Genesis 19:30-37 Believers must see themselves through Christ, not through the lenses of man
Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; and he stayed in a cave, he and his two daughters.
31 Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34 On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day.
The destruction of Sodom has left Lot disoriented and disillusioned. He retreats to the mountains determined to live out a hermitic existence with his two daughters. It appears that the continuation of his lineage is inconsequential for him, but not for his daughters. Subsequently, his daughters commit incest with him in a bid to perpetuate his lineage. Despite its impropriety, the sons grow up to become powerful nations and Moab’s descendant is given a place of honour in the kingly lineage of Christ. Today’s devotion teaches us that our background and heritage (inferior it may be) do not hinder our path to glory. Believers must always see themselves through Christ, not through the lenses of man.
Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him.
For Lot, the destruction of his home and loss of his wife has reduced him to what is now a faint-hearted and vacillating hermit. In order to prevent another Sodom style devastation, he resorts to living in the mountains.
Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth.
It is possible that the trauma of losing everything, has Lot developed a phobia for living in the city. Out of fear, he isolated himself and his family from the rest of the society. And this gives the two daughters little opportunity to mingle with men making it impossible to start families of their own (there is not a man on earth to come in to us.) “Our father is old…” refers to the declining virility of Lot which suggest an urgency on the part of the daughters to produce offspring from him. The elder daughter’s scheme to preserve the lineage from their drunken father is by average standards extremely warped and forbidden by the societies of the ancient near east. It speaks of the corruption and decadence of Sodom where the girls grow up with. After putting their father into a drunken state, the daughters proceed to have sexual intercourse with him.
Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father.
Despite its impropriety, the daughters bear sons (Moab and Ammon) from their father’s seed. Their descendants (the Moabites and Ammonites) become powerful nations and given divine rights to dwell in the land (see Deuteronomy 2:9,19).
In order to succeed, believers must see themselves and their future through the eyes of Christ.
Despite the dubious origins of the Moabites and Ammonites, God has given them land as a lasting heritage just as He has done for Israel (see map below). Although Moab and Ammon are born out of incest, God does not see them as inferior to Isaac’s descendants and He prospers them. Even though the people of Moab and Ammon are at times inhospitable and hostile towards Israel and their neighbours, God does not treat them as their sins deserve. The psalmist says,
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. Psalms 103:10-11
Many people subconsciously limit their potential for greatness because of their pedigree; they see themselves through the lenses of their heritage. In many cultures, children of the working class and people of a particular race or nationality are often despised. Parents of special-needs children struggle against the tide of social disdain. Even children of convicts and mistresses carry with themselves a perpetual stain to their name. Hence, they construct for themselves a glass ceiling of mediocrity and poverty because they have accepted how their heritage has made them. As for the Moabites who are born out of incest; a stigma that cannot be wiped, God has instead given them the honour of being part of the kingly lineage of Jesus Christ. Ruth, a Moabite woman is the great-grandmother of King David. After the death of her husband, she makes the decision to follow the God of Noami, her Israelite mother-in-law. The bible summarily promises that all (regardless of their background and capabilities) who follow Christ wholeheartedly will be glorified as children of God. God envisages every believers as having the glory of His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, believers must see themselves through God’s eyes, not through the lenses of heritage. The apostle John records,
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-23
How do believers see themselves through God’s eyes and attain the glory of Christ?
- Do not measure your achievements against another’s because each person is designed and gifted differently. But rather measure the posture of your heart and seek to outdo another in love, brotherly affection and showing honour (see Romans 12:10).
- Do not focus on the shame of past defeats but the wisdom that come from it. Past defeats help eliminate your points of failures so that you may be perfect and successful. Proverbs 24:16a says, “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again.”
- Always be humble to acknowledge your wretchedness and receive grace from God. God uses the foolish and the weak to shame the wise and the strong. If you feel inadequate, learn to fix your eyes not at your weaknesses but at the authority God has placed within you (see 1 Corinthians 1:27).
- Live one day at a time fully trusting God even though nothing seems to be progressing. When the time is right, you will reap success if you do not give up (see Galatians 6:9). Before a man can be mightily used by God, God strips him of all man-made securities. He leads him through trails that seem to lead to no where so that he may learn to trust God fully. Prophet Isaiah says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.
- Do not shunt suffering and tribulations – they are your ticket to glory. The apostle Paul says, “we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 12:16b-17.
Do you always feel that you are one step behind others no matter how hard you work? And you are always dealt a bad hand? Do not try to compare and compete with one another. God has made each of us different, and has a special plan for all of us. We must endeavour to be different and make something exquisite and extraordinary out of it. Your background and heritage do not define you, but God has predestined you for greatness through Christ!
Dear Lord, help me see my background and heritage not as liabilities but for a special purpose. Cause me to see the gem within me so that I may polish and nurture it. I give you permission to mould me and prepare me for the unique calling that you have ordained me for. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.