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Lot’s Lingering Legacy - Part A

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September 29, 2023 6:00 am

Lot’s Lingering Legacy - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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September 29, 2023 6:00 am

Skip looks at Lot’s life to give you a warning about becoming spiritually complacent. It’s a powerful word you don’t want to miss.

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Skip Heitzig

Some of us have grown content with far less than we should. We think things like this is good enough, life is nice enough, I'm spiritual enough, we've sacrificed enough, I've prayed enough, I've read enough, and enough is enough we grow complacent. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Pastor Skip looks at Lot's life to give you a warning about becoming spiritually complacent. It's a powerful word you don't want to miss.

But first, here's a resource that will give you a glimpse of eternity. Hell. Here's what C.S. Lewis said about this subject.

C.S. Lewis wrote in his book, The Problem of Pain, these words, There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power. But it has the full support of Scripture and especially of our Lord's own words.

It has always been held by Christendom and it has the support of reason. Ecclesiastes says God has put eternity in our heart. To help you understand what awaits both believers and unbelievers in eternity, we've put together an exciting resource called the Eternity Package featuring Skip's booklet, Hell, No, Don't Go, and seven of his strongest teachings about eternity, including the truth about hell and what most people don't know about heaven. This powerful new resource package is our thanks for your gift of $50 or more to support the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitig. So get your copy of the Hell, No, Don't Go booklet and the Eternity Package on CD or as a digital download today when you give a gift of $50 or more.

Give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. This eternity package is some of the most powerful information for you and to give to family and friends. See, if there is no hell, then the Bible's a book of myths. If there is no hell, then Jesus was just a misguided soul. If there is no hell, then the crucifixion was pointless. There's no significance in dying to save us from what? If there's no hell, then you should sin as much as you possibly can because it's not sin. It's just fun, right? It's just all about you getting pleasure in this life, sucking it like an orange dry at every drop of enjoyment you can. So get your copy of the Hell, No, Don't Go booklet and the Eternity Package on CD or as a digital download today when you give a gift of $50 or more.

Give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Now we're in Genesis 11 as we begin today's lesson. Once upon a time there was a duck and this duck loved flying in formation with his duck buddies going north and south in their cycles through the year. And as they were flying north in formation and they're quacking it up and flapping it up, the duck decided to go down to a barnyard where there were some domestic ducks and eat corn. So he ate corn and he stayed for an hour and then he stayed for a day, then he stayed for a week and he stayed for an entire month. At the end of the month his buddies were long gone.

He decided that life's pretty good here and he stayed the entire summer away from his friends enjoying his new environment. Well when his friends were flying in formation this time they were heading south for the winter they flew overhead and he looked up and he saw them recognize him heard them quacking it up and a thrill of excitement came to him with a great flapping of wings he managed to take himself into the air and start ascending but he could get no further than the top of the barn because the food had been so good life had been so awesome that he had grown well a little bit heavier. Later on when they were going north again he saw them and that same thrill came to him but again he could not ascend. They headed south months later same thing he would always look up and that thrill was still there but eventually as time went on that duck didn't even look up didn't even notice.

What's the moral of the story? It's simple, fat ducks can't fly. Or to put it in more applicational terms if you get too comfortable you won't be able to fly high enough or go far enough and you can miss the adventure. Some of us have grown content with far less than we should.

We think things are not as simple as things like this is good enough, life is nice enough, I'm spiritual enough, we've sacrificed enough, I've prayed enough, I've read enough, and enough is enough we grow complacent. In today's story in Genesis 11 the duck in the story is a man by the name of Lot. He once flew in the wild in formation with Uncle Abraham. But as time went on he didn't even look up he didn't even notice that it was time to move on and he stayed back. Over the years I've told you about a book and quoted from that famous Eugene Peterson book it's called A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. It's a good book. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. If Lot would have been the author of that book his title would be A Long Disobedience in the Same Direction because Lot crashes and burns but it's a slow crash, it's a slow burn.

He just makes one little choice after another little choice after another little choice and eventually the duck gets fat and cannot rise above the filth of the barnyard. So we're going to look at Lot beginning in Genesis 11. We're going to cover a lot of ground so I'm going to be filling in the gaps in between the texts that we read. But I want to look with you at Lot's life in three stages. And first is that he followed a champion that's Uncle Abraham or Abraham.

He goes by two names because the name gets changed. So let's look at Genesis 11. Genesis 11, would you look with me at verse 27. The story begins, this is the genealogy of Terah. Terah begot Abram, his name will be changed later to Abraham, one and the same. Terah begot Abram, Nahor and Haran. Haran begot Lot and Haran died before his father, Terah, in his native land in Ur of the Chaldeans. Then Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai, her name will be changed later to Sarah. And the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, the father of Iscah.

But Sarah was barren, she had no child. And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan, and they came to Haran and dwelt there. Now, go down to chapter 12 and look at verse 4. So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran. And they departed to go to the land of Canaan, so they came to the land of Canaan.

