Deliverance From Pits of Sin

Genesis 14:1-161And 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; 2That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. 3All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. 4Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 6And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness. 7And they returned, and came to En-mishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar. 8And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; 9With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five. 10And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. 11And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. 12And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. 13And 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. 14And 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. 15And 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. 16And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. (Genesis 14:1‑16)
In our chapter God tells us of a battle which took place in the vale of Siddim. This valley was full of slime-pits, and it would remind us of the character of this poor, sinful world which is filled with snares and pitfalls of all kinds. Oh how many dear boys and girls are caught in the slippery paths of sin and fall there, just as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fell in the valley of Siddim. No doubt these kings thought they could get safely through the valley. They thought they could escape the slime-pits, but they could not, and they fell there. This should be a solemn warning to us, for we are sometimes very self-confident, and think we are safe, even at times when we are in great danger. God’s Word has marked out the right path through this dark world, and we are only safe when walking in obedience to Him.
“O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:2323O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)).
“In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:66In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:6)).
Brought Out of a Horrible Pit
Let us remember the necessity of the daily reading of the Word and prayer, for one wrong act leads to another, and it is much easier to get into the “slime­-pits” than to get out of them. The Scriptures tell us, “Whosoever commit­teth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:3434Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. (John 8:34)). No true child of God can ever be lost, but Satan knows how to trip us up, and we should hearken to the warnings God has given us in His Word.
Perhaps some of our young readers are unsaved and have fallen in the snares of sin, and you know you cannot deliver yourself. We have good news for you! The Lord can deliver you. Yes, He is able and willing to do it — wondrous Saviour! David the king speaks of this blessed fact in Psalm 40. “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.” The Lord will do all this, and more, for any sinner who calls upon Him. The Rock upon whom we are set is Christ, and the song is unto Him who has redeemed us. Will you let Him save you today?
Satisfaction in Him
Lot dwelt in Sodom, and so he had his sad part in this great battle. Yes, if we try to fit in with, and find our portion in this Sodom world, we will have to share its sorrows. Abram was outside of all these worldly battles and struggles, for the Lord was the portion of his inheritance. He did not need to seek after the “well watered plains” of Sodom. He was truly satisfied with his tent and altar, because he had the promises of God. “He looked for a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God” (Hebrews 11:1010For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:10)).
Those of us who are saved have all we need in Christ. We are passing through this world it is true, but our home is with Christ in glory. If we have learned to find our satisfaction in Him, we will soon find that the vanities of this dark scene are no better than the boasted treasures of Sodom. May our hearts be able to say like one of old, “I have Christ, what want I more!”
Further Meditation
1. What was dangerous about the Vale of Siddim?
2. Reading God’s Word can help keep us out of the “slime-pits.” What are some ways that the Lord uses His Word to direct our steps? You’ll find several in Psalm 119.
3. An excellent encouragement to prayerfully read God’s Word is the booklet The Bible: Its Sufficiency and Supremacy by C. H. Mackintosh.