A Defeated Righteous Man

From Faith to Faith, CFP, Watchman Nee

 

Turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into

ashes [God] condemned them with an overthrow, having

made them an example unto those that should live

ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, sore distressed by

the lascivious life of the wicked (for that righteous man

dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, tormented

his righteous soul from day to day with their lawless deeds). (2

Peter 2.6-8 mg.)

 

I would like to narrate the story of a man who was defeated, and

yet he was a righteous man. For there are the righteous who are

defeated as well as the righteous who overcome. If we are to be

ranked among the righteous who overcome, we ought to take the

story of this defeated righteous man as a solemn warning to us.

This defeated righteous man was Lot. He was a man whose

righteous heart was daily vexed with the lawless deeds which he saw

and heard. Being a righteous person, why, then, was he a defeated

man?

 

Let us see who this Lot actually was, for he himself was neither a

famous nor a wonderful person. He is known to us primarily because

of his renowned uncle Abraham.

 

The Beginning of Lot

“Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son’s

son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they

went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of

Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there” (Gen. 11.31). If

we also read chapter 7 of the book of Acts, we will additionally learn

that when Abram still lived in Mesopotamia before he came to

Haran, God had appeared to him, calling him to leave his native land

and kindred and go to the place which God would show him. So

Abram departed from the land of the Chaldees in order to go to

Canaan. Yet not only his father but also his nephew Lot followed

him. We may therefore liken the beginning of Lot to a member of a

pastor’s or a believer’s household. Because an uncle who was now

God-fearing declared that he must leave Ur of the Chaldees—a city

which was immoral and condemned by God—Lot therefore followed

him in leaving Ur. Because his uncle Abram decided to go to

Canaan, Lot himself followed him to Canaan.

 

According to Jewish tradition, the house of Terah was one of idolmaking.

In this connection, let us note that in the book of Joshua the

following information is also given: “Your fathers dwelt of old time

beyond the River, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father

of Nahor: and they served other gods. And I [God] took your father

Abraham from beyond the River, and led him throughout all the land

of Canaan…” (24.2,3). Having heard this uncle say that thereafter he

would be separated from the world and live a godly life, Lot

followed by departing from Ur with Abram.

 

Among the readers of this message, there probably are some who

may never have heard the call of God personally but who were

brought out of the world by their relatives who did hear God’s call.

Lot himself was one who had not heard God’s call; he merely

followed his uncle Abram who had heard. Perhaps your father or

brother or sister or wife believed first, and then you too believed.

You are a Lot. It would be bad for you to refuse to follow a member

of your family who believes; but it is good for you to follow in faith.

 

Lot was good in this regard because he not only followed his

uncle, but he himself became a righteous man. We may therefore

liken Abram to an old believer and Lot to a young one. They had the

same faith since they were related in the flesh. The beginning of

these two men was indeed most encouraging. Later on, however,

they separated, and their spiritual paths diverged greatly. Why?

 

The Choice of Lot

“Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.

And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell

together; for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell

together” (Gen. 13.5,6). It is always easy to share suffering, but it is

hard to share prosperity. These two men came out of Ur together and

they entered into Canaan together. How beautiful this was. God

blessed them, so much so, that their substance greatly increased.

With this increase of substance came also a problem. This land was

not sufficient for both of them to dwell in. The pasture was only

adequate for the flocks and herds of one person.

 

Though they themselves did not say anything to each other, their

servants quarreled over the pastureland problem: “there was a strife

between the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot’s

cattle” (v.7). Each side claimed the same grazing area. They could

not dwell together because their substance was too great. Many there

be today who—like these two—can leave Ur of the Chaldees

together but they soon get into conflict upon their arrival in Canaan.

 

In passing let me say that there are a number of places mentioned

in the Bible which represent the world: Chaldea, for instance,

represents the confusion of the world; Sodom and Gomorrah

represent the pleasure of sins in the world; and Egypt represents the

world under the harsh dominion of Satan. All three places represent

the world, yet each stands for one specific aspect of it. Lot was

willing to forsake the Chaldea of confusion, but he was unwilling to

lay down anything after he arrived in Canaan. How like many of us

Christians. After we believe in the Lord, we are reluctant to lay aside

fame and position in the spiritual realm. And for this reason, there is

now strife in the Church.

