Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rescuing the Righteous

2 Peter 2:7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked

7 καὶ δίκαιον Λὼτ καταπονούμενον ὑπὸ τῆς τῶν ἀθέσμων ἐν ἀσελγείᾳ ἀναστροφῆς ἐρρύσατο·

This is near the end of a passage where Peter talks about the consequences of sin.  He cites the examples of angels who were condemned for their rebellion, the Flood, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The point is to explain how God's justice works.  There were many who were rightly destroyed, but the righteous will be saved.  He gives the example of how Lot was spared the destruction.

Lot is probably not the first example you think of when you consider what a δίκαιον man looks like.  This is a guy who chose to live in Sodom, though verse 8 explains that it pained him.  He was willing to offer his daughters  to the lustful crowd in Sodom.  Later, he had incestuous relations with his daughters on two consecutive nights after drinking too much.  Yet here Peter calls him righteous.

This tells me that God does not necessarily define righteousness the way we do.  We are good at using measuring sticks and deciding who is righteous and who is wicked.  What we forget is that we are all fundamentally wicked.  Yet through the blood of Christ we are declared righteous.  If someone were telling my story someday and they wrote, "and if he rescued righteous Jason," anyone who knew me might wonder at that. They would ask if that was the same Jason who was so prone to laziness and gossip at work?  Is it the same guy who white-knuckles his way through sexual temptation?  Is it the same guy who claims to love the Lord and yet has so little emotional connection with his family?  I could go on and on.  I suspect you could too.

Yet because of the blood of Christ this terrible sinner is declared righteous before the judgment of God.  What a blessed exchange!

No comments: