The Book of Second Peter

Lesson 8 - "God’s People Can Be Vexed"

by Pastor Frank J. Cuozzo

Pastor Frank Cuozzo

II Peter 2:4-8, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 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.”

We’re continuing with a series from II Peter entitled “The family of like precious faith.”  We already talked about the power, the promises and the partakers of this precious faith, we looked at adding to our faith these seven things (virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity), we saw that having “these things” in our lives had several promises attached to them, we looked at Peter’s account of the transfiguration of Christ, we looked at the importance of the Scriptures, we looked at what Peter wrote concerning heeding God’s warning concerning false prophets and teachers, and we looked at our unsparing God. Today we want to look at what Peter wrote concerning the vexing of God’s people.

We know that Abraham’s nephew Lot chose to live in Sodom. II Peter 2:7 mentions that Lot was “Vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.” The word “vexed” means irritated and worn down by the irritation. In other words, Lot saw the wickedness of the people who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah and it “vexed” or irritated him greatly. And as a man who knew the Lord, the lifestyle of the people there should have vexed him! This vexing of Lot was wearing him down especially spiritually.

It also says in these verses that Lot was worn down from dwelling among these people and seeing and hearing their unlawful deeds day after day after day. Sin has a way of doing that, even to the best Christians. We know that Lot was living in the wrong place and had his family with him in the wrong place. He had a difficult time living in this area and allowing it to affect him and his family and how they lived. We as believers have a similar problem as we are to be “in” the world but not “of” the world. Let’s look at some things about Lot.

#1) Lot’s choice.

The Old Testament’s account of Lot’s life begins in Genesis chapter eleven. Look with me at Genesis 12:1-3, “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

We read here of the calling of Abraham to depart from his home country of Ur of the Chaldees, and to obey God, separate himself from his family and follow God’s direction. Verse four continues, “So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him.” First of all, Abraham was to separate himself from his kinfolk, but his nephew Lot went with him. He didn’t fully obey God here did he?

Look at Genesis 13:5-8, “And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.”

Well as time goes by, Lot and Abraham’s herdmen developed a problem between them. Abraham being the spiritual leader, dealt with the matter in verses 9 & 10, “Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.”

Notice the phrase here in verse 10 “The land of Egypt.” Egypt is a type of the “world” and Lot was reminded about Egypt. As Lot looks at the land, he thinks of a good place to make a living and not necessarily the right place to live for him and his family as believers. The result of this is found in verse 11, “Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.”

I want you to notice the downward spiral in the life of Lot. The Bible says in verse 10, he “beheld” or looked at the land. In verse 11 it says, he “chose” this land, and then verse 12 says this, “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” Lot beheld it, chose it, and moved there and then he, “pitched his tent towards Sodom.”

The problem was that God had already proclaimed judgment on the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sin. Genesis 13:13 says, “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.”

Lot chose to stay and pitch his tent and make Sodom his home. Genesis 19:1 says, “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom.” When it says that Lot sat in the gate of Sodom it means that Lot had gotten involved there in Sodom, and that he had become a judge there. Imagine, Lot left his uncle Abraham, a man who had faith in God, who wanted to please God and live for God. Lot left that type of a life, looked, chose and decided to pitch his tent towards Sodom in spite of what the Bible calls a wicked and exceeding sinful lifestyle!!!

You see folks; all of us have to make choices in life. We must first of all choose between heaven and hell. It’s a choice to choose Christ as our Savior. Next, we must make a choice in life between heaven and earth. We must choose to live with eternity’s values in view or to be a worldly carnal Christian. The problem with Lot is that he chose everything with how it would affect him on this earth rather than for eternity. Lot chose Sodom and he prospered there but no one right with God should be living in Sodom! It affected his life, his wife’s life and the life of his children. He lost his testimony. We must learn to make the right choice between heaven and this earth.

As God’s children, we must deal with this on a daily basis when making decisions for ourselves and our families. Many of us have been trained and taught how to make a living, but never how to make a life. Lot made a bad choice.

#2) Lot’s circumstance.

Lot made a choice and placed himself and his family into a disastrous situation, but God was beginning to work! Genesis chapter 14 tells us that there was a king who had joined forces with other kings to make war with the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 14:1-2 says, “And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah.”

Genesis 14:11-12 says, “And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.” Oh boy! Lot got caught right in the middle of a conflict. This confederation of kings decided to attack Sodom and Gomorrah and the land was ravaged, and Lot and his family were taken away captive.

Someone escapes and went and told Abraham what had happened. Genesis 14:13-14 says, “And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.”

Lot and his family were taken captive and someone escaped to tell Abraham. Abraham got together an army of 318 men that he armed and trained and went after his nephew Lot. Verses 15 & 16 tell us the result of Abraham’s pursuit of Lot and his family, “And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.”

The good news is that Abraham got his nephew Lot and his family back from these captors. But Lot no doubt should have realized a long time before that he needed to get out of Sodom!! In fact, if Lot had left Sodom sooner maybe he would have kept his family and his wife would still be alive. Sometimes God deals with us in this way. He gently nudges us to get us back to Himself and when we don’t respond and turn back to Him, He uses stronger and stronger corrective measures until we will stop what we are doing and turn back to Him.

We looked at Lot’s choice and Lot’s circumstance,

#3) Lot’s children. 

The Lord comes to Abraham in Genesis 18:1, “And the LORD appeared unto him (Abraham) in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day.” God speaks here to Abraham about his future family being a blessing to all the earth. This is where Abraham’s wife Sarah laughs at the suggestion that in her old age that she would bear a child. God says to them in verse 18, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

God tells Abraham that He has heard the cry of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah and that the sin in those cities was very grievous and that He was going to go and pour out His judgment there. Abraham knows that his nephew Lot and his family lived there and in chapter 19 Lot begins to bargain back and forth with God about sparing Sodom and Gomorrah if He can find some righteous people there.  The bad news is that God said He would spare those cities if He could find “ten” righteous people there, but He couldn’t.

Angelic visitors from God went to Sodom and warned Lot and his family of God’s coming judgment in Genesis chapter 19. Let and his wife and his daughters did manage with the help of these angels to get out just in time. Judgment fell that night and Genesis 19:24-25, “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.”

The worse part of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was not only that Lot was unable to influence these sinners for good, but that the sinners of the land affected Lot’s family.

First, Lot’s wife was warned to flee and not to look back and as the cities were being destroyed and judged by God, Lot’s wife did look back. Genesis 19:26 says, “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Next, his family, who were exposed continually to the degrading lifestyle of Sodom and Gomorrah, has left with Lot but Sodom and Gomorrah had not left them. Genesis 19:30-32 says, “And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.”

Lot’s daughters plot and carry out an incestuous relationship with their father. From this incest, come the Moabites and the Ammonites. Lot made a choice and he and his family suffered the consequences of that decision. His children grew up in Sodom and they learned from the people, they played with the children of Sodom and observed the wicked lifestyles of the people there and it affected them.

Remember, we must love the lost but we don’t ever want to condone their lifestyle amen? We must raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We must guard their heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life. Lot failed miserably in these areas and he lost his wife and family because of it.

Before we make important decisions in our lives, let’s pray, seek Godly counsel, read God’s word and wait on the Lord. Let’s look at the life of Lot and heed his warning from the Word of God.

Let’s pray.

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