 

“And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee,

between me and thee, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen;

for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate

thyself I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I

will go to the right; or if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the

left” (vv.8,9). One of the causes of Christian failure lies in not being

able to dwell together. Whenever you find yourself unable to

fellowship and to dwell with other Christians, or whenever you

consider your relatives in the flesh as being more excellent than your

brethren in Christ, or whenever you shy away from meeting

Christians—all these are proofs that something is wrong with your

spiritual life. Your failure to fellowship with other Christians is a

sure sign of your defeat.

 

All the fault lay on Lot’s side. Abram was the head of the

household, whereas Lot was merely a young man. Furthermore, all

the substance Lot possessed came actually through his uncle. He

should not have permitted his herdsmen to quarrel with Abram’s.

Abram realized he could not strive; and this was reckoned as his

victory. Lot ought to have conceded that he would rather let his own

flocks and herds starve than for him ever to leave his uncle. There

was only one family in Canaan that believed in God; how, then,

could he bring himself to leave that family? Sadly, though, Lot did

not think in those terms. He considered the pastureland for his cattle

and sheep to be far more important than family unity. He would

rather forfeit the fellowship with his uncle than forfeit his cattle and

sheep; he would rather leave his spiritual life unedified than to suffer

the loss of his substance; he would rather let go of his Godfearing

uncle Abram than let go of a single herd of cattle or sheep. But what

was even worse, we shall see that since his uncle now gave him a

choice, he would rather choose the better of the two land areas and

leave to his uncle the inferior one.

 

So “Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the Plain of the Jordan,

that it was well watered every where, before Jehovah destroyed

Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of

Egypt, as thou goest unto Zoar” (v.10). Here, money or wealth was

now the first consideration. Earlier we witnessed a young man who

followed his uncle courageously at the beginning. After a while,

however, we see him tasting the favor of the world. It would appear

that now Lot could rather easily set aside his faith in God and his

fellowship with the saints—he “beheld all the plain of the Jordan,

that it was well watered every where”—and did not mind if Abram’s

herds and flocks did not have good grazing areas. No, Lot only

thought of his own now.

 

At this point in the story, I would not ask you how long you have

believed in the Lord; I would simply want to tell you that today God

places two ways before you. He places before you the world as well

as the promised land of Canaan. And He is waiting to see how you

will choose.

 

Lot beheld all the Plain of the Jordan, as far as to Zoar, that it was

“like the garden of Jehovah.” Yes indeed, it was like the Edenic

garden of the Lord. For is this not what the world basically is?

Sodom and Gomorrah represent the worldly pleasures of sins. How

the people of the world seek all kinds of pleasures in sins!

 

“So Lot chose him all the Plain of the Jordan” (v.11a). Lot chose

the entire Plain of Jordan because, like the world, it had its blessing,

glory and pleasure. Was it not truly like the garden of Jehovah? Once

I asked a brother who had sinned how he felt. He answered that it

was a little bit like experiencing the pleasure of heaven. When one

first believes in the Lord, he dare not do many things. But later, in

sinning, he finds pleasure in sins. To Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah

looked like the garden of Jehovah. Is that how the world also appears

to us—even like heaven?

 

Yet we read in verse 10 that Sodom and Gomorrah also seemed to

Lot “like the land of Egypt”! How interesting that the conscience of a

child of God will be able to show him the difference: that the world

is like the garden of Jehovah but is also like the land of Egypt: that

there are pleasures, yet there are also afflictions. We need to recall

that the children of Israel had been slaves in Egypt, who suffered

terribly at the hands of their Egyptian taskmasters. They were cruelly

oppressed and scourged. They were even forced to make bricks

without simultaneously being given the necessary straw with which

to make them. And this was why the Israelites had wanted to leave

Egypt. How descriptive this is of those who love the world: they may

experience some pleasures and blessings from it as though being in

the garden of Jehovah; but their conscience gives them no joy. How

many Christians today experience pleasure on the one hand yet

uneasiness of conscience on the other when they sin!—experience

the pleasure and joy of the garden on the one hand yet the cruel

oppression and harshness of Egypt on the other!

