From: The Wasted Years

The High Cost Of Compromise

READ: Genesis 19:12-38

So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father (Genesis 19:36).

Before this incident, these two girls were physically virgins, but they were already debauched in their minds. They had long since grown accustomed to obscenity and unrestrained luridness, so, up in the cave on the mountainside, they seized the thinnest tissue of excuses, and the story ends in a foul orgy of drunkenness and incest. Lot had nothing but heartbreak and grief to show for his years in Sodom. The Lord said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it” (Matthew 16:25a). So Lot, trying to get the best out of both worlds, lost all and has become for all time the picture of the Christian who is saved, “but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:15b). He has nothing but wasted years to look back on and eternity ahead. When you attempt to gain the best of both worlds, you destroy others beside yourself. What was the greatest pang in Lot’s heart when he awoke there in the cave in the mountains and learned all that had happened? Do you think it was grief over his lost wealth, his vanished honor, his troubled mind? Don’t you think that the greatest, deepest wound of all in that man’s heart was the recognition of what he had done to his loved ones in Sodom his little girls, his wife?

Your children are watching you who are parents, and they see your outward respectability, your desire to be right and to do good. But in some of you, they also see that the deepest thing in your life is to get gain or to enjoy pleasure. They see that you will quickly sacrifice a prayer meeting for a night out, that you are always willing to take a bigger salary, regardless of what it may do to the family in terms of new conditions or new circles of friends. They see that the things for which you sacrifice and are willing to skimp and save are not missions or the church or the work of God, but a new car, a new television set, nicer furniture, a longer vacation, or a pretentious home. They are watching, and they see all this.

Bit by bit these children lose interest in the Bible and church. They resolve to get ahead in the world and win the respect of Sodom no matter what moral restraint they have to throw overboard to do it. This is why we see the tragedy of Christian homes where children are turning from God. And the deep sorrow these parents will carry to their grave, the deepest sorrow of their heart, will be that, though they still have their own faith, because of their compromise, they have lost their children. This tragic story of Lot is taking place here and now, in the modern Sodom and Gomorrah in which we live.

Father, thank You for this stern but loving warning from the life of Lot. Help me to make those choices that will result in those I love seeing and wanting all that You are and all that You provide for those who follow You.

From the writings of Ray Stedman


  1. Wasted years…many of us have them in one form or another, don’t we?When looking back over my life, there were so many wasted years. Years that I could have been serving the Lord, but didn't. There were wasted years of doing things not honoring to Him. Years wasted of not giving Him all the honor and glory. Wasted years of not trusting Him and being thankful for all He has done. There were wasted opportunities when I could have told others about Jesus, but didn't – choosing to be silent instead. There were wasted years of selfish motives, and wasted years of neglecting those who stood by me. The list could go on and on… Wasted years along my life's pathway…Oh, how foolish was I. But, those years were my yesterdays. My todays are filled with a new song – a song bursting forth from deep within my heart and soul. It's a song of praise and thanksgiving. It's a song of sharing the Good News. I can sing that new song knowing those wasted years are in the past, and knowing that God has forgiven and forgotten all of them. They're buried in the deepest sea to be remembered no more. Praise God!Don


  2. Thanks, you guys…I was impressed with this article when I read it… How many young parents need to take heed. And I couldn't agree more with you, Don!! Praise God He doesn't remember my wasted years!!! No wonder we cast our crowns at His feet!!


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