This will be our second discussion on 2nd Peter 2. And no, I didn’t make a mistake. Noah and Lot are used to represent times that God was able to save even during a time of judgement. God knows those that are his and he is able to save the just and punish the wicked.
Noah represents righteousness. Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord even in a time when the whole world otherwise disappointed him. Genesis 6 describes increasing corruption on the earth, stating that every heart was continually set on evil. God regretted creating humanity and giving them the earth. Because of their wickedness and violence God decided to blot them out. Noah stands in stark contrast, being described as righteous, blameless and even walking with God. For this reason God called him to build the ark and save not only two of every living creature but also his wife, their three sons and their wives.
We usually think of Lot as being the opposite of Abraham. When given a choice he picked the better selection of land with water and good pastures. If given the option would we not choose the better of two? After separating from his uncle, because their herds and flocks were too great to stay together, Lot settled in the valley of Sodom and Gomorrah. He sat daily in the city gate, so he not only lived in a wicked place but sat in a position of authority having been accepted by the city leaders and elders. Peter calls him righteous not once but twice, lest we get the idea that he was wicked. Peter describes him as a righteous man whose soul was tortured by the evil around him. He must have been righteous or God would not have spared him when he rained fire and destruction down onto the cities. But he did not pursue righteousness as Abraham nor walk with God like Noah. If he was tortured in his soul he seemed to be willing to put up with it in order to live prosperously and hold political office. But notice this: God saved them both.
Noah was more righteous than any on earth. Abraham interceded on his nephew’s behalf but Lot was sketchy at best. This was not the only time that he was rescued by Abraham. His wife disobeyed God’s instruction when she turned to look back and later his daughters… well that’s not even G rated. In the parable of the prodigal son, some of us find ourselves identifying with the prodigal. He squandered his inheritance, found himself wallowing figuratively in self pity and literally in filth, and so hungry that he desired to eat what he was feeding to pigs. He had a speech all ready that his father didn’t even listen to. Instead his father ran to meet him, embraced him, and then threw a party in his honor. Some of us, though, perhaps identify with the older brother. He was the “good son” that never left and always worked hard for his father. He complained he never go so much as a calf to celebrate with his friends. He begrudged his father’s willingness to forgive. Something to think about when God offers grace and mercy.
Whether you identify with the older or younger brother, with Noah or Lot, with Cain or Abel, Mary or Martha… God knows those that are his. Perhaps think twice about comparing and contrasting your sins with someone else’s. Our rating system or sliding scale is probably not the rubric God uses.