 

Let me ask the young Christians: What have you chosen? The

world and its pleasures? God never forces you to go His way; He

simply waits for you to make the choice. Will you choose Canaan as

Abram did or will you choose the world as did Lot with its affliction

as well as pleasure. Where do you wish to spend your days?

 

What does the Bible say after Lot chose the whole Plain of

Jordan? “And Lot journeyed east” (v.11b)—which in essence meant

a moving toward Sodom, which in turn speaks of a fall because “the

men of Sodom were wicked and sinners against Jehovah

exceedingly” (Gen. 13.13). Having made such a choice, one will

gradually move eastward. No one commits sin in a day; no one falls

in a day. It is simply losing a little ground today and a little more

ground tomorrow until a person sins and falls. For Lot, in choosing

the Plain it became much easier to tend his flocks, what with water

relatively accessible and with no mountains to climb. A person who

moves towards the world may live quite well; instead of toil he may

enjoy comfort and ease. But that person’s tent is slowly moving

eastward.

 

If you as a believer love the pleasure of sins in the world, your

feet will eventually work their way towards the world. If you cannot

guard your first step, you will not be able to guard your second step.

Since your heart has already inclined itself towards the world, you

are not able to keep your feet from edging towards it. With your eyes

fixed on the world, you cannot help but walk towards it and into it.

What you have chosen is the world, and accordingly, where you walk

will also be the world.

 

“Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, while Lot dwelt among the

cities of the valley” (v.12a,b RSV). After letting Lot choose the

fertile land, Abram continued to dwell in Canaan—the land to which

he had been called and a land which God could bless and in which he

could be spiritually edified. Lot, though, began to dwell among the

cities of the Plain—an area which he himself had chosen. Are we like

Abram, dwelling in Canaan where God has called us; or are we like

Lot, residing in the places of our own choice?

 

The Borderline Faith of Lot

“Lot dwelled in . . . the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom”

(v.12b,c KJV). At the beginning Lot probably thought that his being

a righteous man would make it wrong for him to choose Sodom itself

but that it might be all right to choose an area in the vicinity of

Sodom—that is to say, an area near to Sodom, but not actually in

Sodom. To dwell in that city, he no doubt reasoned, would not be

good at all but to be close to it might not be forbidden. Do we not

also reason like this? We say to ourselves that without question it is

not a good thing for believers to choose the world, but for us to

choose a place adjacent to the world may not be bad. Such reasoning

makes many of us to be borderline Christians, wherein those of the

world say we are not one of them, and those of Canaan say that we

are not like them either. It is true, that such borderline Christians are

so close to the world that they cannot at all be said to be living in

Canaan. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves today, where are we

living?

 

Once when I was out in the country area, I asked a soldier why

some regiments became turncoats so readily. His answer was,

because their uniforms were gray. This color, as we know, is a

combination of black and white; and thus it is neither black nor

white. Unfortunately, many Christians are like this color of gray.

They seem to be in the garden of Jehovah, yet they appear also to be

in the land of Egypt. They cling to the world as well as cling to God.

 

Let me ask you—which side are you on? Are you a gray-colored

Christian, being neither white nor black? When worldly people meet

you, will they criticize you as being backward because you are too

different from them? What would really be damaging, however, is if

people were to say, We think that you, being a Christian, ought to be

very different from us, and yet you are the same as we are! Such is

the most detrimental comment a worldling could say about a

Christian! Many believers are not willing to stand up and confess that

they belong to Christ. They comfort themselves with the thought that

it is not important for them to say so. They will not, on the one hand,

let go the garden of Jehovah, and yet they insist, on the other hand,

on cleaving to the land of Egypt. They consider themselves

Christians because they go to church service on Sunday morning and

spend five minutes daily reading the Bible. Yet in their lives they

have no Christian fellowship and cannot lay aside their wealth of

flocks and herds May we ask God to deliver us from this most

precarious course.

