【Bible Study】Genesis 19: Lost Destiny, Lost Everything

Pastor Samuel Sharing

Brother William Sharing

Bible Study: Genesis


It is really nice to have time together to study the Bible again. Many years ago, I led the Bible Study on Genesis about four to five times, and I always have some new findings each time I lead the Bible Study. Compared to the Bible Study I led in Chinese, I realized that I have had a different view on Genesis Chapter 19. In the past few years, I have discovered many things about Lot. In the New Testament, hardly anyone commented on Lot as a righteous man except Apostle Peter.

Now let’s look at Genesis Chapter 19, the topic I want to give for this chapter is "Lost destiny and lost everything", and that's why we are called Doctrine of Destiny. A lot of people who speak English do not know what the word "Ming Ding" means in Chinese. But somehow, I find the English word "Destiny" cannot carry the same kind of meaning in Chinese. Ming Ding seems to be stronger than the word destiny. But never mind, we will use destiny as we could not find any other words.

Lost destiny, lost everything, we are speaking to believers and those people who know God, they are Christians and attend church. In the old days, people like Lot knew God and the angels appeared to him, pulled his hand, and pulled him out from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Lot had his own set of the theory of life

The first point which I am going to talk about is that Lot had his own theory of life. There are many stories to tell for Lot. Lot followed Abraham all the way to this piece of land. Lot was the son of Abraham’s brother and Abraham’s brother Haran died in the early days, that’s why Abraham became Lot’s adopted father and Lot was part of Abraham's family. Abraham and Lot both moved to this piece of land and they became wealthy, they had many flocks and herds. People who worked under Lot had quarrels with those who worked under Abraham.

So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” (Genesis 13:8-9)

Lot knew why they came to this piece of land; Abraham had his own theory of life and Lot had a very different one. Lot believed in the accumulation of wealth, even though he knew God. Still, he pursued a different way. By the time of Genesis Chapter 19, no matter how hard Lot and his family had worked and how much wealth they had accumulated in the city of Sodom, Lot lost everything.

Lot pursued a comfortable life

After Lot lost everything, he came together with Abraham. But Lot had a different destiny from Abraham. That’s why Abraham said to Lot: “You go your way, I go my way, we are not going to go in the same direction. If you want to accumulate your wealth or pursue a comfortable life, there is nothing wrong with it. I will pursue my own destiny because I live for the Lord.”

Can you imagine the environment for people living in tents? You have to dismantle and move around and pitch a tent, again and again, you cannot even build a bathroom properly because these things are too heavy to carry. But Lot looked at the environment in the city of Sodom, and he saw people in the city had good living conditions such as drainage systems and houses. If you look at the house, whether the house is good or not, probably one of the important parts is the bathroom. A luxury bathroom may tell you something about the house, and that is a measurement.

Lot went to the city of Sodom and became a permanent resident and hopefully would get citizenship. After getting there, he bought and invested in properties so he could build a family with good living conditions. Is there anything wrong with that? There is nothing wrong with Lot: “I still worship the Lord, I know God and angels, but my destiny is to live well.” That's why Lot lost everything in the end.

During the time Lot was in the city of Sodom, five kings including the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were defeated by four kings. Lot and his possessions were carried off and became a slave. Fortunately, Abraham heard Lot was taken captive, he defeated the four kings. By this time, Lot should have learned a lesson: “Oh, I should not have left my uncle Abraham, he is a great man, has a destiny and a different theory of life.” But Lot said: “Finally I can come back so I can continue to live a comfortable life. Thank you God for sending my uncle Abraham to save me so I can continue to enjoy my life, I can continue to educate my daughters, and let my wife manage the house. I can continue to establish my name in the city of Sodom." But the end result is that Lot lost everything.

Live for life or destiny

Life does not consist of an abundance of possessions because life is in the heart. No matter how much you possess, eventually, you will lose everything when you pass away. The theory of life is very important. From a human being's point of view, we cannot say Lot was wrong. Lot was a good man; he was led by the ambition of accumulating wealth and having a good wife who could manage family matters and she had a strong influence on Lot.

