(2 Peter 2:1-10; 17-19)
Lesson 10 -- first quarter 1998
February 8, 1998
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications
Which of these two famous men was righteous: Noah or Lot? The answer is obvious if you read the lesson. The Bible calls both of them righteous. That this passage should refer to Lot with such a positive term surprises me. Lot? Righteous?! Yes indeed! And vexed by the ungodliness, wickedness and filthiness about him. Remember Lot! (That sounds a little different also, doesn't it.)
Evil surrounds us, multiplying daily. One of the problems with the increasing quantity and magnitude of evil is that the righteous run the risk of being unmoved by that evil which somehow doesn't seem as bad as it once did. Another problem is that the din of evil tends to dull the spirit of those who lower their vigilance. Remember Lot! Allow God's Spirit in you to work a vexation toward all evil.
So, what vexes you in our world today? Abortion? Homosexuality? Divorce and remarriage? Cheating? Low integrity? The blurring of gender distinctives? Good! However, I wonder if our souls are gradually losing their vex-ability toward some other evils that abound about us.
Materialism. I fear for the church. We have become too temporal to suit me. We like the righteous-sounding "stranger and pilgrim" thing, but we know less and less of the mindset and lifestyle. Covetousness and comfort gradually draw our eyes and hearts away from the eternal. We want faster and more enthralling computers and their accessories. (Warning: don't let yourself off the hook if the computers part doesn't apply to you!) Simple houses, vehicles, garments and furnishings seem so...dull, unimaginative, uncreative. I wonder if the values of the world have so deadened our spiritual senses that we can longer determine why we really want what we get. Am I pining for the time when the church was poor and destitute? Do I think that doing with less will solve the problem? Not necessarily. Please consider these facts: (1) Materialism reveals spiritual flaws, and (2) materialism worsens spiritual flaws. Where is our vexation? Remember Lot!
Uncleanness. No, not unkempt homes and malodorous people. What I do have in mind is language and "scenery." Do those magazine covers, calendars and sale papers vex you? What about the summer "sights" in the stores and on the sidewalks? What a rush to uncover we have witnessed! Are you still vexed by foul language and course speech? Even in print, few writers and editors treat us to "expletive deleted" and words comprised mostly of asterisks. Remember Lot!
Disloyalty. The ties that bind don't so very well anymore. Divorce and remarriage vexes us, but does divorce? Strikes bother us, but does deliberate inefficiency? Abortion and abuse disturb us, but what about neglect-through-busyness? We would say treason is indefensible, but how do we relate to church leaders and church standards?
Folks, if sin doesn't vex us it will conquer us! We cannot go our blissfully-uninvolved way and expect to remain victorious over the devil's assaults. We cannot maintain a neutral attitude toward sin. Nor can we claim to be noncombatants; only those who have given up and have been defeated are noncombatants. Remember Lot!
"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20)!
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