Here's the story. Abram, aka Abraham, was called out of a pagan culture, polytheistic, that is, they worship many gods, culture. The town was called Ur of the Chaldeans. It wasn't a podunk little village somewhere in Iraq, it was the town of the ancient world.

300,000 residents, known for advanced studies in mathematics and astronomy, and the capital of that Mesopotamian region called Sumer was Ur of the Chaldeans. But it was pagan nonetheless, it was polytheistic nonetheless. God wants to call Abram out of a polytheistic culture, get him alone, and reveal himself to him.

And he does this for a very good reason. That is because if you have noticed anything in your Bible, you notice that God doesn't tolerate rivals. Or God is never satisfied to be one God among other gods, and you know why that is, because there are no other gods.

They're all fake. There's only one true and living God, and God is about to reveal himself in a covenant to Abram. So he calls him out, and Lot goes with him. Now to add to the story, there's a tragedy that pushes its way into the family. Abram's brother dies. Or from Lot's perspective, his father dies. It says that he died before his father.

Haran died before his father Terah. That could mean one of two things. Either he died in front of his dad while his dad was watching him die, which would have been a shock, but that's a possibility. Or it could mean that he died chronologically before his father died.

It could just simply mean that. Either way, there's a death there's a death in the family. Either way, Lot has just lost his father, a terrible shock to him. And that just gives us insight into the family life, because nothing affects a family like a death. One night I got a phone call from my father to tell me my brother had died in a motorcycle accident. After the shock of that moment comes the cloud that settles over the family for months. That's something of what it was like to be Lot in this story.

Plus, there's something else. Did you notice that Sarai, Abram's wife, is infertile? She can't have children.

So here you have a childless couple, and you have a fatherless child. And because of the ancient customs of that day, Abram and Sarai took Lot under their wing. So wherever Abram goes, he will go as well. And God is calling Abram out. And I bet when he said, Lot, you're coming with us.

I bet Lot thought, yes. He was up for the adventure. He wanted to get out of town.

And again, I can only speak from my own experience after my brother died, after we went through the funeral, after we worked through all of his things. I remember saying to my mom and dad, I got to get out of town. I took a three month trip across the United States and Canada in my pickup truck just to get away and to clear my head. So I bet Lot just thought, yeah, I want to get out of town.

I'm up for the adventure. And so they go. They pull up stakes. They migrate along the Euphrates River to the west and to the south through modern day Iraq. They come to the area of Haran. They work their way south into the land of Canaan. That's the promised land, Israel. They then leave Israel and go down to Egypt because there's a famine in the land and Abraham lacks faith. They come back from Egypt, back to the promised land, the land of Canaan.

And the story picks up in chapter 13. Please look at verse one of chapter 13. Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had and Lot with him to the south.

Look at verse five. Lot also who went with Abram had flocks and herds and tents. You could sum up Lot's whole life in two words. He was with Abram. That's his whole life at this point. When Abram stops, he stops.

When Abram goes, he goes. If you were to have met Lot on the road, you say, hey, what's your name? He'd say, my name's Lot.

Really, what do you do? He would say, I'm with him. I follow this guy.

Wherever he goes, I go. Now, why do I bring this up and why is it important? Because I want you to see the advantage that Lot had in following a champion of faith.

That's Abram. Abram will be called the father of those who believe, the father of faith. Yes, his faith was imperfect, but the advantage of Lot to be so close and watch up close the decisions and lifestyle of a man of faith is incredible.

He was able to watch a man called by God, a man obeying God, a man fall down, falter in his faith, recover from that and move on, all of that of inestimable value. I just want to impress upon you the incredible value of the godly relationship of a mentor. If you are a young believer and you can attach yourself to an older believer in the faith who has walked obediently before the Lord, obediently before the Lord, it will pay dividends the rest of your life. They will hold you up when you're weak. They will speak into your life with affirmation. They will hold you accountable.

They will be available in a crisis. Think of the disciples. They had Jesus three and a half years. They got to hear him and see him close up as he healed people, as he prayed.

They got to watch all that, hear it in their own ears. You know, think of Paul watching Barnabas who encouraged Paul to get into the ministry. Aren't we glad for Barnabas? And then think of Timothy and Silas and Aquila and Priscilla and a host of others who were up close with Paul watching him. In fact, Paul will write in 1 Corinthians 11, follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.

Don't you love that? Hey, I want you to watch what I do as I am trusting Jesus Christ. I'm following him. You follow me and watch what it is to be a person of faith. That's a mentor. That's Abram to Lot.

Lot followed a champion. Watching a life is better than reading a book. Watching a life is better than hearing a sermon. And here I am preaching a sermon, but I'll tell you, to see faith lived in a life, it's close up.

It's better than concepts far off. Abram was for Lot like a buoy, kept him tethered. Let's go to the second stage of Lot's life, from following a champion to facing challenges. Verse six of chapter 13 gives us the challenge. We're told this, now the land was not able to support them that they might dwell together for or because their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. And Abram's livestock was a livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land. So Abram said to Lot, please let there be no strife between you and me, between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we're brothers.

