Greetings MOL Family!
As we conclude this particular study on country living, please keep this in mind, dear friends: The separation from the cities and our burden for the cities goes together, in God’s program. If all we’re interested in is getting out of the cities, living away from the cities and getting out of trouble, we would be just as selfish as satan himself, and go to the same place. Cain did, didn’t he? But those who share in the burden for souls will want to be in a place of refuge where they can build, with God, something to take people to.
A Family, Separated
Notice how Abraham was burdened there, in Gen. 18, beginning with the 23rd verse on to the end. Abraham said, “Oh dear Lord, You wouldn’t destroy the righteous with the wicked, will you?” He said: “Suppose that in that city, that great city there should be 50 righteous people. Would You destroy the city?” God said, “No Abraham; if there are 50 righteous people there, I’ll spare it”. Then Abraham said, “But Lord, suppose there were just 5 lacking, You wouldn’t destroy it just because it lacked 5, would You?” The Lord said, “No, we’ll spare it for 45”.
And he went down to 40, and 30, and 20, and 10. And Abraham went home thinking that surely there must be 10 people in that city who were righteous. Surely Lot with all his city evangelism should have at least 10 people there that would stand for God in the crisis. But did he find them? Do you know how many there were, dear friends? Turn over to 2 Peter 2, and you’ll find out. It’s interesting when you get to studying these things how many Old Testament stories are re-echoed in the New Testament, and light shed on them. Notice carefully, this gives us some light on Lot:
And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) – 2 Peter 2:6-8
What 2 adjectives are used in reference to Lot? – Just and righteous. Now as we think of his terrible mistake in moving into Sodom, and the iniquity that covered him later when he got off the cave with his daughters, we wonder how God could say that he was just and righteous. But nevertheless, that’s what the Bible says about him.
Lot’s heart was all right. He didn’t really want to get into Sodom in a sense; you know who wanted to go to Sodom? — The wife and the girls, they were bound and determined to get there. They wanted the social life and advantages. They wanted the educational advantages. Lot, of course, was interested in the commercial advantages.
He insisted on staying in tents for a while, outside of Sodom; but when you come to that 19th chapter of Genesis, you’ll find out that he had moved in. In fact, he was a judge. Isn’t that wonderful for a Seventh-day Adventist to succeed so in making an impression on Sodom that he’s elected as judge? It proved that Lot made a wise choice didn’t it, friends? It didn’t prove anything of the kind.
Read the terrible story there in Genesis 19 about the attitude. And when you think of what’s going on in the world today, when the sins of Sodom are being repeated on a nationwide or world-wide scale, God is sending His angels to look things over as He did back there. My point is, the only one saved out of Sodom, if anybody, will be Lot himself. There weren’t ten. There weren’t even five. But notice why it was:
And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spoke unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. – Genesis 19:12-14
Was the city evangelism successful? Why not? His life was not in harmony with it. His family wasn’t with him in getting out. Did the angel finally get 4 of them out? What happened to one of them on the way out? – Turned into a pillar of salt. God said, “Don’t look back”; and she looked back. Why? Her heart was in Sodom.
Oh, I appeal to every woman reading this lesson, when your husband wants to serve God, and get into the work of God, and help finish the work, don’t plead for the city advantages. Don’t plead for the social life, the educational advantages, the commercial advantages, and the conveniences. Get out with Abraham under the Oaks of Mamre.
Learn the joy; and you children, learn the joy! I repeat, do you know why Lot and his wife and children ended up in Sodom? – They had the city mind; and today, as never before, it’s possible to have your feet in the country and your mind in the city. I wouldn’t need to give you very many guesses to know one of the best ways to have the city mind, and still live in the country today, would I? What is it? – TV, radio, newspaper, social media; all these methods of communication to bring the city philosophy; the philosophy that you’ve got to buy, buy, buy, buy, buy in order to keep up with the Joneses. That’s what got Lot into Sodom. That’s what left him finally stripped of everything he possessed. Nobody but his 2 daughters left with him. His wife had been left as a pillar of salt.
Country Living, Based On Country Thinking
Now notice the pathetic response of Lot, as God attempted to appeal to him, through the angels:
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. – Genesis 19:17
Think of it friends, get busy, go, fast, move! What does Lot say?
