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Vexed By Sin

Scripture: 2 Peter 2:4-10; Text: 2 Peter 2:7-8

The two verses before us tell of a man named Lot, and the things he felt and suffered as he was vexed by sin. To get a full account of his life and the incidents under consideration, we must go back to the Book of Genesis. In Genesis 11:27 we are told that Lot's father was Haran and his grandfather was Terah. In Genesis 12:4 we are told that when Abraham left his family at God's directions, he took Lot with him. Later in Genesis 13:1 when Lot and Abraham separated because of their great prosperity, Lot settled in Sodom. It was there that his soul was vexed with sin. To bring the whole picture into focus, we must consider the teachings of Genesis, chapter nineteen. There are a number of important lessons to be considered in this study. We shall begin by looking at some teaching not mentioned by Peter, concluding with the vexing of Lot's soul.

1. If you view Lot through the revelation God gave through Peter, there can be no question that Lot was a saved man. However, if you view Lot through the revelation of Genesis, that fact may not be quite so clear. Lot was not pictured as a devoutly religious man in Genesis. He entered a city of rampant sin and lived there for a great many years. He is never described as a praying man, or worshipping God; although he probably did. There is no listing of good deeds nor is there any mention of him in the faith chapter, Hebrews eleven. The most noble act mentioned in the Genesis account was that he took the angels into his home and guarded them with his life. So what is the point of all this? Simply that there is no lengthy list of good works to which men may attribute his salvation. The truth of the Bible is that salavation does not come by our works, but by God's amazing grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). Somewhere and at a time unknown to us, God touched Lot and sin began to vex his righteous soul. That happens when God calls us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

2. Another lesson we learn is that often our heavenly ties become stronger than our earthly ones. Lot entered Sodom by choice and remained there for years. His children grew up and became adults. At least two of his daughters had married and estblished homes of their own, while two other daughters remained at home. He lived among his family and neighbors for a long time, then he is told by God to leave. God sent two angels to tell him that they must leave or be destroyed with the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. No doubt the ties were strong, it was difficult to pull up and move on. The situation became more intense, for his sons-in-law refused to believe him and leave with Lot. It was a difficult situation for if he stayed all the family would die. If he left, some would remain behind and he would never see them again. What would he do, remain with them or leave them behind? There were loving, earthly ties involved, but there were also heavenly ties. He loved his family but he loved God too. His ties to family and home must have been strong, but stronger still was his faith in God.

All of us who are saved have both earthly and heavenly ties. At times we also feel torn between the two. We love our families because of natural ties, but we love the family of God too. When there is a conflict between the two, an intense battle may rage inside, according to Galatians 5:17. Yet deep down inside, we know that we are to love God more than anyone or anything on earth. Jesus taught us this truth in Matthew 22:37. Eventually our heavenly ties will win out and we shall gladly go home to be with the Lord. The Lord shall decend from heaven, the dead in Christ shall be raised first and as the Bride of Christ (the church), we will be carried to our eternal home in heaven.

3. Those lessons are important, but they were not on the heart and mind of Peter. He was thinking of something vastly different. Peter dealt with our painful conflicts with sinful people. When he used the expression "the filthy conversation of the wicked,"he was not referring to their speech. The word "conversation" meant their conduct or behavior, as in 1 Peter 3:2. He spoke of "beholding" conversation. If it meant our speech, he would have said they would "hear" the conversation. No, it is the behavior of the righteous or wicked that is beheld. Hovever, when people's conduct is wicked, their speech is usually wicked too. Peter seems to understand what Lot had experienced in Sodom and Gomorrah. His knowledge was in part by inspiration, but also by the experience of having his sould vexed by the wicked of his day.

The idea of vexation is interesting and has a great many possibilities. (1.) The Bible tells about "God vexing man" (Job 27:2). It meant that God brought about bitter experiencs. (2.) It tells of "man vexing God" (Isaiah 63:10). It meant that man grieved the heart of God. (3.) It tells of the "devil vexing man" (Matthew 15:22) as he inflicks suffering and heartache. (4.) The Bible also tells of "man vexing man," and that is precisely what Peter is writing about. In the case of Lot, it seems to suggest that he was afflicted, oppresssed and tormented by the evil of men. He was literally worn down by the wicked as they tested his convictions and tried his faith. Have you ever noticed that the wicked are seldom satisfied to be wicked by themselves? They want everyone else to be as wicked as themselves. If a person of integrity will not join in their filth, they will belittle and mock him. Very likely, the people of Sodom tried to influence Lot to live as wickedly as they did. The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were so wicked the God determined to destroy them. He told Abraham that if as few as ten righteous people could be found in the cities, He would spare them. Ten were not found, the cities were saturated with wicked people indulging in all manner of sin and iniquity. Some believe that one of the prevailing sins was homosexuality. When the two angels came, appearing as men, the men of Sodom came to take them by violence and defile them. They wanted to "know" them, which meant sexual relations in Genesis 4:1. They were burning in their lust, as Romans 1:27 stated, and even blindness did not stop them from wanting to commit that terrible sin. What judgments will God bring against our nation, for our tolerance of the many prevailing sins of our society?

