Main Point: God loves us and wants the absolute best for us.
“I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.” - Jeremiah 29:11
Say: This is a VERY SAD story in the Bible about a man who did not listen to God. God loves us and wants the absolute best for us. We can TRUST GOD and make the right choice. It is very important to obey God all the time.
Say: Last week we talked about a man named Abram. God told Abram to move to a new country, and Abram listened to God even though Abram didn’t even know where God would lead him! Abram and his wife did not have any children of their own, but they had lots of other family member that moved with them. Abram took his nephew, Lot, with him.
Say: After awhile, Abram and Lot both accumulated so many animals that there wasn’t enough land for them all. So Abram told Lot to look at all the land around them and to choose whichever land he wanted for himself. This was a very generous offer from Abram. The Bible says that Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom”, (Genesis 13:12) This was a very bad choice because Sodom was a wicked city. Lot had a wife and two daughters. When he chose to live near a wicked city, he put his entire family at risk!
Abram was listening to God and learning to trust Him more. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means, “the father of many nations.” God also changed Sarai’s name to Sarah and told Abraham that she would have a son.
While Abraham was listening to God, the city of Sodom (where Lot lived) became more and more wicked. We are going to see a lot of opposite things going on at the same time!
There is blessing in obedience (Deuteronomy 11:27)! As we study today, pay attention to how God blessed Abraham. There is punishment for not obeying God (Ezra 7:26). Listen carefully to what happened to Lot and his family. Both Lot and Abraham came to the land at the same time, but what happens to each of them is completely opposite!
Ask: What do you think happens when you live among wicked people for such a long time? You accept sinful behavior; your children may think that wickedness is okay; you are miserable.
Say: Later in the Bible, we read that Lot was bothered by all the wickedness around him. The sad thing is that he did not move away from it, and he did not protect his family from the evil all around them.
2 Peter 2:7-8 says, “God saved Lot. He was a man who did what was right. He was shocked by the dirty, sinful lives of people who didn’t obey God’s laws. That good man lived among them day after day. He saw and heard the evil things they were doing. They were breaking God’s laws. And his godly spirit was deeply troubled.”
On the other hand, God appeared to Abraham to tell him that next year, he and Sarah were going to have a son! (Genesis 18:10) This was wonderful news. Abraham believed God! Just after Abraham received this wonderful news, God told him that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were so wicked that He was going to destroy them (Genesis 18:20-21).
Ask: How would you feel if God told YOU that He was going to destroy a city? What would you do?
Say: Abraham pleaded with God not to destroy the righteous people in the city. Surely, he was thinking of his nephew, Lot. Abraham said, “If there are 50 righteous people, will you destroy the city?” But God said that there weren’t even 50 righteous people. Then Abraham said, “How about 45?” But there weren’t even 45 righteous people! Then Abraham said, “What if there were 40?” The Lord said that there weren’t even 40 righteous people. Then Abraham said, “30?” No - not even 30! “How about 20?” Not even 20! Finally, Abraham said, “10?” Sadly, God said that there weren’t even TEN righteous people in those cities! (Genesis 18:23-33)
Later that night, two angels (dressed as men) came to Lot’s house (Genesis 19:3). They warned Lot to get out of the city because it was going to be completely destroyed (Genesis 19:13).
Ask: Do you think Lot will listen? Do you think he will obey them?
Say: Evidently, Lot knew they were serious. He went out into the city to find the two men that were going to marry his daughters, and he warned them to flee with his family. But they thought Lot was crazy! (Genesis 19:14) They would not listen!
Ask: Why do you think they wouldn’t listen? Perhaps this was the first time Lot even mentioned his faith. It’s one thing to not be listened to, but these men thought that Lot had lost his mind.
Say: Time was running out, and Lot and his family needed to escape quickly! When Lot hesitated, the angels grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and daughters and led them safely out of the city (Genesis 19:16). As soon as they were safe, the angels told them, “Run for your lives and do not look back. Don’t stop anywhere in the plains. Run all the way to the mountains!” (Genesis 19:17)
Ask: Have you ever hesitated when you should have been fleeing from danger? Why did Lot and his family hesitate? They didn’t want to leave, they liked their home and friends. Lot and his family had grown attached to the things around them. Don’t forget, the Bible tells us they were in a wicked city.
Application: We must be sure not to become attached to the things around us. Like Abraham, we should always be willing to give up anything God asks us to leave. God always knows what is best for us. We must always obey Him.
Say: Lot did not want to live in the mountains, and he pleaded with the angels to let him live in a town nearby called Zoar (Genesis 19:19-20). They agreed to his request, but urged him to RUN! When Lot and his family finally arrived at Zoar, God rained down burning sulfur on the cities. Burning sulfur would have smelled terrible. Everything was destroyed (Genesis 19:24-25)!
Strangely enough, Lot’s wife did not listen to the angel’s warning! Just before she reached safety, she LOOKED BACK, and she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26)! How tragic to be SO CLOSE to a rescue and then look back. Apparently, she just wouldn’t leave the attachments of the past behind. (Note to teacher: The Hebrew verb is nabat, “look, regard, gaze”).
The next day, Abraham went out to the place where God spoke to him. He saw thick smoke coming up from the cities that God had destroyed.
So when God destroyed the cities of the valley, he showed concern for Abraham. He brought Lot out safely when he destroyed the cities where Lot had lived. - Genesis 19:29
“God did not forget his promise to Abraham. He didn’t deliver Sodom because he couldn’t find ten righteous people, yet he delivered the object of Abraham’s concern—Lot. God is faithful. We can count on Him.” (www.jesuswalk.com)
Abraham and Lot came to this land at the same time. They had the same God. Abraham listened to God, and he was blessed. His family increased. Last week, we learned that God promised Abraham as many children as there are stars in the sky! But sadly, Lot did not listen. His wife died, and his 2 daughters made TERRIBLE choices even after they fled the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Application: We all have choices everyday. Will we choose to listen to God? Do we want God’s blessing or His punishment? We will be blessed when we TRUST and OBEY God.
PPT MAIN POINT
Main Point: God loves us and wants the absolute best for us.
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