Abraham was not perfect and he didn’t always follow God’s direction 100%, but he always maintained a respectful fear of God, striving to do God’s will even though his humanity sometimes got in the way. When Abraham allowed Lot to accompany him to the Promised Land, he deviated from God’s direction and that caused many problems. Abraham and Lot both prospered in the Promised Land. Their flocks and herds multiplied until the land couldn’t support all of their livestock. Quarrels broke out among the herdsmen, so Abraham had Lot choose the land he wanted, which was toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham went the other direction. Lot ended up in the middle of a territorial battle between warring kings. He was taken captive along with all of his possessions. When Abraham learned of Lot’s demise, he mobilized his men and confronted the army that held Lot prisoner. Abraham was victorious and Lot was released along with his possessions. Lot returned to live in Sodom. Some time later the evil of Sodom and Gomorrah had become so great that God decided to destroy the cities. Abraham again intervened for Lot and others living in the city. Abraham asked God to spare the city if there were even 10 righteous people, but they were not to be found. Lot was living comfortably in the midst of a depraved society. God sent angels to warn Lot and his family to get out, but even with this warning, Lot hesitated and delayed until the angels at last took him, his wife and daughters by the hand and led them out.
Ge 12:1-2, 13:8-9, 11-13, 14:19-20, 15:5, 18:20-21, 19:17, 26; Isa 41:10; Ps 128:1
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. (Ps 128:1) “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isa 41:10)
Fear can be either good or bad. Good fear teaches us to respect appropriate boundaries and alerts us to danger. Bad fear can paralyze us from doing what we ought to do. Bad fear is often exaggerated and accompanied with chronic worry and anxiety. Good fear (respectful fear) can keep us following God in obedience. Bad fear can keep us from trusting and obeying God. A lack of fear can also cause a lot of trouble. Lot seems oblivious to the evil influence of living in Sodom. He grows comfortable in the midst of evil and perversion. Even though he wasn’t an active participant in sin, he allowed it to surround him and infiltrate his life. One has to question the convictions of someone willing to raise their family in such a Godless environment. When Lot offers his virgin daughters to the mob in lieu of his guests, the angels, one cannot comprehend how degraded Lot’s thinking has become. A person cannot dwell in the midst of sinful and evil influence without being affected. It’s like standing on the beach and allowing the water to lap at your feet. Eventually the tide rises and you will either get out or be swept away by the current.
What were some of Abraham’s fears? What did his fear compel him to do? What is your greatest fear? Is it good or bad? What does your fear compel you to do? Has a lack of fear ever gotten you into trouble? How do you feel about the statement “Fear God”? What’s the difference between fear of God and fearful respect for God? Do you fear evil? How has sin infiltrated our society? How has sin infiltrated your life? Why did God spare Lot? Is fear keeping you from doing something God has called you to do? How does sinful behavior diminish a healthy fear of God?
Write down some things you fear (bad fears). Write down some good fears—things it is good to be afraid of.
If there are fears you need to lay aside, ask God to help you. Ask God to show you evil that you need to fear.
Dear Lord, help me to discern good and evil in my life. Help me to lay aside anything that is damaging my relationship with you. Give me strength to stay on the path of righteousness. In Jesus Name, I pray. Amen.