Daily Devotional November 17th
“So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife...and she gave birth to a son. And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David.” (Ruth 4:13,17)
Have you ever met someone you thought was beyond God’s redemption? Whose story was just so messed up that nothing short of a miracle could bring any good from it? When I think of Lot, Abraham’s nephew, he is for me one of those individuals who I might be tempted to ask the question, “What possible good can come out of his story?”
Here is a man taken in by his uncle Abraham after the death of his father, Haran. He travels with him to the land of Canaan and experiences the benefits of wealth–sheep, goats, tents–just as Abraham did; their two groups become so large they must separate. Abraham offers Lot the choice of any land he prefers, which as the elder is by all rights his to make. Lot calls dibs on the lush pasture land of the Jordan Valley and settles among the cities of the plain whose people are known for their wickedness.
Twice we read of Lot’s uncle needing to rescue him–once when he is captured by an enemy army and once when God decides to eliminate the towns of the plain where Lot had settled his family. Today, children are taught bits of Lot’s story in Sunday school–how he separated his holdings from his uncle Abraham’s and how two angels rescued him from the inferno God unleashed on the city of Sodom and of course how his wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. However, the stories involving his daughters are often left untold or glossed over.
To have lived with Lot as one of his daughters was not an enviable position. When some of the men of Sodom demand that he hand over the two men (two angels) for them to gang rape, Lot offers his two virgin daughters in their place. “Do to them whatever you want, but leave these men alone” (Genesis 19:8). God, through his angels, intervenes on their behalf and rescues not only Lot, but also his daughters from the unimaginably terrible offer of their father.
After seeing the angels blind all of the men, Lot and his family remain reluctant to leave the city. The angels literally have to lead them out of Sodom then instruct them to run to the mountains. Lot, still unwilling to trust and obey God’s instructions fully, asks that they allow the family to flee to one of the towns, for which they are given permission. It is at this time that Lot’s wife looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt. God unleashes his punishment and all the area is scorched with fire and burning sulphur. Lot second guesses his decision to go to Zoar because he fears the people and moves his two daughters and himself into a cave in the mountains.
If Lot’s story isn’t bad enough yet, it is about to get worse. His two daughters see their hope of having children and securing their futures in jeopardy. We don’t know how long they lived in the cave, but in their desperation they enact a plan to each become pregnant by their father. They get him drunk on two successive nights and each has sex with him. The oldest daughter has a son and names him Moab; the younger daughter has a son and names him Ben-ammi.
Is it possible for God to work out a measure of redemption from the life of Lot–a man who put his needs before his uncle’s; who thought nothing of moving into a city with a reputation for profound wickedness; who was willing to sacrifice his daughters to be treated in a most shameful manner to preserve his honour as a host; who resisted obedience to God’s directions; who allowed himself to become so drunk that he wasn’t even aware of impregnating his own daughters?
Amazing as it may sound, yes, God can! The verse above details some of the individuals of Jesus’ genealogy. We all know that the Messiah came from King David’s line. But go back just three generations to one of David’s great grandmothers, Ruth, a Moabite from the land of Moab who was a descendant of Lot and his eldest daughter! Lot’s story reminds me that no one’s story is beyond God’s redemptive touch. Lot made some poor choices and suffered the ignominy and consequences of having chosen to live a life apart from God. It didn’t have to turn out that way for Lot, except for the choices he made. And yet, even his story, is used to demonstrate God’s power and His ability to bring about His good plan. No one...absolutely no one...is beyond God’s ability to redeem!
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!