The cost of compromise
“Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan…” (Genesis 13:10)
How compromise starts
It started with a look. Abram generously offered Lot first dibs on the land, and Lot chose for himself and his family the lush plain of Jordan, “…and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” (Genesis 13:12). Lot purposefully set up his homestead looking out toward Sodom, the inhabitants of which “were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” (Gen. 13:13).
This is how compromise starts; we see something and on the surface it probably looks good. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that “we walk by faith, not by sight:” however in this case, Lot walked by sight. Lot wasn’t trusting the Lord; he was trusting what he could see and what he thought looked good.
One of the problems with Christians today
We see more of the news and what the world declares to be right and wrong, and suddenly we’re making decisions based not on God’s Word, but on the world around us. Ever wonder why the world is actually fighting about things like “the right” to kill unborn children or trying to “change” biology? We’re more interested in cultural morality than we are in what God says is right and wrong.
At some point, Lot went from looking at Sodom to living right in Sodom, as we read in Genesis 14:12 that Lot gets taken hostage by the four kings, “And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.”
The sin of compromise is a slippery slope
The sin of compromise is a slippery slope; we start by looking at something, and the next thing you know we’re living it. Lot may have been a lukewarm Christian, but because he was lukewarm, he was weak, he compromised, and he was unwilling to stand up for what was right. His entire family suffered as a result and didn’t follow God.
Look around; certainly, there are things happening where we are living that are wrong, but what are we doing about it? We’re often afraid to speak up or stand up for the truth because we do not want to be accused of being intolerant. D.A. Carson, founder of the Gospel Coalition, once said that “People don’t drift toward holiness, they drift toward compromise and call it tolerance, and drift toward disobedience and call it freedom.”
Compromise doesn’t lead to anything good
In Genesis 19:1, we read that Lot “sat in the gate of Sodom:”. As I wrote in a previous column, gates in ancient times were places were the kings and civic leaders of a community or a city gathered to work. Lot was a leader in Sodom, probably using “tolerance” and “freedom” as his talking points.
Sin is a progressive thing. Lot started looking, then living, and then leading in Sodom. And what happened next? He lost everything. God literally destroyed Sodom and everything in it, and Lot ended up living in a cave. That’s the cost of compromise. Don’t be deceived; compromise in our lives doesn’t lead to anything good.