Be Sure of Your Calling — A Lesson from Lot

As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have an advantage over Lot. After all, he was only a nephew of Abraham, and we can learn from the entire Old and New Testaments. The Bible says Lot was righteous, and in Sodom he was greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the lawless (2 Peter 2:7). But why was Lot in Sodom? Did the LORD call him to serve Him as a missionary in Sodom?

As far as we know from the Bible and from looking at some of Lot’s choices, we see that Lot did not make wise decisions. We have no record that he consulted the LORD before he made major life choices and moves. For example, when Lot and Abraham became so wealthy that they could no longer live together, Lot chose to move to the most promising place in the Plain for his herds. He made the best business decision he could make, but he did not pray and ask the LORD’s advice.

Later, when Lot became wealthy enough to move from a tent into a city, despite its wickedness, Lot chose to move into Sodom.

After Lot and his family were carried off by raiders along with the King of Sodom and the kings and residents of the five cities on the Plain, Lot had to depend on Abraham to save him. When the King of Sodom wanted to reward Abraham (Abram at the time) for saving him and his city, Abraham knew enough of the king’s wicked character to tell him: “I have sworn to the LORD, God Most High, maker of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, so that you might not say, 'I have made Abram rich’” (Genesis 14:22-23). Still, with ample example and the words of Abraham, Lot persisted in being friends with the wicked and moved back into Sodom with his wife and two daughters.

So, why was Lot in Sodom? It seems clear that Lot remained in Sodom for the financial benefits despite the wickedness of the city. We see no indication that the LORD sent Lot to Sodom as a missionary, though Lot may have told his neighbors that he believed in the LORD, “God Most High, maker of heaven and earth”—thus he was saved by his faith. Though considered righteous for his time and with the faith in God that he possessed, Lot was unwise to pursue material riches instead of seeking the LORD’s will for his life and where the LORD wanted him to live with his family.

Lot did not know the teaching of Jesus, but unless the Lord Jesus has explicitly and decisively called us to be a missionary to a specific people in a specific place during a specific time, there may come a time when the wickedness is so great that we need to take the people’s rejection of the LORD and our labors as a final rejection and shake the dust off our feet. In Luke 9:5, Jesus told His disciples, “Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” If we do not have an explicit and decisive call to go someplace as a missionary, we need to do the Lord’s will in His name where we find ourselves, unless for the sake of our family or others we need to move where we believe it would be consistent with the Lord’s will according to the Bible and not just for financial gain.

So, how did Lot leave Sodom? Not really of his own free wise decision based on the warning of the angels. Lot lingered, reluctant to leave his home and all he possessed. Lot remained unwilling to leave his sheep in the Plain, the source of his wealth, where they might be destroyed by the angels. Lot and his wife and daughters had to be dragged out of the city by the hand. Rather than flee to the hills where the angels told him to go for safety (both physical and moral), Lot’s fear moved him to ask if he could go to Zoar as a favor to him—one of the other wicked cities on the Plain that the LORD had intended to destroy. In Zoar, Lot was no doubt impoverished and saw the same wickedness that he had experienced in Sodom; therefore, he finally did what the angels had told him earlier and fled to the hills. But by then his wife had died in the destruction on the Plain.

Lot had a measure of faith that the Bible teaches was enough for Lot to be called “righteous,” But Lot also had a love of material possessions, and his love of money overcame his distress at the licentiousness of the lawless in Sodom; so he stayed there no matter what. Despite his faith, his lack of wisdom and lack of seeking and following the LORD’s clear guidance (especially from the angels) eventually led to the death of his wife and the immoral behavior of his daughters.

With Lot as an example for believers, let us be sure of our calling when we make major life decisions and choices, especially decisions and choices that may have an effect on others. Have we prayed? Have we asked the Lord Jesus to make His will known to us? Are we willing to do the Lord’s will and only the Lord’s will no matter what? Have we told the Lord that we only want His will to be done in our lives and in the lives of those in our families? Have we asked the Lord to direct us through our faith in Him and the Bible’s teachings instead of following our fears and asking special favors? If we are going to or staying in a wicked and lawless place, are we going or staying to be used by the Lord Jesus to promote His cause or just because it is financially beneficial to us? As Christians who seek to live true to the Lord Jesus, these and other questions need to be asked so we can be sure of our calling, whether we are part of the “professional clergy” or a part of the “so-called laity.” Someone once remarked that we are either a missionary or a mission field.

Tell us what you think here on the Forum!

Receive our periodic International Bible Lesson Forum Newsletter by becoming a Registered Member of this IBL Forum. Then, login and make comments to share with others. I add new members manually by hand (nothing automatic here). I try to add new members as quickly as I can, but due to other obligations it can sometimes take 2 or 3 days (sorry for any delays!).

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

CLICK HERE To Go to the International Bible Lesson Commentary and International Bible Lesson for additional Uniform Sunday School Lesson Series Resources.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,


  • This was eye opening about Lot. I wonder at the invitation given to the men seeking the to instead take his daughters. How righteous was that?
  • When Lot offered his daughters to the men of the city, that was not right, it was a sin. Lot was not perfect. Lot was a sinner. Lot made some imperfect, unwise, unrighteous, disgusting, sinful choices.

    Similar to Lot, all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and have made some unrighteous and sinful choices. However, the Old and New Testaments persist in calling Lot righteous.

    Let me quote a small portion of my Bible Lesson on this topic which I hope will bring about some more discussion that will help all of us learn more about what it means to be righteous and how we can be righteous (I am limited by the newspaper to 300 words).

    "But what does it mean to be righteous? In Habakkuk 2:4, the Lord said through the prophet Habakkuk, “The righteous live by their faith,” which the New Testament reaffirms in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38. In Genesis 6:9, we read that Noah was righteous and blameless in his generation; therefore, he obeyed God and built the ark." If you would like to read the entire lesson you can go to any of the links below:

    Righteous but Unwise

    Righteous but Unwise (Large Print)

    Righteous but Unwise (Bulletin Size)

    Please Tell Us What YOU Think!

    May God bless our studies on Lot this week!
Sign In or Register to comment.