2016-01-08 - The Beginning of the End
Originally Published 2006-01-31
Almost every huge problem has a beginning. Where I work, we analyze our problems and determine their root causes. We do not like the ending so we try to prevent the beginning from happening again. Sin's end is bad so we ought to look back to find it's root causes. The bible clearly states, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (1 Timothy 6:10 NIV) The love of money is not the only root cause, as we learn from Lot.
Genesis 13:10-13 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
Lot chose to place his herds in the fertile Jordan valley. This was good choice from a worldly perspective. Had he considered the people and not just the land he might have made a wiser choice. Nevertheless, he made his choice. His descent began with a look.
… the lust of the eyes … is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 John 2:16b)
Now just a look does not begin the sin. We cannot help but look; it is when the look goes further that sin begins. And, Lot's look progressed to a leaning. Lot pitches his tent toward Sodom according to verse 12. In the New Century Version that same passage says that he lived "very near to Sodom." He faced Sodom or he moved close to Sodom despite the fact that verse 13 clearly states it was already a wicked place. This is the true beginning of Lot's descent into sin; it begins with proximity, familiarity. One chapter later finds him living inside the city of Sodom. Now what is a cattle farmer doing in a city? Likely, it was not the cattle's pastures that looked greener inside the city walls but Lot's pastures. HE became familiar with sin and desired its pleasures.
As the story of Lot continues, he loses everything except for his two daughters. If Lot had seen the end of sin, he would have avoided its beginning, but the end of all sin is the same. Sin always takes; sin always destroys.
What are you looking at or leaning towards? We should be -
"looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2)
and leaning towards God in heaven -
"toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted