In 2 Peter 2:7–8, Lot is called “righteous.” But, as we read in the Old Testament, Lot was guilty of several evils. In Genesis 19, we see immorality and drunkenness in Lot. We are also told that his heart was in Sodom. How can Lot be called “righteous”?
Second Peter 2:7-8 says that God “delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them … vexed his righteous soul from day to day.”
Lot’s life was certainly not exemplary. He was guilty of incest. His daughters gave birth to two sons fathered by Lot while he was in a drunken stupor in a cave. These two sons became the progenitors of the Moabites and Ammonites, a group of people who continuously troubled the Israelites. Sin does have far-reaching consequences. So, it is a shock that Lot is called “righteous.”
Lot’s righteousness is in the fact that he was troubled and vexed by the great evil that was in Sodom. Peter tells us that he was “vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.” He dwelt among them and he “vexed his righteous soul from day to day.”
To be sure, Lot was not holy. He did not live a holy, separated and consecrated life. But neither was he at ease in Sodom.
There is an Old Testament example of this in Ezekiel 9. The prophet is told that there are six men who are coming with a deadly weapon in their hands. But one of the men was clothed in linen and had a writer’s inkhorn in his hand. The Lord called out to the man clothed in linen and instructed him to go through the city of Jerusalem and to put a mark on the foreheads of the men who are afflicted in their hearts by all of the abominations that were taking place in Jerusalem.
The word “mark” is a translation of the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It was originally written in the form of a cross, prefiguring the cross of Christ. Those who were so marked were marked with a cross and were to be protected in the coming devastation of the city.
Weren’t they marked because they, like Lot, were grieved by the great evil that was occurring in the city at that time?
Precisely. They were the ones who demonstrated their righteousness because they were sighing and crying over the city’s great evil. The lesson for us is this: While we may not be able to right all the wrongs in our society, we must never become complacent. We must never approve of evil. We must be vexed in our hearts by it.
Sadly to say, that is not happening in the American church today. Instead of Christians resisting the tide of evil, many are simply going along with the flow, so to speak. If and when God brings revival to His churches, we too, will be profoundly troubled and vexed by the evils of our society.