 

Now if you just happen to consider yourself as not yet being in

Sodom because you have not apostasized, let me remind you that, as

was the case with Lot, your tent—like his was—is edging closer and

closer to Sodom. For without the first step ever being taken, there

cannot be the second step. But if what you choose is that which

inclines you toward Sodom, then you most assuredly will end up

there. If you choose the pleasures of the world, you cannot but sin. If

you choose wealth, you cannot help but be defiled by it. You and I

should ask God, Whither do my feet go? I do not know if your feet

have already begun to move toward Sodom—to move in the

direction of the world. Perhaps the track you leave behind will

indicate that your feet have indeed moved in that direction. But allow

me to say that if you have begun to put some distance between

yourself and other Christians and to love the particular cattle and

sheep in your life, your feet have no doubt gradually begun to move

in that dangerous direction. Thank God, however, that there are yet

many Christians whose tents are still firmly pitched in Canaan. May

we all realize that we must resist the pleasures of the world as much

as the sins of the world.

 

Did Lot know about the conditions in Sodom? He certainly had

the knowledge, for these Sodomites were quite openly wicked and

exceedingly sinful against God, as the Biblical record makes plain:

“Now the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners against Jehovah

exceedingly” (v.13). Yet despite his knowledge of the true state of

affairs there, Lot nonetheless moved step by step in the direction of

Sodom and, as we shall soon learn, eventually moved right into the

city. As your feet draw away from other believers, your tent is bound

to slowly but surely edge closer and closer towards the Sodoms of

this world. You even find yourself no longer hating what God hates

and no longer condemning what God condemns as your feet

gradually move farther and farther eastward.

 

There is a proverb among Chinese Northerners which says: Fear

not slow motion, but fear standing still. Ironically, standing still is

what Satan is afraid of, slow motion, on the other hand, gives Satan

his desired opportunity, for this is how temptation comes in. Violate

your conscience a little bit today and a little bit more tomorrow; read

the Bible a little less today and just a little bit less the next; pray a

few minutes less today and a few minutes less tomorrow; witness a

little less today and but a trifle less the next day. This is how you

slide backward. Satan will not have you stop gathering, reading the

Bible, praying or witnessing all at once. No, he will instead cause

you to draw back little by little. He is most patient in pulling you

back only gradually.

 

Lot Finally in Sodom

Now as the tent of Lot moved gradually and ultimately into

Sodom, what danger was he confronted with? “. . . Four kings [made

war] against the five. Now the vale of Siddim was full of slime pits;

and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell there, and

they that remained fled to the mountain. And they took all the goods

of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.

And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and

his goods, and departed” (Gen. 14.9-12). During the battle told of

here between the confederacy of the five kings and that of the four

kings, the former was defeated by the latter. In the process Lot and

all his possessions were carried away.

 

Now he met up with this disaster because he had by this time been

living in Sodom. At first Lot had just dwelt in the vicinity of the city

of Sodom—still a believer in God, he was one who had not yet

entered the city but lived adjacent to it. The line of demarcation was

still distinct. Yet we know from the narrative that eventually he

ended up dwelling in the city. Previously we had observed him

dwelling outside the city, but now he has entered into the city.

Previously you had still looked like a Christian, but now you have

become a naturalized citizen of Sodom. Sin a little bit here and a

little bit there, and you will draw closer and closer to the Sodom of

this world. And after a while, you will begin to feel that the adjacent

rural setting is not as good and profitable as the urban, that the plain

is not as habitable as the city.

 

The story is told of a child whose mother gave him six pieces of

candy which were to be eaten the next day. The child placed the

candy before himself and wondered what he should do. He dare not

eat them today, and yet he could not afford not to. So he began to

lick each piece of candy with his lips. At first, there were six pieces

of candy. But gradually the pieces of candy became smaller. Finally,

the child ate one and left five, ate two and left three, and finally ate

them all. Such is the way many Christians end up sinning. Violate

the conscience once, and then twice, and they shall gradually move

towards the world for its pleasures. Christians need to be reminded of

one thing: sin is not something a person commits once and then

stops. For once a sin is committed, it creates a craving within to sin

again. Each time a person sins, it produces two effects: first, it gives

him the pleasure of sin; and second, it creates in him a craving for

more sin. Just as Lot gradually moved towards and then into the city

of Sodom, so we too can gradually move towards and finally enter

the cities of the world someday. Let us not deceive ourselves into

thinking that we cannot sin enough to land ourselves in the world. If

you and I are anywhere in the proximity of worldly Sodom we will

eventually enter its precincts. It is best that we not sin. If we sin, we

will not have the power to control ourselves not to sin again.

