesus, lead us not into temptation, oh God, but deliver us from evil. God, I pray that in my life. I pray that over every single person listening right now today, by the power of your Spirit, by the shed blood of Jesus, we praise you, Jesus. You have made victory over sin and temptation possible for us. So help us to live in it today. Help us to run from sin and temptation in every way today. Make us Holy. We pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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