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Ruinous Rebellion

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Obedience is an act of faith; disobedience is the result of unbelief. —Author Edwin Louis Cole
Last week we looked at the principle of God’s desire to be present with people.
We noted that God wants us to be with him and that apathy toward God ruinous a person and their life.
TRANS - This week we’ll talk a bit more about a closely related sin, disobedience.
The principle is obviously the opposite of that, obedience to God.
BAK - Do you recall the story of Lot and his family escaping Sodom? Our text today comes in near the end of that story.
Listen on to what is taking place just prior to where we are starting this morning:
Genesis 19:17 ESV
And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.”
INTRO - Sodom was destroyed by God in as an act of his judgement.
Lot and his wife were fleeing the city when Lot’s wife rebelled.
By looking back, she disobeyed and suffered for her action.
Like Sodom, she was judged and incurred the power of God’s wrath.
EST - Our text tells us the story of God’s judgement against Lot’s wife when she failed to obey God’s will.
ESS - Our message draws out the principles in this verse that continue to apply to the lives of all human beings.
OSS - Out message will ask us to look closer at what we make more important than serving God.
TRANS - The faces, places, and names change, but God’s principles remain the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Let’s visit the day’s of the OT and see exactly how powerful the living word is as it continues to change lives, our live, today.

What does it say?

Look at this one verse that tells us much about the practice, place, and product of rebellion:
Genesis 19:26 ESV
But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

What does it mean?

3 points:

Practice of Rebellion “looked back”

Into the eyes all sorts of evil come.
2 things: looking and longing

Lot’s looking lady

Our world is one of many visual temptations.
The movies with all their advertisements tempt.
Television, the great lazy box, it tempts.
How many great Christians are lost to the temptation of entertainments which only offer an escape to lazy town.
When last was an entertainment uses to draw unto God.
I’m glad we have Christian programing, movies, and music.
I’m not talking about good media, but the sort that renders us incapable of any good spiritual condition.
I’m there too.
Don’t let this sound as I’m talking down.
No, I believe we all must be on the lookout for that great robbery of our lives; the elusive entertainments.
Let me add the most important aspect to this; care for your eyes lest the evils of a lost world will enter through the gateway of your eyes.
This happened to Lot’s wife.
She “looked back” when it was not good for her.
Her condition was changed by what she saw.
Because of her rebellious way, she experiences God’s wrath.

Lot’s longing lady

This “looked back” is an interesting Hebrew word.
We may not know it, but the use of the words “looked back” imply something a little more, a bit differently than our English translations convey.
The Hebrew sense of “looking back” is looking with longing, wanting, gaze.
The word looked tell us that Lot’s wife put all her attention on Sodom.
See, the was looking at what she longed to have, didn’t want to leave, wished for more than what God is providing.
Instead of focusing on God, she turned looked back at the way things were.
Lot’s wife wanted the cursed things of Sodom, a return to the past, does not want a future following God’s way.
Many a Christian fall prey to the past’s way of things.
1001 Illustrations that Connect Illustration 834: Sinking with the Tuna

For the first time in forty-seven years, the tuna were running only thirty miles off Cape Cod. And they were biting. All you needed to catch one was a sharp hook and some bait. And the rumor was that Japanese buyers would pay $50,000 for a nice bluefin.

Many inexperienced fishermen ignored coast guard warnings and headed out to sea in small boats. What they didn’t realize was that the problem wasn’t catching the fish; it was reeling in the giant tuna and pulling it aboard.

The Christi Anne, a nineteen-foot boat, capsized while doing battle with a tuna. That same day the twenty-seven-foot boat Basic Instinct suffered the same fate, while Official Business, a twenty-eight-footer, was swamped after it hooked a six-hundred-pound tuna. Fishermen on these boats underestimated the power of the fish they were trying to catch.

That is what temptation does to us. It looks great on the surface. Only after we hook into it do we discover its strength.

How many a story are told of the one who returned to the “old way” only to get let out of God’s plan.
The Bible tells us:
Colossians 3:2 ESV
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
How the temptations of things can and do lead astray.
TRANS - Okay, so we’ve painted a picture of practiced rebellion.
Let’s shift our attention to the next point.

Place of Rebellion “behind him”

Where was Lot’s wife?
She was “behind him.”
She was in the wrong place and that only aided her rebellious reaction.
2 things, 1st note she, like Cain, shows apathy.

Apathy in her place

Lot’s wife doesn’t care for the things of God.
She just took her place bringing up the rear.
Do you recall that the angels had to grab Lot and his wife dragging them out of the city?
Living it Sodom ruined their care for the things of God.
That’s what happens when Christian turn attention to the world.
The devil works subduction in darkness.
The call to abandon God is elusive, not laid open.
ILL - This past week Facebooks creator was grilled buy government officials. Their claim is that Facebook is selling people’s posts for money and with little notice to unsuspecting users. Lot’s of folks are dumping Facebook; your pastor is going to be one of them. You see, when something appears so good becomes used in a wicked way, that’s not where I want be.
Lot’s wife, even when Sodom was so wicked, was blinded by the alluring city.
Okay, so Lot’s wife really wasn’t onboard with God’s plan.
She went along grudgingly and really just wanted to go back to the old way that cared for self more than God.
TRANS - We see she is apathetic.
What else do we note in the words “from behind him?”

Assistance in her place

Out of Lot’s sight made it easier to sin had she been in front or with him.
Some places just make it easy to sin.
Her place assists her actions.
3 things:

1. She could gaze back unnoticed.

Not being notice, not being caught, simply encouraged her sin.

2. She didn’t worry about being told she was doing the wrong thing.

No one to yell at her, to preach to her, to reprimand her, to rebuke her.

3. She did it without being stopped.

Nobody to stop her, nothing to prevent her.
Do you know that anything in place that keeps us from sinning is something for which we can thank God.
ILL - Nobody wants their sin noticed. That’s the nature of sin. Recall that last week I asked you to consider if any thing you do, any thought you have, if Jesus would not approve needs to be avoided?
That’s one way we can purposely stick something in our way to prevent sin.
I know some fellows who do 12 step programs. The promise somebody else that before they will take a drink, they well call. For them, that call can help avoid a whole bunch of sin.
I have a friend who is part of an online group to where folks help one another with online sexual problems. The idea of mentorship, of honest relationships where you can share can serve as a help to prevent returning to past sins.
We all have the Holy Spirit, but as I noted last week, when we answer the call of the world, we grieve God’s Spirit and muzzle the voice of God.
TRANS - We’ve considered the practice and place of rebellion.
Let’s now turn to the product.

Product of Rebellion “she became a pillar of salt”

Lot’s wife rebelled, disobeyed, went against the will of God and incurred God’s judgement.
A sinner rebelling against God must face God’s judgement.
2 things:

Dishonorable discernment

A pillar of salt.
The recipient of God’s judgement knows no honor.
Lot’s wife’s permanent legacy, a pillar of salt, speaks only shame.
Even today, this story speaks to her shame.
There is no honor in the life of a sinner.
The lie maybe speaks of honor, but in the end leads only to shame.

Dysfunctional discernment

While salt has value, a pillar of judgment has no value.
Lot’s wife is worthless.
She is no longer useful to God.
Sin makes a person unable to serve God.
Many a Christian make themselves useless to Jesus by living a sinful life.

What is God asking from me?

God want’s our focus on him, not on the world.
A growing Christians trades worldly temptations for Godly delights.
A plant not growing is dying; can you identify your new spiritual growth?
In what what is your life more focused on God this Spring than last Spring?
If you stopped serving God, how would your service be noticed?
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