Discontent and its Results

Genesis 19  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Gen. 19
The Lord has no sympathy with a worldly mind; and such a mind it was that had led Lot to settle down amid the defilement of guilty Sodom. Faith never put him there; a spiritual mind never put him there; "his righteous soul" never put him there; it was simple love for this present evil world that led him first to choose, then to pitch "his tent toward," and finally to sit "in the gate of Sodom." And oh! what a portion he chose! Truly, it was a broken cistern which could hold no water-a broken reed which pierced his hand. It is a bitter thing to seek in any wise to manage for ourselves; we are sure to make the most grievous mistakes. It is infinitely better to allow God to order all our ways for us-to commit them all, in the spirit of a little child, to Him who is so willing and so able to manage for us-to put the pen, as it were, into His blessed hand, and allow Him to sketch out our entire course according to His own unerring wisdom and infinite love.
No doubt Lot thought he was doing well for himself and his family when he moved to Sodom, but the sequel shows how entirely he erred; and it also sounds in our ears a voice of deepest solemnity-a voice telling us to beware how we yield to the incipient workings of a worldly spirit. "Be content with such things as ye have." Why? Is it because you are so well off in the world?-because you have all your poor rambling hearts would seek after?-because there is not so much as a single chink in your circumstances through which a vain desire might make its escape? Is this to be the ground of our contentment? By no means. What then? "For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Blessed portion! Had Lot been content therewith, he never would have sought the well-watered plains of Sodom.
And then, if we need any further ground of inducement to the exercise of a contented spirit, truly we have it in this chapter. What did Lot gain in the way of happiness and contentment? Little indeed. The people of Sodom surround his house and threaten to break into it; he seeks to appease them by a most humiliating proposition, but all in vain. If a man will mingle with the world for the purpose of self-aggrandizement, he must make up his mind to endure the sad consequences. We cannot profit by the world and at the same time bear effectual testimony against its wickedness. "This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge." This will never do. The true way to judge is to stand apart in the moral power of grace, not in the supercilious spirit of pharasaism. To attempt to reprove the world's ways while we profit by association with it is vanity; the world will attach very little weight to such reproof and such testimony. Thus it was, too, with Lot's testimony to his sons-in-law; "He seemed as one that mocked." It is in vain to speak of approaching judgment while finding our place, our portion, and our enjoyment in the very scene which is to be judged.