Lot knew God but he chose to pursue wealth and comfortable life. That's why we called it “lost destiny and lost everything”. All because of one thing: the theory that guides your life? You have your own thinking, but we need to examine what we really think about destiny: Are we living for wealth, possession, or property? Today, many Christians give testimonies like this: “I have a good daughter who has achieved good grades and is going to the top university”, “I manage to have good business, make a lot of money and buy property.” They called these things as testimonies. They are not important at all. The important thing is the destiny of life and what you live for. We have high standards and demands for our brothers and sisters, so they can devote their time in the church because that represents your destiny.

By this time, had Abraham lost anything? No, Abraham was still living in the tent. Though he lived in the tent, Abraham knew this place would be destroyed, he got to know beforehand. He learned that God was going to destroy the place. In the last chapter, you have learnt that if you have a destiny, God will discuss His plan with you. God will tell you what is going to happen in the future. But if you lose destiny like Lot, he only had a couple of hours to prepare.

A good toilet, a good bathroom, a good kitchen, and good food, all became good memories. How did he live his life? He spent the whole of his life accumulating wealth, but all the wealth went away in a flash. That’s Lot’s theory of life, lost destiny, lost everything.

So I encourage brothers and sisters to try to examine whether you are Lot, or you are Abraham. Which one do you want to follow? Of course, Lot had plenty of testimonies of how he made money from the stock market, how he made money from property, how he made money from his good business, exchanged things in the city of Sodom, and the house he managed to get a piece of good land, and built a good house on it. And now you need to ask yourself: is that meaningful? Is that what we want to live for? Am I Lot, or Abraham? That’s a good question. It all depends on the theory of life. If you say life is meaningless, is it really true? A lot of people say: “oh, I have the same idea about life as Pastor Samuel. But if you touch his money, his purse, his properties, he becomes so nervous. He turns his face and suddenly becomes Lot, or when everything is okay and he turns his face into Abraham: “Oh I have a destiny, I am sure I have a destiny, I trust in the Lord”. What is the theory in your heart? Probably you think those are meaningless, but when they come to the real matter, they become meaningful again.

Lot’s wife’s theory of life

Lot’s wife had her theory of life as well. Probably the theory of life was quite a bit more worldly than Lot. Lot’s wife was good, had very good harmony in the family. His wife educated the children well. You may ask: “How do you know?” Because the daughters were still virgins, even though they had boyfriends, they never slept together. They didn’t break the rule. Why? The aim is, “Oh I’d better not offend God,” for what? Not for destiny, it’s for not sinning, why? “Because when I sin, I am not going to live well.” Everything is for worldly life. Lot’s wife was a good mother, as she knew God but her heart belonged to the property.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

That’s why God said: don’t turn your head. Sometimes you may say “Just turning back, just having a look, no big deal, why become a pillar of salt?” When I went to the Dead Sea, I saw a lot of salt pillars. I didn't understand. I thought there was just one, just Lot’s wife. God said, “Oh, there are plenty of Lot’s wives.” When I was on the flight to Israel and looked at the dead sea. And look around, there were so many of Lot’s wives. They have the same theory of life, they work hard and accumulate all the wealth in the city. But it’s not destiny. If you lose destiny, you lose everything. It all funnels down to one thing, what are you living for?

If you live for this world, you may not have a chance to become a pillar of salt. But when you pass away, you take away nothing. When you pass away, it’s equivalent to a pillar of salt. There is no difference, nothing can be taken away. You’d better figure out what life is all about. Lot’s wife said: “I want to give a good testimony. I am a good mother. I worship the Lord. I lead my family and worship the Lord every day. We all go to church, sing worshiping songs, and praise the Lord. We do these for one thing: living well”.

Is there anything wrong with living well? Is there anything wrong with accumulating wealth? Is there anything wrong with spending all your life saving lots of possessions? No, there is nothing wrong. Abraham also did that. But the problem is whether you are living on these. You can do a good test. If someone wants your property and takes possession of it, how will you feel? A lot of times, money makes a lot of difference to people. Money can really take away your destiny: what are you living for? You know God, but does God know you? That is a big problem.

