Sunday, July 07, 2013

Beware of Lot's Choice

And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east.
Genesis 13:10-11
Beware of Lot's choice!  If you would not settle down into a dry, dull, sleepy, lazy, barren, heavy, carnal, stupid, torpid state of soul, beware Lot's choice! 

(a) Remember this in choosing a dwelling-place, or residence.  It is not enough that the house is comfortable--the situation good--the air fine--the neighborhood pleasant--the rent or price small--the living cheap.  There are other things yet to be considered.  You must think of your immortal soul.  Will the house you think of help you towards heaven or hell?--Is the Gospel preached within an easy distance?--Is Christ crucified within the reach of your door?--Is there a real man of God near, who will watch over your soul?  I charge you, if you love life, not to overlook this.  Beware of Lot's choice. 

(b) Remember this in choosing a calling, a place, a profession in life.  It is not enough that the salary is high--the wages good--the work light--the advantages numerous--the prospects of getting on most favourable.  Think of your soul, your immortal soul.  Will it be prospered or drawn back?  Will you have your Sundays free, and be able to have on day in the week for your spiritual business?  I beseech you, by the mercies of God, to take heed to what you do.  Make no rash decision.  Look at the place in every light--the light of God as well as the light of the world.  Gold may be bought too dear.  Beware of Lot's choice. 

(c) Remember this in choosing a husband or wife, if you are unmarried.  It is not enough that your eye is pleased--that your tastes are met--that your mind find congeniality--that there is amiability and affection--that there is a comfortable home for life.  There needs something more than this.  There is a life yet to come.  Think of your soul, your immortal soul.  Will it be helped upwards or dragged downwards by the union you are planning?--Will it be made more heavenly, or more earthly--drawn nearer to Christ, or to the world?--Will its religion grow in vigour, or will it decay?--I pray you, by all your hopes of glory, allow this to enter into your calculations.  "Think," as old [Richard] Baxter said, and "think, and think again," before you commit yourself.  "Be not unequally yoked." (2 Cor. 6.14).  Matrimony is nowhere named among the means of conversion.  Remember Lot's choice. 

--J.C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots, p. 190
A much needed exhortation for every generation.  And when it comes to our generation, much lacking.  A clean sea breeze, indeed.