Genesis #17: The Promise -

Genesis: The Promise  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:48
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We are back in our study of the book of Genesis today. In our series THE PROMISE, we come to Genesis chapter 19 today.
If you have read the text or are familiar with the story, you can probably understand why I’m always tempted to focus on the sin of the outsiders in texts like this. They are so obvious and have been discussed for centuries. So much so that towns have become synonymous with the way sex has always been a source of sinful living.
But I think we can learn much more by looking at the lives of those who are insiders, part of the family of faith. I’m talking about Lot and his family.
You and I can probably say, “I’d never do that” when thinking of the men of Sodom. But they aren’t the only ones with real issues. In fact, this chapter is full of people who’s lives offer us lessons to learn from. I think we will see in their lives things we can all identify with, maybe even falling into.
Then I want to offer you a way to avoid the pitfalls that prove to be traps for Lot’s family.
But first...


I want to congratulate you all.
You made it.
2020 was a year we won’t soon forget and you made it through.
Some of us barely made it through. Some of us are still carrying the scars from the year.
But you made it.
You also made it through the Christmas Season.
That’s saying something, because we have been told if we didn’t get a new 5g iPhone or we didn’t get a new Jeep, or a new insurance carrier, or a new then our lives wouldn’t really be a life.
But here you are and you look pretty alive to me. So Congratulations!
But the bad news is, tomorrow and the day after that, you are going to get a steady diet of how what all you have isn’t enough. How what you need in order to really live is a pelaton stationary bike, or a new even bigger air fryer, or a new pet, or a new wife, or a new...

Be Careful...

Now you need to know, that everyone doesn’t come through this sort of thing as well as you did. Sometimes, we get caught up in these seasons of life and we can get stuck.
Today I want us to look at how Lot and his family got stuck here… and how the New Testament points us to the way out.
Then I want to help you avoid these traps for 2021.
I’d encourage you to read the whole chapter on your own, I want to give you a summary of what’s going on.
When we were last here, God had shown up and told Abraham that he was going to punish the town of Sodom for their sin was great. Abraham bargained with God to the point that if there were 10 righteous people in the town it wouldn’t be destroyed… well there weren’t 10.
So the angels go down to destroy Sodom. When they get there Lot is at the city gate and invites the men to come to his home. They don't want to, but he won’t take no for an answer.
When they get to his home, the men of the city show up beating on Lot’s door demanding that the men be turned over to them so that they might rape and most likely kill them.

Let’s make a deal

Lot wants to protect these visitors, he wants to do what’s right, but he also wants to keep his position in the city. So he tells the crowd, don’t do this, let me give you my virgin daughters to do with as you want instead.
You catch that… he knows he has to protect the strangers, but he offers his daughters to them.
To say Lot has a problem is putting it mildly. We may never do that, but how often do we find ourselves in conflict between loving the world and doing what’s right?
Lot should say… no get out of here. But he doesn’t… why? His fear of what his neighbors might think.
You ever been torn like that before?
You want to tell your neighbor about Jesus, but you worry what they might think, so you don’t say anything.... Yea, me too.
So the angels tell Lot to get his family and get out of town, because they are about to destroy it. He goes to his daughters home and tells them, but his sons in law think he’s joking.
So, Lot takes his wife and daughters… we don’t know if these are the married daughters, or if he had two other daughters. But they do as they are told, they get out of town.
The Angels tell them to leave, go to the mountains, and don’t look back. They head off to safety… not really wanting to go back to the mountains… they were more city folks… and don’t really like being out where those people live… along the way, God begins to destroy the towns in the valley… and Lot’s wife, we guess thinking of all she had given up… does what the angels told them not to do…

But what about...

