If you are familiar with the story of Lot, you know that his choice to live near Sodom eventually cost him his wife and family. The steady influence of the people in that city influenced him and his family so much that he would eventually offer his two youngest daughters to be abused by a mob. How did it happen that someone described as “righteous” in the book of Hebrews would do such a thing. According to one commentator, it was a slow, almost imperceptible, move that caused an otherwise good man to become ungodly.
“Lot didn’t move into Sodom immediately, probably having some reservations about living in a city where it was known that the inhabitants were ‘wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly;’ so he only ‘pitched his tent toward Sodom.’ He dwelled ‘in the cities of the plain’—not actually within the cities, since he still lived in his tent, but in their orbit, as it were, near enough to enjoy their advantages but not actually a part of their life. Christians today often follow the same path, hoping to have both the spiritual blessings of a separated walk with God and the carnal advantages of fellowship with the world. Sooner or later, however, one has to decide which it will be. He cannot have it both ways. Neither God nor the world will allow it.”
Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1976, 304.
I think that we need to be careful in our application of this passage. Jesus prayed that we would be in the world but not of it (John 17:14-18). So, it is not wrong to live in a world of wicked people. However, Lot’s experience does send a strong warning about the influence of the ungodly culture in which he chose to live. As followers of Christ, we must be careful to keep ourselves close to God so that we are not pulled away from him by the attitudes, desires, and actions of those around us. Perhaps it is time to reflect on the status of our family now before something similar to Lot occurs for us.