 

The Warning of God

Now God had not failed to give Lot ample warning concerning the

future. The very fact that Lot had been taken captive after the defeat

of the five kings was God’s warning to him indeed that Sodom was

not a place in which to dwell any longer. May I tell you frankly that

it is quite possible that God may be warning you when there is

sickness or a problem in your family or when a business failure

happens to you. If you are a Christian and yet you are daily drawing

closer to the world, God will in some way warn you to repent and to

return to Him, even as He did Lot.

 

Unfortunately, however, like Lot in his day, many believers today

are not sensitive. Although they become sick, have problems at

home, and/or suffer financial disaster, they seem unaware that these

may be God’s disciplinary scourges calling them to repentance. And

should they persist in their ways, they shall incur an even larger loss,

as we shall see in the case of Lot.

 

There was once a brother who gradually became cold in his

Christian walk. One day another brother exhorted him not to slide

back spiritually any more. But his reply was this: “It does not really

matter. Did not brother So-and-So, who was most zealous, also

gradually grow cold? Now he is sixty, and his eldest son, after being

graduated from college, has suddenly died; and this elderly man

today gets revived again!” “If this is what you want to happen, God

will grant you your wish,” said the other brother. “Oh, no, I do not

want this!” cried out the first brother.

It needs to be said that God will discipline you if you are His and

you insist on remaining in the sinful world. You may be sick or have

problems in your home or suffer a severe business setback. If so, you

should quickly inquire of God as to whether these things have

happened to you because you have left Him. And if so, you should

return to where He is, just as soon as you can! Oftentimes when

God’s love cannot attract you back, God will chastise you. If His

word fails to move you, He will use suffering to press you back to

himself. For He will not let you go without making some effort to

bring you back. Unfortunately, Lot did not heed God’s warning, but

went right back to Sodom after Abram’s rescue of him and his family.

 

The End of Lot

“And Lot sat in the gate of Sodom” (Gen. 19.1). According to the

custom of the Oriental nations in those days, civil cases were judged

at the gate of the city (the courts of modern tradition did not exist).

Prominent people were chosen as elders and judges. And they sat at

the city gate to judge whatever civil suits might arise. And because

Lot now sat at the gate of Sodom, it clearly indicates that Lot had

been elevated. He was no longer a commoner but was now a judge of

Sodom. He had advanced in worldly position. Even so is the way of

sin: at first Lot was only in the vicinity of wickedness, then he

actually lived within its limits, and now he had become its judge!

What was Lot’s end? Although he himself was mercifully rescued

by the angels of God, his wife while escaping died in mid-passage;

his daughters, after their rescue, subsequently and willfully

committed adultery with him one day when he was drunk; and his

sons-in-law, refusing to be rescued, were burned to death in God’s

destruction of the cities of the Plain.

 

Second Peter declares repeatedly that Lot was a righteous man:

“[God] delivered righteous Lot, sore distressed by the lascivious life

of the wicked (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in

seeing and hearing, tormented his righteous soul from day to day

with their lawless deeds)” (2.8). Yet this righteous man had become a

naturalized citizen in wicked, worldly Sodom! He was to shed many

tears over the Sodomites’ wrongdoings, but he neglected to shed any

tears for himself! He became “sore distressed” for others, yet he

failed to be “tormented [in] his soul” over his own plight! When he

saw the exceeding wickedness of the citizens of Sodom, he thought

of helping them by allowing himself to become one of their judges,

yet it was obviously a futile task for him (see 19.1-11). Are not many

Christians today like Lot? They themselves have failed, and yet they

still try to persuade others to follow the Lord Jesus!

