Day 3: Vayera/Genesis 19:1-20
Change is one of the hardest things that man has to endure. He may pray for it, long for it, and even beg for it to arrive; but, when change actually materializes, it’s usually associated with uncomfortable, character-building challenges. The real result of change is an encounter with personal vulnerability, which is something most people are trying to escape. It’s easy to ask for, even demand, change. The question becomes: What happens when change happens?
The appearance of two angels at Sodom began a change in Lot and his family’s lives. It was change that was cried out for by some who had been victims of wicked acts in Sodom and outlying; but, the paradigm shift that occurred was not what was expected or requested.
As a righteous man, the only one in the valley, Lot was found wherein a place of position—the city gate. The gate was the place of judgment where both judges and elders sat, discussing, and conducting business. Lot, however, did not appear as the others that may have been found within the gates. His life had been influenced by Abram’s way before any influence of Sodom. Because Lot had different values and answered to the Elohim of Abram, he would have naturally been perceived as a stranger, an alien, to the inhabitants of Sodom. Unfortunately, Lot had rubbed elbows for so long with fellow Sodomites that he felt a kinship towards them, even calling them brothers at one point during the angels’ encounter. While still maintaining righteousness, Lot had been contaminated to the point of disillusionment concerning the ongoing sin and heinous wickedness surrounding him and his family on a daily basis.
In Torah and Yeshua’s words, sin is likened to leaven. A little bit can make entire heaps of dough full of yeast. As deliciously light as yeast bread can be, when living for YHVH the righteous cannot have leaven in them. With just seemingly small amounts or minuscule encounters and exposure to leaven/sin, lives become infected with spiritual fungi that grows, swells, and multiplies, then spreads to anyone else it can. Thus, Lot was dwelling in a town teaming full of contaminating sin that could not be totally isolated and would infect anyone entering the gates.
These points are illustrated as Sodom was about to be destroyed. It was quite apparent that none of Lot’s family members, including himself, really wanted to leave town. Each person had his/her own life circumstances that seemingly justified their remaining amongst the worst sins to be found in the world. The sin around them had been so abounding that they were most likely callous to it and blind to its ill effects. This is exemplified as the angels of Elohim strike the townsmen blind. After physical sight prevents them from physically lusting after the angelic visitors, the townsfolks’ hearts still writhed to find more sin. It was so bad that no amount of prevention would keep the Sodomites from seeking wickedness. Yet, Lot and his family still longed to remain there—in their comfort zone.
Another kind of blindness had overtaken Lot prior to the visitors as he was willing to give his own daughters over to depravity. This type of thinking and corruption would lead to the girls’ justification of incest with Lot creating the nations of Ammon and Moab. It was a gross sin, to say the least, but it was a very gross lack of faith.
No one likes change. To tolerate sin means that sin is what one is used to. If left behind, it’s as if parts of the regular routine and lifestyle are missing. Remaining close to familiarity, even sin is comforting to the flesh. Lot and his family had to be physically dragged from sin in order to prevent their destruction. Their familiar surroundings, convenient lifestyle, and all they took for granted and counted on was about to go up in smoke. To them, overlooking all the sin for the sake of those comforts seemed a small price to pay. The leaven of the world had seeped deep into their lives and they were contaminated with lust and wickedness, robbed of faithfulness.
At the beginning of the encounter, Lot invited the two angels into his home, offering protection and righteous hospitality to those he recognized as representing Righteousness. The feast fed to the Elohim’s emissaries included unleavened bread. It was the symbolic gesture indicating Lot was all but immune to the sinful conducts of Sodom and that the men would be safe at his home. Sadly, the leaven of Sodom could not be so easy. It would demand the lives of the innocent and soil anyone that looked pure. Leaven and sin are not discriminate in whom they devour, the innocent and pure are those it seeks to corrupt.
If we do not heed YHVH’s instructions, via Torah, the Ruach haKodesh, and prophets He sends to us, our lives could be in jeopardy due to the impending doom that will eventually overtake the nations of the earth.
During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, YHVH did not command for leavened to be removed only from certain homes, but from the entire nation of Israel. Keeping even a small amount around could infect the nation. If we continuously remain around those with sin and, by our presence, condone their behavior, we, too, become contaminated with their leaven of wickedness. It may start small, by simply overlooking a small (but sinful) indiscretion; however, if not removed, or removing ourselves, that sin can consume us and our families, altering our physical and spiritual perception.
Change is coming. The leaven that we pray to be removed can be if we allow YHVH to deal with us. What we consider to be comfortable is fleeting, but what YHVH desires for us is eternal. Keep the faith and allow the change to purify your character and relationship with Yeshua.
Dwell upon 1 Corinthians 5:5-7, “I have decided to deliver such a one to haSatan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Master Yeshua. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened.”