Gen 19:26
tell us she look back. When she does, she becomes a pillar of salt… she’s killed just like the people of Sodom.
Here heart was still there and now her life ends there.
We don’t know if it was her curiosity of what was happening, maybe wondering about her friends still back there… maybe regretting the loss of some of her stuff… that new air fryer.
Luke 9:26
teaches us to follow without looking back.... but do you ever find yourself looking back?
Her heart wasn’t with her husband or in obedience to the call that God had for her family, instead she was longing for what could have been.
I think we all do that from time to time.
When we see a need, we think of how we can’t help, or what we would have to give up
When we hear of doing something different in our church, we are tempted to respond… we’ve never done that before...
Lot and his daughters continue on… they’ve given up all they have. They are all that’s left, forced to live in a cave back in the mountains.
We aren’t sure what the daughters are thinking, maybe that they are the only ones alive… maybe that they will soon die… we don’t know. But in the cave, out of desperation, they decide to get their dad drunk and sleep with him in order to have children. To them dying childless was the worst thing that could happen. Not considering the dishonor they would bring upon their father and their children.
Now incest wasn’t against the Law, yet; but they knew it was wrong, hence the need to get their dad drunk. But they are desperate as the scripture tells us in vs 32 to preserve our family line.
Ok… so they had a noble cause… but they completely took unethical means to accomplish it.
Ever fallen into this? Want something that you feel you have to have or that you deserve that there is no limit to the short cuts a person will take when desperate.
I know when I was younger, I did some pretty regrettable things because I was desperate… for relationships, for love, for friendship, for attention…
It’s not just a problem for the young, as we get older we do it as well.
The amazing thing is this whole family is caught up in what the bible calls a love of the world.
One clear teaching we have is in
1 John 2:15–17 NIV
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Love God or Love the world

Matthew 6:24 NIV
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Romans 12:2 NIV
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
What would it mean to apply this to our lives?
Imagine how you can apply this to your life.
The Proclamation
Dearly loved brothers and sisters, the Christian life is a life found in Christ, redeemed from sin, and consecrated to God. We are those who have entered into this life and have been admitted into the new covenant of Jesus Christ. He is the Mediator of this covenant. He sealed it with His own blood so it would last forever.
On one side of this covenant stands God, who promises to give us new life in Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith. Every day God proves His goodness and grace to us, showing us that His promise still stands firm.
On the other side, we stand as those who promise to no longer live life for the world but instead to only live for Jesus Christ because He has loved us and given His life for us.
There are times in our lives when it is important for us to remember and reaffirm our promises and vows. In this same way, we come today to renew our covenant with God. Many generations have done this before us. Today we make the covenant our own, renewing with both joy and sincerity the covenant that binds us all to God.

The Confession

Leader: We are those who seek to live as true disciples of Jesus Christ, but sometimes we fall short. Let us now examine ourselves before God, humbly confessing our sins and submitting our hearts so that we do not deceive ourselves and cut ourselves away from God. Let us pray:
People: Father God, You have set forth the way of life through Your Son Jesus Christ, whom You love dearly. We shamefully confess that we have been slow to learn of Him and have been reluctant to follow Him. You have spoken and called to us but we have not listened.
You have revealed Your beauty to us, but we have been blind. You have stretched out Your hands to us through our friends, but we have passed by them. We have accepted Your gifts and offered little thanks. We are unworthy of Your unchanging love.
Leader: We now confess to you our sins.
Please forgive us for the poverty of our worship…
for the selfishness of our prayers…
for our inconsistency and unbelief…
for the ways we neglect fellowship and Your grace…
for our hesitation to tell others about Christ….
for the ways we deceive others…
People: Forgive us for when we waste time and when we misuse the gifts you have given us. Forgive us for when we have made excuses for the wrong things we have done and when we have purposefully avoided responsibility.
Leader: Forgive us that we have been unwilling to overcome evil with good and that we have not been ready to carry our cross. Forgive us that we have not allowed Your love to work through us to help others and that we have not made their suffering our own.
Forgive us for those times when instead of working for unity we made it hard for others to live with us because of our lack of forgiveness, inconsiderate judgment, and quick criticism.
People: Forgive us for when we have not tried to reconcile with others and when we have been slow to seek redemption.
Leader: Forgive us also for these sins that we silently confess to you now.
Words of Assurance and Pardon
Leader: God, the Father of all mercies, is faithful to cleanse us from our sins and restore us to Christ’s image. Praise and glory be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen.