You know a lot of good wives, good mothers who are looking after the family well and helping the husband. If you look at today, there are lots of family-oriented ministries. But to be honest, when I look at it from the beginning of the Bible to the end, I hardly find any teaching about the theory of “family first”. And Lot’s wife was an example of family first. The family was very important, but destiny was number nine. For most people, the family is the most important: the daughters, husband, wife, and family properties which probably include toilet, bathroom, kitchen, and good food. But where do we fit this destiny in our life? A lot of the time, we talk to our brothers and sisters, they will say: “I am sorry, I don’t have time.” I understand you don't have time. Then the next question I’m going to ask is: where does your time go? Where do you spend your time? “I got to spend my time on educating my children, spend time on many other things”. Then you are Lot’s wife. We ask members to write a reflection after Bible study. Most ones are about life, job, family.

Then where is your destiny? Looking at the Bible, especially looking at the teaching of Jesus Christ, destiny is pretty crucial. The teaching of Jesus Christ can be very, very strong. Too strong for us to absorb: you lay down your mother, your father, your wife, your husband, your brother, your sisters and your daughters and son, and son in law. You have to lay down your family for Jesus Christ.

But how many of us hear that and really take it into our hearts? Probably very few! That's why I'm saying there are so many of Lot’s wives around. Wake up, brothers and sisters! It's time for us to wake up to restore our destiny: what we are living for. If we are living for this world, we will end up losing everything. I also guarantee that, when you pass away, you can not take anything. Nothing makes sense. Maybe you will say: “Oh no, I can pass it on to my children.” Your children will eventually pass away. If one never looks at eternal life, or if one knows God, but does not cherish eternal life, then you are Lot. You are someone who will lose destiny and lose everything for sure.

Lot’s daughter's theory of life.

Lot and his daughters went to stay in the cave. When they stayed in the cave, they had a jar of wine. I also like to drink wine with friends. We have a chit-chat, have a dish of peanuts, or a dish of small dry fish. We can take a little bit, drink a little bit of wine. It is good. Is there anything wrong? Nothing wrong with that. Our Lord Jesus Christ attended a wedding and also drank wine. He did not only just drink wine, he also changed three vessels of water into wine. People might get drunk at the wedding after Jesus changed the water into so much wine. But never mind. Drinking wine is not a problem. But the daughters and Lot shared the same theory of life.

And they have their own theory of life. “What am I going to do? We cannot go on like this!” So the daughters came up with the idea of sleeping with their father to get children. You can see that having children is very important. Yes, Abraham also wanted to have children, so did Lot’s daughters. However, they had completely different missions on why they wanted to have children. It totally depended on what was in their hearts, their theory of life. What is the theory?

Let's start with a little story at the beginning of Genesis Chapter 19, and we're going to dig into the nature of the problem further. What lies underneath is the guiding theory of our life.

Brothers and sisters, let me tell you, no one wants to do wrong things; no one wants to live a bad life. But, what is the theory that backs up your action? Of course, you may have all kinds of theories. Today, however, I'm going to share with you a theory of destiny. A theory of destiny is that if people lose it, they lose everything. Lot's daughter's children eventually became the father of Moabites, the other was the father of Ammonites.

After drinking the wine and sleeping with their father, they bore children. There's nothing wrong with bearing children, or you may even criticize what they did. How could they do this? Sleeping with their father and getting pregnant? It does not matter! I'm not someone who stands on moral high ground to judge whether what they did was right or wrong. All I'm talking about is the theory of life, what you're in for.

Lot's daughters knew God, they followed the angels that came up to Sodom. But they did not change their thinking towards God. They actually knew their father's uncle Abraham. Uncle Abraham had a good relationship with them.

Question number 4 that I want to ask is why they never went back to Abraham? All because of the theory of life.

Why Lot never went back to Abraham

They became totally lost. I'm sure the angels told Lot and his family that for the sake of Abraham, they came to save the family. Because they were going to overthrow the city, burn down the city and everything would be gone, they'd better get out of this city soon.

Because they were so bothered about their properties and could not bear the thought of losing them. They had valuable properties in the city which could be worth a fortune, especially when they were lender property. They invested a great deal of effort in them.

