2 Peter 2 - James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

Bible Comments
  • 2 Peter 2:8 open_in_new


    ‘Lot … dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.’

    2 Peter 2:8

    The story of Lot is well known. What are its lessons?

    I. A Godly man in an ungodly world.—The Christian cannot avoid mingling with the world for ordinary business; but he must not choose to associate with wicked men for the mere pleasures of society. If he does so his moral sensibility will be somewhat blunted. The Saviour’s prayer for His disciples, when He was about to leave them, was, ‘I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.’ Every Christian needs to be exhorted ‘to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ The first thing we hear of Lot’s approach to the city is that he ‘pitched his tent toward Sodom’; and the next time we hear of him he ‘dwelt in Sodom’; and on the evening preceding the destruction of the city he ‘sat in the gate of Sodom,’ where he saw two angels, and took them to his house within the walls of the city. He seems to have been less repelled by the immorality of the people when he became more familiar with the sight of it. But a truly pious man, though living among the wicked, does not consent to their sin. He does not become indifferent to it. Lot’s righteous soul was vexed, tormented, by what he saw and heard. The truly good man is deeply concerned, in the presence of abounding wickedness, and says, ‘Rivers of water run down mine eyes, because they keep not Thy law.’ And Jesus wept over the devoted city of Jerusalem. There is much vitality in the piety which is maintained from day to day amid prevailing iniquity. Lot did not altogether escape the contamination, but on the whole he remained pure.

    II. A persuasive preacher with a perverse people.—We might have inferred that Lot would not be a silent spectator of the wickedness of Sodom, even if Scripture had been silent on the subject. A truly good man seeks to do good to all men as he has opportunity. The sinner is blind, and we must warn him of his danger. On one occasion we find Lot saying to the Sodomites, ‘I pray you, brethren, do not do so wickedly’; and probably he had spoken to them in similar terms on many occasions. When the angels told him that the Lord had sent them to destroy the city, he believed the message from heaven; and, having gone out to the streets, he said to his sons-in-law, and probably also to others, ‘Up, get you out of this place, for the Lord will destroy this city.’ It was a fervent message, and was probably delivered with persuasive earnestness. It was the expression of his own unwavering faith; and there was good reason why it should be successful with others. ‘But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-law.’ The guilty people were hopelessly perverse, and their cup of iniquity was full. Lot seems to have felt the deadening influence of their mockery, for he lingered in the city till he saw the first rays of the morning on which it was destined to be destroyed, and the angels hastened him, saying, ‘Arise, take thy wife and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.’ And while they still lingered the angels laid hold of him, and his wife and daughters, and said, Escape for your life to the mountains. The preacher was saved by a miracle of grace; but the people perished with the ultimate exception of only two of his hearers.

    III. A pious parent with a profligate family.—We expect a pious father to have a pious family. Like Abraham, ‘he will command his children and his household after him, and they will keep the way of the Lord.’ ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.’ Eli had wicked sons; but he was not free from blame in the matter of their training, for the Lord said to Samuel, ‘His sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.’ Lot allowed his daughters to receive the addresses of two young men in Sodom, who were either married or engaged to be married to his daughters. When he went out to try to save some of the inhabitants of the doomed city he directed his attention especially to these young men; but instead of complying with his earnest call, they treated him as a mocker or a madman. His wife appears to have been a worldly-minded woman; and when she lingered behind him, looking back with regret on the loss of so much valued property, ‘she became a pillar of salt.’ She was almost saved as she escaped from the doomed city, and yet the love of the world caused her ruin. Her doom is a loud warning to all lingerers in the path of sin, to whom our Saviour still says, ‘Remember Lot’s wife.’ His daughters were spared to him, but their subsequent conduct covered his old age with infamy, for which they were prepared by the vile associations of Sodom.

    IV. This subject suggests two reflections.

    (a) Religious considerations ought to rule our choice in life. Lot neglected this, and he was a loser in every respect. We must ever give the first place to the kingdom of God.

    (b) Be careful to keep out of the way of temptation. We must hold no parley with sin, else we are never safe. Our duty is to ‘resist the devil,’ and he will flee from us. Our daily prayer must be, ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’