2 Peter 2:6-9 (6) And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; (7) And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (8) (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (9) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: Set before us in today's text are things that happened on the same day: the destruction of the wicked and the deliverance of the righteous. Jesus Christ said this models the day of His return: (Luke 17:29) But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:30) Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. This pattern of destruction and deliverance on the same day was also earlier established at the time of the Flood (LUK 17:26-27) where it was described as being, “...the selfsame day...” (GEN 7:11-13). The righteous and the wicked “...grow together until the harvest...” (MAT 13:30) and “...the harvest is the end of the world...” (MAT 13:39). Be wary, therefore, of any system of prophetical interpretation that puts a season between the coming of Christ to deliver the righteous and His coming to destroy the wicked. At the Second Coming, the righteous may have no choice but to be living amidst the wicked. Faith will be scarcely found on earth (LUK 18:7-8) and the wicked encircling them (REV 20:8-9). But Lot had a choice; his lot in life was of his own design. Lot and his uncle, Abraham, left Ur of the Chaldees together (GEN 12:1-5). They had been idolaters in an idolatrous land (JOS 24:2) and corrupt worship corrupts values (ROM 1:21-27). Abraham made the best of his exit from Ur but it is evident that although Lot was gone out of Ur, yet Ur (and its standards) were far from gone out of Lot. While Abraham became a model of a victorious righteous man, Lot became a model of a vexed righteous man: vexed by his poor choices, by his own family, and by “...the filthy conversation of the wicked” (2PE 2:7). The contrast between Abraham and Lot is, as has been astutely observed by others, the difference between the blessed Christian life and the blasted Christian life. Lot had life; Abraham had an abundant life (JOH 10:10). Lot had salvation; Abraham had that plus “...things that accompany salvation...” (HEB 6:9). Lot shall at Christ's coming enter the everlasting kingdom; Abraham shall have “...an entrance ministered unto him abundantly into the everlasting kingdom...” (2PE 1:5-11). From our featured text, we see that Lot was NOT an unregenerate, unrighteous reprobate slated for eternal doom. He was a just man. He was a righteous man. He had a righteous soul. He was a godly man. But he is proof that though the grace of salvation may work into a saint the ability to believe, to choose wisely and to overcome, yet it does not automatically follow that he will do so. There are some branches in Christ “...that beareth not fruit...” (JOH 15:2), an undesirable and unprofitable condition. Lot's tendency was to be moved according to the flesh, not the spirit. When he had occasion to make a decision as to where to live, “...Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where...” (GEN 13:10), and so “...pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly” (GEN 13:12-13). Their conversation (manner of living) was “filthy” (its cultural acceptance notwithstanding). Not even ten righteous souls could be found therein (GEN 18:32 c/w GEN 19:24-25). While Lot lifted up his eyes towards Sodom because of its carnal advantages, Abraham lifted up his eyes according to the word of God (GEN 13:14-18) and saw enduring advantages of a heavenly nature: “...For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (HEB 11:8-10), “...a better country, that is, an heavenly...” (HEB 11:16). Lot walked by sight; Abraham by faith (c/w 2CO 5:7). Choices are important and we do well when we choose what is best for our souls, not our styles. Another worthy distinction between Abraham and Lot is seen in the deliverances they experienced. While Abraham's faith delivered him from many temptations and troubles, God had to work deliverance for Lot by other means. Lot was vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked and his conduct in GEN 19:1-38 where he offered his daughters to a marauding band of sodomites shows him to have been a classic case of evil communications corrupting good manners (1CO 15:33). His Christian testimony and credibility even amongst his own household were without salt (GEN 19:14). In the face of impending doom, he had to be seized upon by God's angels, lest his waffling about the pro's and con's of Sodom invite his own destruction (GEN 19:16). That act of forcible extraction from his own temptation and destruction was “...the LORD being merciful unto him” (GEN 19:16). The Lord does indeed know “...how to deliver the godly out of temptations...” (2PE 2:9). It is a great mercy of God to save His own who are hesitant to even save themselves and for this we should all be thankful, for such is not always the case. Oftentimes with us, it has likely been a matter, not that we remembered His covenant and acted accordingly, but that God “...remembered for [us] his covenant...” (PSA 106:45) and in mercy interrupted our wayward, downward course. Jesus taught us to pray that God would not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil (MAT 6:13). Too often, saints frustrate this prayer by acting contrary to it. God did not lead Lot into the temptations of Sodom; Lot's eyes and lusts led him there. When God's children neglect to “...put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (ROM 13:14), God may strip from them whatever it is that is causing the vexation. Thus, we ought not to be angry or discouraged when God either 1) takes from us things we dearly loved, enjoyed or were served by, but which were actually obstacles to our spiritual well-being and testimony; or 2) takes us away from family, acquaintances, occupations, lands, riches, etc. to prevent us from being hindered by them or consumed with them. God does these things to refine us. If we will not ourselves dispense with the wood, hay and stubble (1CO 3:12-15) of our lives, God may burn them off for us as forcibly as He burned away Lot's vexation which was Sodom. We should be thankful for this, that though we should suffer loss, we ourselves will be saved, “...yet so as by fire” (1CO 3:15). Lot could certainly identify with that. However, saving oneself from an “...untoward generation” (ACT 2:40) or from an “...inordinate affection...” (COL 3:5) for something that feeds the lust of the flesh but starves the soul is less traumatic than God's pro-active deliverance. And we are not wise to presume upon His mercy: “...Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (MAT 4:7) for He has “...mercy upon whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (ROM 9:18).