Don’t me and my family require the highest degree of concern and protection? Me first. Then, maybe, I can do something or other for my family. That is, if they’re good to me. After that, if there’s any extra time, money, or good will, we can think about church and neighbors, and throw in a stranger or two for good measure. And for my country? Nah, why bother with patriotism for a nation well on its journey down the tubes?
Isn’t that pretty much the idea these days of priorities and commitments? Gone is any sense of duty beyond me and mine.
So the following words from Lot sound like they come from another planet.
“Please, my friends, don’t be so wicked,” he said. “Look, I have two daughters who have never had sex. Why don’t you let me bring them out to you? Do whatever you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, since I’m responsible for them” (Genesis 19:7-8 GW).
The men of Sodom were at his door intending to commit aggression and sexual assault. Lot was a good man, if rather naive or stupid. He had moved to this godless city for material benefit, but failed to see how living there would harm his family.
And now he has visitors under his roof. We today have little idea of the importance of hospitality in those days. Lot knew he was responsible for their well-being. If anything happened to his guests, he was to blame, so it fell upon him to protect them at all costs — he even offers his daughters to the perverse men as a tactic to protect his visitors.
Some see Lot as being hypocritical here, and they may well be right. In Sodom he has tried the live-and-let-live philosophy until now. He should have known that at some point that approach would come back to bite him.
For all his faults and missteps, however, Lot has this acute sense of duty and he seeks every recourse to fulfill it. In that he is most worthy of imitation.
In our day, mainly the military retains a sense of duty. Our society now nurtures the entitlement philosophy. People want what they think is due them — and it’s always more than what they have. Nobody thinks anymore of what is required of them.
Verses like the following get cut from today’s religion.
“Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 ESV).
“So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty’” (Luke 17:10).
“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).
“For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements” (Acts 15:28).
“Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty” (Acts 6:3).
Each age of time develops its own foibles and wrongs. One of the great points of blindness of ours is that it lacks a sense of duty.
Will the saints of God be blind in this as well?