Their sins vexed the righteous soul of Lot and that may be referred to as the EXPOSURE to sin. Day after day he was worn down and so are many in our day. Similiar proceedures for wearing people down, have been used to get confessions. People have been exposed to bright lights, kept awake for long periods of time, and water or food has been withheld; so that their resistence might be weakened. Lot was subjected to the soame basic principles, his soul was vexed as is ours. Day after day, the liberal media not only informs us of the crimes and violence around us, but they also influence us to accept the rampant sins of our society. God's children have always been exposed to sin, and we can expect it to get worse as time goes on, according to 2 Timothy 3:13. The list of sins in our society is growing longer and longer. Prostitution, rape, incest, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, ride by shootings, abortions, drugs, drunkenness, gambling (the lottery), car jacking, and vile profanities; are always around us. We are continuously exposed to sin and it vexes many souls. However, for some it is even more devastating.

Having been exposed to sin, people REACT in a variety of ways. Of course some people immediately join the crowd on the path of destruction, and participate in the evil. Others on the opposite end of the spectrum, refuse to get involved and yet are vexed by the presence of sins. There is another group in the middle, who react in yet another way. They do not get involved, but they do begin to accept the sins and are not bothered by them anymore. This last position is where a great segment of Americans find themselves. Some of us can remember as children, when we occasionally heard of a person committing adultery. It was a shameful thing then, but who raises an eye-brow about it now? We may remember when people began to live together unmarried. Remember how embarrassed their families were, now people talk about it openly. Homosexuality was almost unheard of just a few years ago, now more and more in our society are condoning it. How far will we go? When will we draw a line and say "it is enought, stop!"?

As long as sin continues to vex our souls, we are not likely to committ them. If we are bothered by the sin around us, that is good; so was Lot. The real danger is when we accept sin as normal behavior. When we become comfortable with sin, it is like lying down beside a poisonous snake. If we are not very careful, the serpent (satan) will bite us and poison us with his venom of sin. God help us to be vexed by sin and react to it by condemning it in our lives and those of others.

Not only does this lesson remind us that we are to react to sin by refuting it, but it brings to us a message of comfort through DELIVERANCE. God delivered Lot and He knows how to deliver the godly of our day. We sometimes become so burdened by the ever present sins, that we all but dispair. We must never give up, for God is able to deliver us. He can and He will deliver those whose souls are vexed with sin. We too often focus on what we are unable to do about the problems of sin. The sad reality is that there is very little we can do but be true and faithful to God. This problem is too big for us, but not for God. With Him all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Remember this truth and hold on to with all your power.

God did basically two things in delivering Lot. (1.) He gave Lot the grace and strength to keep himself pure and remain apart from the sin of others. Perhaps that is why he sat outside the gate of the city. At least for a little while he did not have to look at all the wickedness. We must pray for direction in finding ways to keep ourselves pure (1 Timothy 5:22) and keep our bodies in subjection the God's perfect will (1 Corinthians 9:27). God will shew us the way and give us grace, delivering us in the midst of present sins. (2.) God delivered Lot by taking him out of the city. His angels took Lot, his wife and two daughter, and led them to safety. It should remind us that the Lord and His angels will come again one day. As with Lot, the redeemed will be taken out of this sinful world and the world will be destroyed The parallel is clear, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire and it will also destroy this present evil world. Peter reminds us of this truth in 2 Peter 3:10. In that day we will be free from all sins, those within us and those around us in the world. When destruction comes to this world, deliverance will come to the saved. The Lord delivered Lot, He will deliver us too.

We know that we should not engage in the sins that are around us even though we are vesed by them. Instead, let us live holiness and godliness before the watchful world. It is better by far to be vexed, than to sin and become part of the problem. We can count on God to deliver us from the sins and sinners who vex us, but can God count on us to uphold the principles of truth and righteousness? If we committ our lives to Jesus Christ and live by the Word of God, our souls may be viexed; but rest assured, we shall be delivered in God's good time. We must love the Lord and trust Him to care for us, as He did Lot. Amidst the sins that vex us, let us honor and glorify the Lord Who loves and saved us throught Jesus Christ our Lord.

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This page last updated on June 7, 2014