Oppressed by the Filthy Conduct of the Wicked

Sometimes I think we do ourselves a great disservice when we spend too much time perusing the news of this world and seeing the wickedness that abounds every where. I was reminded of this when I was reading a recent issue of WORLD Magazine and noted that it seemed to be one piece of bad news after another.

I think these things war on our souls and cause us more anxiety and burden than we should bear. It also reminds me of Lot in the Old Testament and how his soul was tormented day by day seeing and hearing their lawless deeds.

The Apostle Peter tells us of this torment in his second letter to the church. He is reminding us that while God rightly judged the angels and delivered them into chains of darkness, He would deliver those who are righteous in the end. A lot of people have trouble thinking that Lot would be considered one of the righteous because of the wicked offer he made while living in Sodom of his daughters to the Sodomites.

If you recall, God comes to Abram and tells him He is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their sin was very great. Abram asks God to spare the two cities if there are at least 10 righteous living there. We find that there is really only one that we can be sure of, Lot.

God delivers Lot from this wicked city, but in the process, Lot offers his daughters up to the wicked men of Sodom who are actually wanting to rape the two angels that came to deliver Lot from the city. We get caught up on the unwise decision Lot made to the point that we can’t see that what Peter writes about him is there for our well being.

Peter, in showing that God will deliver the righteous, writes: and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds.

I need to point out that the reason Lot was righteous is the same reason we are righteous, by faith. He believed YHWH and was righteous because of this reason, just as when we believe in Christ for our salvation, we are made righteous by the same faith. This “righteousness” that Lot has is not based upon his deeds, for even the righteous of God are still sinful. His righteousness comes though his faith.

The other aspect of Lot was that even though he lived in the more beautiful area of the valley, Sodom, his soul was tormented because of the wickedness surrounding him. We live in such times that evil surrounds us. Yes, it begins in our hearts as well, but our culture is so fallen that it has an affect upon us and weighs heavy on our souls.

This is one reason why I believe that too much information is not necessarily a good thing. I often feel this way about Facebook and the amont of stuff my friends post on the wickedness of the world. It’s oppressing. Do we really need all this evidence of man’s depravity on a daily basis? I think not. By the way, this is one of the reasons I quit writing so many posts about the wickedness in politics. I still do so occasionally, but do we need a constant diet of these type things? Not at all.

Especially since we have been given God’s word in such abundance. It is in God’s word that we find deliverance from such oppression, just as Peter writes. The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment. It was not through more of the same that Lot was delivered, but removal from the thing that was weighing so heavily on his soul. God brought him out of Sodom and He will bring us through this wicked world as well.

Yet, we do need to guard our hearts against such a consumption of daily news. It is not good for our souls and what is good for our souls should be far more precious to us than the evil that is going on in the world. As the writer of Hebrews says, Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider (fix our eyes upon) the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus.

He knows of the wickedness as well, and He will deal with in His time. Our goal is to look to Him.