The other 'or'

But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!” So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.” (Genesis 19:4-8)

The sad story of Lot's compromises continues. Having taken in the two angels God had sent to warn him to leave Sodom before judgment came down on the township, the men of the town now demand to have their way with the 'men he had taken in'. The men of the town did not recognize them as angels, did not know of their purpose in being within their township, and were intent on committing vile actions against them. Then Lot did what no one actually expected - he offered his two virgin daughters to these men in order to appease them. Imagine being one of his daughters - being offered as common whores so these men would go away and no longer bother Lot and his two angelic guests. I think I would have been more than offended to realize my own father would treat one of his offspring in that manner! 

It amazes me how 'low' Lot would stoop. It is quite possible we might think he had some pretty warped priorities - preserve his own life and that of his angelic visitors by offering his daughters to be raped. Don't forget - his visitors were angelic - they could have just done whatever it is that angels do and been out of there in a flash, so would that compromise have been necessary? Absolutely not, but this is how small compromises lead us to even bigger ones. We don't even recognize how far we have walked away from God until we see just how vile our own actions have become. It is definitely evident in Lot's actions, but are we able to see our own compromises? If we cannot see them, we might do well to ask God to point them out to us before our priorities become so warped that we go full speed down a path that leads to even greater ones!

Most of the time, we probably see our choices at the moment of compromise as an 'either / or' situation. Either we do this, or that happens. Either we go that way, or we will be stuck where we are. Either we choose to do what others are doing, or we will be rejected by them. Not always the best way to see things, is it? The 'either / or' philosophy doesn't always represent the best of two choices. It may present two pretty 'wrong' choices, just with varying degrees of impact to our lives. "If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." (I Corinthians 10:12-13) It is never 'necessary' to make the compromise - it is likely just convenient!

Even the most desperate of circumstances can be set right with a simple cry to God for help. No temptation - present or future - need ever 'take us down' because we have a God who stands ready to show us how to avoid the compromise all together. We never 'have to sin' - we always have a choice. We may not see beyond the 'either / or' options, but when we cry out to God, he can bring the 'other or' that we did not consider! That is the 'or' that drives us right back into his protection and keeps us from stumbling into compromise headlong. Just sayin!

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