Being Distressed (2 Peter 2:6-8)

And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” (2 Peter 2:6–8, AV)

When I pastored in New Hampshire, unbeknownst to me one of my parishioners hung a magnetic sign on my garage door that said, “Do Not Move Firewood, It Bugs Me.” I am pretty sure I know who hung the sign there for only one person I knew had such a sense of humor. Now you could take this sign two ways. One way is that bugs like to hang out in piles of firewood and moving the wood might cause the bugs to move into the house. Another way to look at the sign was that if someone moves my firewood, it would greatly bother me. I guess in either way, I would be bugged or distressed.

When we read the record of Lot in the book of Genesis, we get the impression that he was “vexed,” kataponeo, worn with toil, oppressed about the sexual immorality around him. It bugged him. It caused him to be distressed. However, while it bothered him, he also seemed to tolerate it to some extent. This was demonstrated by the fact that he did not leave the city of Sodom. Moreover, when the men of the city sought the two angels who sojourned in Lot’s house for relations with them, Lot offered the men of the city his two virgin daughters. This action hardly sounds like a righteous man. (Gen 19:4-11)

However, the Scriptures tell us that Lot was considered a righteous man. In verse seven, the word “just” and in verse eight the word “righteous” is dikaios, means by implication innocent, holy, righteous (Strong G1342). This tells us that even though Lot was not perfect, he was considered as righteous. The indication of his righteousness is that he was disturbed by the sexual immorality of those men of the city. It is seen in his refusal to let the two visitors stay in the square overnight, imploring them to stay in his house. It is seen in his contending with the men who surrounded his house. Because Lot was righteous, he was ultimately delivered from the destruction that was to come upon the city. God delivers the righteous.

In our world today, we are truly much like Lot. We live in a sex crazed society. We see it on the television. Today sexuality has truly morphed from where it was when I was a child. Oh yes, these things went on. However, it was kept behind closed doors. Today it has become the norm. More than that, it is promoted as the right way. It is as if one does not participate in sexual misconduct that they are somehow weird, often persecuted. The unfortunate result is that our attitudes towards it are changing also. We have become more tolerant. We should not but we have. Moreover, we should repent from the level to which we have had our attitudes changed by society. What we see going on around us should disturb every believer.

Yet, the good news is this. We who have truly believed in Jesus for eternal life, have been justified. We have been cleansed. We have been made new creations in Christ. While we are not perfect, we are maturing in Christlikeness. Moreover, God will rescue the righteous, that is us who have believed, from the ungodly.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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