Who or what do you escape to when life gets tough? Lot's story reminds us of the danger of seeking solace in vices and points us to the One who is faithful to provide a way out and through life's temptations: Jesus.
Lot’s nerves are raw. It is as though he is living in a bad dream. Only this isn’t a dream, it is reality. Within a few days, he has lost everything he owned and most of his family. He knows he should be relieved that he is alive, but all he feels is shock and grief.
Now far from the smoldering ash of what used to be Sodom, Lot’s troubles are still not over. While his presence in Zoar has spared it from also being destroyed, Lot is afraid to stay. His fear drives him to flee into the mountains and settle in a cave.
Away from the masses of people and the pervasive wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot may be assuming he is on the downhill side of his trials. Unfortunately, not only does destruction lie behind Lot, but because he is unprepared for temptation, it also lies in front of him. His daughters are fearful of their lack of prospects and of an unknown future, so they devise a wicked plan at their father’s expense.
There’s little doubt the depravity and sexual perversion they had grown accustomed to in Sodom influence their thinking and actions. They have no regard for the sanctity of sex within marriage, and they saw how casually their father had offered them to the sex-crazed mob at the door of their house (Genesis 19:8). To them, sex is anything but holy; it is a bargaining chip, a tool, a weapon of control.
Their twisted plan is to get their father drunk and sleep with him so they can bear children by him. Successful in their mission, they bear two sons, named Moab and Ammon. From these two sons come forth two enemy nations of Israel: the Moabites and Ammonites. They are referred to with contempt throughout Scripture as “the children of Lot” (Psalm 83:5-8; Deuteronomy 2:9 &19 KJV).
Lot’s daughters bear the weight of their depravity and sinful actions, but Lot is not without blame. Lot seeks to escape his painful reality by numbing himself with alcohol. With his guard down, he relinquishes control and sin runs rampant, bearing painful consequences in his life.
We can attempt to escape reality with lots of different vices. During a painful period in my life, I tried to escape my grief, not with alcohol, but with busyness. I thought if I could distract myself with something productive, I wouldn’t have to deal with the grief I felt. Even ‘good’ things can become ‘bad’ or ‘distracting’ when we use them to numb ourselves or pull away from our problems. Lot’s life reminds us that a temporary escape only increases or prolongs our troubles.
First Corinthians 10:13 offers us hope and a strategy for when temptation to sin strikes: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” Whatever temptations we face, they won’t shock God; He is faithful and will provide a way of escape. It doesn’t always have a blinking neon exit sign, but there is a path of obedience in every sticky situation and a way to refuse to submit to whatever temporarily satisfies but isn’t Christ.
No matter where Lot lived, he couldn't escape sin, and neither can we; it's everywhere because it’s within every human heart (Jeremiah 17:9). Our refuge isn’t found in escaping our problems but in the person of Jesus Christ. Run to him the next time temptation strikes. The satisfaction that He offers is better than any temporary relief we might find somewhere else. He is our way of escape, no matter what lies behind or before us.
What are you trying to escape in this season? What might it look like practically for you to find your refuge in Jesus? What changes might you need to make for this to be possible?