Don't you love how he elevates his nephew to same status? We're brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, I'll go to the right.

If you go to the right, then I will go to the left. Now I want you to note here that there is no conflict between Abram and the Canaanites who dwell in that land. There is no conflict between Lot and the Canaanites who dwell in the land. No, the conflict is between relatives, the same family.

That's where the conflict lies. I grew up with three brothers, okay? Three older brothers. I was picked on a lot, which explains a lot. When I was growing up, I also had neighbors like we all did.

I don't remember any conflict with any of my neighbors. I remember plenty of conflicts with my brothers. And that's because we live close together and we're experiencing the same things and we're in a tight little house and fights break out.

But I got to tell you, sometimes I will talk to Christians who get so discouraged that there's disagreements in the church, in the body of Christ. We're believers. Shouldn't we get along? Yes, we should, but we're a family. We're a family. And this is normal stuff that happens in a family. We're siblings. It's called sibling rivalry.

I don't know if it was a Scottish or an Irish wag who said, to dwell above with those we love will certainly be glory, but to dwell below with those we know, well, that's another story. And it is. There's no conflict between Abram and the Canaanites, Lot and the Canaanites, but there is between the herdsmen and hence Abram and Lot. That's where the conflict lies. You'll also notice why they are fighting. It's because they got stuff. In their travels, they have done business. It has been profitable business. Their stuff has grown to more stuff. There's more employees on the payroll. There's more animals that they're traveling with. And so stuff has grown. There's nothing wrong with stuff, but understand stuff always complicates relationships.

It does. They need more room for their stuff. Now, most of us can relate to this in that whenever you move from one house to another house, it's when you realize how much stuff you have. And you will say, I didn't know we had this much stuff. And some of it's not all that important. I mean, some of it's in boxes and you open the box and go, yep, that's my stuff. And you close the box and you will never see it again until you move again. But stuff complicates relationships.

I can prove it. Try to get rid of her stuff. Try to get rid of his box of stuff. And he'll say, excuse me, that's my stuff. Yeah, but we don't need it. Oh, well, it's mine. So they have stuff and the stuff now complicates the relationships. There's another problem. Did you notice what it says in verse seven?

It's written as a footnote, but it says the Canaanites and the Perizzites dwelt in the land. Get the picture. They're having a fight with each other as brothers and outsiders are watching it happen. They have an audience. They have an unbelieving audience.

The world is watching us. There's a great story, a sad story, but true story about Michelangelo and Raphael. And I mean the artists, not the Ninja Turtles here, the real ones. Both were accomplished artists. Both were hired by the Vatican to beautify the inside of the Vatican. Both were very different kind of artists. One was a painter.

One was a sculptor. But a rivalry broke out between Michelangelo and Raphael. A bitter rivalry broke out. And even though they worked in separate places in the Vatican, it is said that when they passed each other in the hall, they refused to give each other eye contact or even speak to one another. What was ironic about this is they were working for the glory of God while having a fight. Well, people noticed it and talked about it.

In fact, all of Rome found out they were being watched. Well, in this situation, how does Lot respond? He has to make some choices. He goes from following a champion to facing a challenge to forming choices. He's going to make some decisions. And I want you to follow with me the decisions that he makes and how he makes them. In chapter 13, verse 10, we immediately notice that Lot forms his choice based upon looks, based upon what he sees. Chapter 13, verse 10. Lot lifted up his eyes and he saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar.

Lot was driven by his senses. It looked good. He saw that and went, ooh, that's nice.

That ought to be for me. Since I can have what I want, that's the best and I want the best. It looked good. Now, that should remind you of something we just looked at two weeks ago. I think it was two weeks ago when Eve was in the garden and that tree was hanging there, and it says she saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes. The New Testament calls this the lust of the eyes. You see, the eyes long for what the heart loves.

He saw it and it looked so good. Remember how in the New Testament, Paul says we walk by faith and not by—finish it up—sight. We walk by faith and not by sight.

Not Lot. Lot walked by sight and not by faith. That concludes today's teaching from the series Crash and Burn. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskipp.com. Now, here's Skip to share how you can keep these messages coming your way to connect you and many others around the world with God's Word. We share these Bible teachings to strengthen you in God's unchanging truth so that you can hold firmly to it in the face of confusing times. When you come alongside this ministry through your financial support, you do the same for many other listeners around the world. This year, I'm praying that God will open even more doors for these teachings to reach people in major cities across the United States. When you give, your support makes that vision possible.

So, please, would you consider a gift today? Here's how you can do that. Visit connectwithskipp.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskipp.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. And before you go, remember that you can find a treasure trove of resources to help you go deep into God's Word at connectwithskipp.com. Check it out today and connect with more life-changing truth from that's connectwithskipp.com. Join us next week as Skip continues his teaching about Lot's lingering legacy. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-29 04:58:15 / 2023-09-29 05:07:48 / 10

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