But the problem is that even after they were told that because of Abraham, the angels came to save him. They survived! At that time, Lot's wife had already become a pillar of salt. Lot and his daughters never thought of going back to Abraham.

Do you know what? Because they did not want to live the kind of life they hate. They just wanted to live their own life with their own theory. Interesting!

If I were them, I would go back to my uncle and admit wrongdoings in the past which offended uncle Abraham. I would thank him for saving me and my family from the four Kings when they invaded Sodom. I would tell him that I should have woken up when I was taken captive by the four kings. I wanted to share the same destiny now, I wanted to stay and live the life he had lived, I wanted to be like him, pitching tents here and there. From now on, I would work for him, begging him to give me a chance. I would just work like other ordinary workers in the family. I repented because I lost my destiny, that was why I lost everything.

No! He did not do that! For the sake of uncle Abraham, he should be truly sorry. He owed Abraham a great favour, he should live for the Lord again, follow Abraham's theory of life, carry the destiny, becoming a blessing for many nations. How nice would that be?

No. They did not go back to Abraham. Why? Once people have lost their destiny, it's very hard to regain it. Because their mind is in the captivity of the theory of life. The theory of life is deeply engraved into their mind, they just couldn't accept the idea of going back to Abraham.

We have tried to talk to many Christians about the theory of destiny, the Doctrine of Destiny, but it's very difficult. They strongly believe in their own theory.

"I'm saved by the Angel, I see Angel holding my hand and taking me out of the city of Sodom. Why should I go back to Abraham? Why should I have a destiny now? I want to live by my own theory!" That is sad and very difficult to get through to their mind. I'd rather save my breath! It's very difficult to change people who have their own theory of life.

Think twice about our destiny

So I will encourage our brothers and sisters to think twice to make sure they do not lose their destiny. If you are someone who has lost your destiny, all I can tell you is if you go south, I will go north; if you go West. I will go east. We part our ways! I don't want to drag you along because we have totally different ideas about the theory of life.

I want to lay down everything for the Lord. But what about you? You will lay down the Lord for everything. A lot of Christians actually lay down the Lord, our God for their property, their job, their business, and their children. Their business is on top of everything, family is second important, children take the third place, and many other things like the people did in Sodom is number four. But what about our Lord? Number 9? Slipping to the bottom of everything? They may even believe the 9th is a good place to be for the Lord.

So I will end my sharing about Genesis chapter 19. I hope every one of us can make a good choice. Never believes in Peter's comment on Lot that he was a righteous man. Really? I'm not so sure about that statement!

Do you know why the Apostle Paul never commented that Lot was a righteous man and Jesus Christ never commented on Lot in the same way as Peter did? No one in the Old Testament nor any Prophet was ever bothered to make a comment on Lot. What I'm saying is why Peter commented in such a way?

Let me tell you, Peter and Lot are the same kinds of people. Lot believed he was a very spiritual person, so did Apostle Peter. But never lower the stand of the Lord. We do not follow in the footsteps of Lot, but we follow in the footsteps of Abraham. Whether Lot was righteous or not, Why do we bother? What bothers me is that I want to follow in the footsteps of Abraham, who at least have some similarity with Abraham, I want to carry the same destiny, same understanding about life. I want to pursue eternal life; I want to pursue glory in the eternal, in the spiritual realm. And I hope one day, our God gives me a good comment

‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’(Matthew 25:21 NIV)

Therefore, don't believe in this kind of comment from Peter. Why do we believe in this kind of comment? Peter is the kind of person that denied Jesus Christ three times. I do not want to pretend I do not want to lose the assignment God gave me. If God gives me an assignment, I will faithfully follow until God has accomplished His plan in my life. If God has chosen me to do something, I will follow in the footsteps of Moses and Abraham. I will do exactly as the Lord tells me to. I will not move around, pitch my tent and get closer and closer to and closer to the city of Sodom. What for? For business? No! For the money? No! For the Lord our God is in my possession, is my wealth, my destiny. I'm going to lay everything down for him.

May the Lord bless you!

Thank you!

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