The Invitation

Leader: Let us gathered here before the Lord now in covenant commit ourselves to Christ as his servants. Let us give ourselves to Him so that we may fully belong to Him. Jesus Christ has left us with many services to be done. Some of these services are easy and honorable, but some are difficult and disgraceful. Some line up with our desires and interests, others are contrary to both. In some we please both Christ and ourselves, but then there are other works where we cannot please Christ except by denying ourselves.
Jesus Christ, we offer You this prayer:
People: Let me be Your servant. Let me follow your commands. I will no longer follow my own desires. I give myself completely to your will.
Leader: The power and strength to live as true servants is given to us in Christ. We accept the place and work that He gives us, acknowledging that He alone will be our reward.
People: I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you, Praised for you or criticized for you. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service. And now, O wonderful and holy God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, you are mine, and I am yours. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, Let it also be made in heaven. Amen.
Leader: Christ is Savior to those who are His true servants. He is the source of all salvation to those who obey. To be His servant is to consent fully to His will. Christ accepts nothing less. Christ will be all in all, or he will be nothing.
Now confirm this truth in holy covenant. Make it a reality in your life in these three ways:
Time alone with the Lord - reflecting, examining, naming, considering
Holy awe and reverence
Claim God’s promise, not your strength
Determine to be faithful
Hold this covenant with open hearts
The Covenant Prayer
Leader: Let us pray together:
People: My righteous God, for the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ, see me now as I fall down before You. Forgive my unfaithfulness when I have not done your will. You promise mercy if I turn to You with my whole heart.
Leader: God requires that you rid yourself of every idol in your life.
People: From the bottom of my heart, I here and now renounce every idol in my life, covenanting with You that I will not commit any known sin. By turning against Your will I have turned my love toward the world. In Your power I will watch for any temptation that will lead me away from You.
Leader: Through Jesus Christ, God offers to be your God again, if you allow Him to be.
People: Before all heaven and earth, I here and now acknowledge You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as my Lord and God. I vow to give all of myself, body and soul, to be Your servant and to serve You in holiness and righteousness all the days of my life.
Leader: Jesus Christ is the only way and means to God. God has given us Jesus as the way and means to salvation.
People: Jesus, I here and now accept You and the only new and living Way. I join myself in covenant with You. I come to You hungry, sinful, miserable, blind, and naked, unworthy even to wash the feet of Your servants. With all my power, I accept You as my Lord and Head. I renounce my own unworthiness, and vow that You are the Lord, my righteousness. I renounce my own wisdom and take You for my only guide. I renounce my own will and take Your will as my law.
Leader: Christ has told you that you must suffer with him.
People: Jesus, I here and now make this covenant with You and accept whatever comes in life. Through Your grace I promise that neither life nor death will separate me from You.
Leader: God has given holy laws as the rule of your life.
People: I here and now willingly take on Your yoke and burden. All Your laws are holy, just, and good. I accept them as the rule for my words, thoughts, and actions, promising I will strive to order my whole life around your direction. I will not allow myself to neglect anything I know to be my duty.
Leader: The Almighty God searches and knows you, even the thoughts of your heart.
People: O God, You know that we have made this covenant today in sincerity, without deceit or reluctance. If You find anything false in us, guide us and help us to set it right. And now, glory be to You, God the Father. From this day forward, I shall look upon You as my God and Father.
Glory be to You, God the Son. You have loved me and washed me from my sins in Your own blood. From this day forward, I shall look upon You as my Savior and Redeemer.
Glory be to You, O God the Holy Spirit. By Your almighty power, You have turned my heart from sin to God. From this day forward I shall look upon You as my Comforter and Guide.
O mighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you have now become my Covenant Friend. And I, through Your infinite grace, have become Your covenant servant. You are mine and I am Yours. So be it. May this covenant that I have made here on earth be ratified in heaven. Amen.


It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty (almighty God ), creator of heaven and earth.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or you had formed the earth, from everlasting to everlasting, you alone are God.
You created light out of darkness and brought forth life on the earth. You formed us in your image and breathed into us the breath of life.
When we turned away, and our love failed, your love remained steadfast. You delivered us from captivity, made covenant to be our sovereign God, and spoke to us through your prophets.
And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ, in whom you have revealed yourself, our light and our salvation.
You sent a star to guide wise men to where the Christ was born; and in your signs and witnesses, in every age and through all the world, you have led your people from far places to his light.
Your Spirit anointed him to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to announce that the time had come when you would save your people.]
By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection you gave birth to your Church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.
On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: "Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
When the supper was over he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:
"Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ's offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father (God ), now and for ever.
Now we pray as you taught us:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever.
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