Camping Too Close to Sin
Wendy Pope

"Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom." Genesis 13:12 (ESV)

"You play with fire you are going to get burned" is something I heard all the time growing up. It was my parents' way of warning me of potential danger when hanging around with the wrong crowd, or going places I should not go. Of course I thought my parent's advice was outdated and out of touch with my generation. I had no idea how wrong I could be.

I don't believe Lot intended to fall into the immoral activity and evil practices taking place in Sodom when he chose to set up his tent in the valley. The valley near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah was lush and beautiful. Lot chose to live in the area because it was a wonderful place to raise livestock.

Sodom and Gomorrah became so infiltrated and consumed with evil, war broke out. Lot and his family were captured and taken prisoner. When rescued by his Uncle Abraham, the Bible tell us that Lot went right back to the "edge of sin." Although the Bible does not give specific evidence of any immoral activity by Lot, I wonder if something about the area, other than the lush green beauty, fascinated him. Why would he return there after coming so close to losing his life?

Unfortunately, I can understand Lot and his decision to stay near the "edge of sin," and to return to the "edge of sin." I have camped on the edge too often in my life and find myself going back to the same campsite over and over again. Why? Sin feels good, if it didn't, we would not keep going near it.

This is how the enemy traps us. If you play with fire, you are going to get burned. Sometimes you only get singed, or you may only come away smelling a little smoky, but you are tainted nonetheless.

God loves us so much; He doesn't want us anywhere close to sin. He will bring destruction – sooner or later – to the means of the sin in our lives. He did this for Lot. God set out to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham begged God to save Lot and his family. Because of God's love for Abraham, and I believe for His love for Lot too, He sent angels to rescue Lot and his family. As they were leaving, God sent destruction to Sodom and Gomorrah.

As I read Lot's story, I no longer judge him like I once did. Now I choose to learn from him. When you are too close to sin:

• You are bound to get seduced. Sometimes we like to live right on the edge of sin and flirt with it. The enemy entices us while on the edge, hoping we will cross over and stay a while.
• God will give you an opportunity to be rescued. The rescue might not look like a "typical" rescue but nevertheless He will provide a way out.
• It is hard to reach out and accept the rescue because the grip of the stronghold of sin becomes tighter and tighter with each passing day on the edge.
• Once you are rescued, don't look back. The first time Lot was rescued, he went back to the "edge of sin." In the second rescue, his wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. Don't look back, but look toward your freedom.

What about you? Have you chosen to set your tent in an area that seems lush and green? Perhaps it is at the water cooler where workday conversations are not appropriate. Or maybe you are looking in the wrong place for "Mr. Right." Has the mommy-and-me playgroup become too gossipy? Are you "too close" to the edge of sin? Do you need to be rescued? Cry out to be rescued and when you leave, don't look back.

Dear Lord, I want to ask You to forgive me for staying too close to sin. I admit that I need Your help to leave. Will You come and rescue me? Thank for You for always being there when I need You. I bless Your name. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know your Rescuer?

Confessions of an Adulterous Chrisian Woman: Lies that got me there, Truths that brought me back by Lyndell Hetrick Holtz

Visit Wendy’s blog for more encouragement

Application Steps:
Read the story of Lot's rescue: Genesis 18:16-19:29.

What is my "edge of sin?"

What keeps me there?

Am I willing to be rescued?

Power Verses:
Psalm 34:17, "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." (NIV)

© 2009 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me to not look back. I tend to forget why I left and remember the green and plush grass. I forget the agony of knowing that I'm living in sin and not honoring God. Lately, the enemy has brought new opportunity for me to fall into sin as an outlet from the freedom Christ has given me. This post and the song "Slow Fade" by Casting Crown remind me that I cannot compromise the ways of God by living on the edge because He is worthy and knows best.

Blogger Sharon Sloan said...

This reminds me of Exodus 15:27:
"Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water."

I want to camp near the Living Water!

Wendy, thanks for your reminder and wonderful devotion...and your devotion to Him and His Word!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder why it is when I know what is right that it is always after I've messed up that I feel condemnation. Sin has hardend my heart or something. My mouth and my thoughts are always camping on the edge of sin. Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so wonderful to know that God is there right when you need him. I have been on the edge for several weeks and wanted to jump and not care who I hurt in the process. My husband is currently deployed to Iraq and it is a very lonely time. I have been spending lots of time with another man and I was questioning my love for my husband and thinking this man would be so much better. I wanted to have just one night with him to feel that love and compassion again. I even was trying to reason that God brought him to me to be happy again. After reading your devotion I know that Satin can be very sly in how he works. That this was his way of toying with my emotions. I know that I need to move from the edge not look back. Thank you so much for your encouraging words.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, sometimes you need someone to tel you that rescue is in sight. That was yust what I needed this morning. You are so right it is very easy to go in to the wrong direction. The right way is most often the hard way.

Anonymous Dianne said...

Wendy, This is an awesome word and such a powerful reminder that living close to the edge is flirting with danger. There is no such thing as innocent flirtation! Thank you for sharing such a timely and necessary devotion.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Satan is sly. If he can get us to compromise our faith, just a little at a time, he will trap us. I started smoking while in a bad marriage. I want to quit now, but it is so difficult.Please pray for me.


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