 

Now we know that God ultimately decided to destroy Sodom, but

He heard the prayer of Abraham and sent two angels to deliver Lot:

the two “said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son-in-law, and

the sons, and thy daughters, and whomsoever thou hast in the city,

bring them out of the place: for we will destroy this place, because

the cry of them is waxed great before Jehovah; and Jehovah hath sent

us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons-in-law,

who married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place;

for Jehovah will destroy the city. But he seemed unto his sons-in-law

as one that mocked” (Gen. 19.12-14). This final sentence uncovers

the tragic fact that Lot had no real testimony before his sons-in-law,

since they interpreted his sound of alarm to be mere words of

mocking to them. Who could believe there would soon be fire

coming down from heaven?

 

“But he lingered . . .” (19.16a). How much these words reveal

concerning Lot! It would appear as though Lot in these lingering

moments might have been thinking: “Listen, my cattle; for your sake

I parted from Abraham; for you I chose the Plain of the Jordan.

Listen, my sheep; you have been with me these many years; can I

forsake you today?” And looking once again at his furniture, at his

goods, at even his barns perhaps, he no doubt said to himself: “I

thought I could live in Sodom for many days to come. I was thinking

of building larger barns outside the city to store all my victuals,

possessions and goods. Then I would be able to say to my soul, Soul,

you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat,

drink, be merry. What! I now have to leave everything behind?!?

How reluctant I feel to forsake all these good things!” (cf. Luke

12.19)

 

Now the angels “laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his

wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being

merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without

the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth

abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither

stay thou in all the Plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be

consumed” (19.16b,17). These were the words given them after the

angels brought them out of the city. Today you may be in the world,

and though you may not have much, yet you too can so easily linger

over the world in the face of impending disaster, just as Lot did!

There was once an elderly lady who had fifteen dollars. Daily she

would count these fifteen dollars. We may laugh at her being so

money-crazy. But at those today who have their drawers full of

certificates and other financial documents and who treasure such

papers, God in heaven will also laugh, even as we may laugh at that

elderly lady. For us, fifteen dollars is nothing much; for God,

drawers full of certificates and other worldly treasures are also

nothing.

 

The Lord Jesus is coming soon. And the destruction of Sodom, as

He himself said, serves as a type of the coming destruction of this

world in the future (see below). If all your hope is built upon this

world, be it big or small, one day all these things will be consumed

by fire from heaven. One day God will destroy all. And when that

day comes, no one can escape. Let me speak frankly here, that what

today believers may be reluctant (as was Lot) to give up will have to

be given up on that day. At the time of rapture, God only raptures

people, not things. Hence let us be willing to let go of everything

today.

 

“But [Lot’s] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a

pillar of salt” (19.26). Lot’s wife persisted in her husband’s desire:

she looked back. Although she could no longer see her things, she

still craved to look upon the place where she had lived; but now it

was going up in smoke. Oh, the backward gaze of her eyes betrayed

where her heart truly was. Oh, this looking back revealed many

untold stories and betrayed many inward feelings! And in looking

back, she became a pillar of salt. It serves as a huge and solemn

warning even to this day!—for our Lord declared this: “in the day

that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from

heaven, and destroyed them all: after the same manner shall it be in

the day that the Son of man is revealed.... Remember Lot’s wife”

(Luke 17.29-32). At the time of the second coming of the Lord, this

world will be judged, and all the things on earth will be burned. All

who love the world will likewise stand as pillars of salt just as did

Lot’s wife long ago.

 

I believe we Christians pay too much attention to things that are

trivial and neglect the things eternal. We are busily occupied with

social functions, business transactions, and children’s education. We

should indeed attend to our children’s education and to our necessary

business; but we must still take care of eternal things. I especially

wish to address a few words to the young people. The road ahead of

you may yet be long. If the Lord should delay His return, then choose

the right way you should go. Pay special attention today to things

that are valuable, eternal, and of God. Do not expect any glory today,

but learn to draw near to God that you may finish the course well that

lies before you. And to all of us I would echo the solemn words of

our Lord Jesus: “Remember Lot’s wife”!