And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my LORD: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast showed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. – Genesis 19:18-20
Think of it friends, he’s gotten so involved in the city mind that he couldn’t think of living anywhere except where? — In the city. You’d think he’d have been glad to run to Abraham. But no, he wanted a city, even if it was only a little one. Isn’t that awful? That’s what’s going to happen to every one of us unless we get fully brainwashed by God and get rid of the city mind, friends.
The city mind isn’t a matter of geography. It’s a matter of what you think, what you want, what you enjoy. If what you enjoy is the city program, you’ll end up there. But if what you enjoy is the things of God, the things of nature, the birds singing, the garden work, and all the other things that go in God’s program of country living, thank God, friends, there isn’t money enough to hire you. You’d rather live on bread and water in the country, than to feast at the Waldorf, the Hilton, or any other eating places.
If your mind is city minded, you won’t be able to help persons out of the city. But if you’ve gotten a love for God, a love for the things of God, a love for His way of life, then there’ll be such joy and contentment that people will say, “Oh, I want that, because I see it brings you peace. I want that because I see it brings you joy.
So whether we’re poor or rich as far as this world is concerned, we can all have that peace. Somebody put it this way, and I like it, I haven’t forgotten it: A poor man can be a happy man, but no happy man is a poor man. Do you like that? Are you happy? What are you happy for? For the birds that sing? For the strawberries and the corn, the sweet potatoes and the Irish potatoes, for the lettuce and the cabbage, the apples, and all the other things that God has given us in country living? — And for the work, the satisfying work of working with God to produce food, and for the quiet of morning and the evening?
You know friends, morning after morning as I watch the dawn come, as I watch from when it’s dark and you can’t see ahead of you; watch that gradual coming of the light, I think, Isn’t this wonderful? Isn’t it wonderful? His going forth is prepared as the morning. So the quiet and stillness of the country life, the joy of working with God, and the joy of going into the city, sharing the message and inviting people to come out and share these things. That’s the program, what do you say?
Remember, don’t forget dear friends, Cain and Abel both had all these opportunities. Cain ended up a what? – A murderer, and the murder didn’t take place in the city either, it took place in the country, didn’t it? So, you can be like the devil in the country. Just living there won’t make you a saint, but oh, it’ll help those who want to get the help. Let’s fill our minds with the things of nature and with the things of God.
It’s the state of mind, dear friends, of living not for this world. Not building as if there were going to be 100 years, but temporary. We’re sojourners. We’re pilgrims and strangers like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The city up there, that’s the city I’ve got a home in, what about you friend? Jesus died to get us a home in that city. Jesus died to make it possible for you and me on our way to that city to live in the country and get other people out of these cities into them. Don’t misunderstand me; we won’t say everybody in the cities is going to be lost. Sodom had 1. Poor Lot, don’t you feel sorry for him? No wife, [she was] left in salt. No children, burned up in Sodom, or more worse out in a cave in licentiousness and wine. But oh, thank God friends Abraham had his wife saved with him; and his children and grandchildren saved with him. Let’s go Abraham’s road instead of Lots, what do you say?
Now in closing, this thought, and don’t miss it. Abraham did build something, do you remember we read it several times. What did he build? He didn’t build a house, but he built an altar. I wonder why? The worship of God, in those days, centered around the altar. What expression do we have in our lives today from that? – The family altar. What does that mean? – It’s an institution, it’s a time, it’s an experience of reading the Bible and praying, and singing songs together.
Abraham put the lamb on back there. The lamb represents Christ. And as morning by morning we come to the altar of God, in faith we see Jesus dying for us on the cross. We see Him living for us in the Sanctuary above. And as the result we share in His priestly work. Oh, let us have done with all the things of this world that would pull us away from that altar. What do you say?
Heavenly Father, we thank Thee with all our hearts, for these wonderful experiences of the olden times that are fresh and new and life-giving, in the light of Thy cross. We thank Thee for the voice of Jesus sounding down through the ages, “Come out of Babylon, come out of Sodom. Escape for your life. Come and get your eyes on that beautiful golden city, where I am preparing a place for you.” We thank Thee for places of refuge where we can learn these things in the country, and where we can help others to come. And God knows some people can’t yet get out. Help our dear people who are trapped in these cities. Help those who are members of families where there’s unbelief, and where they must of necessity be with their family. God pity them, save all of them, you can dear Lord. Help us to do our best to reach in as fast as possible to get people, not merely out of the cities in their bodies, but out in their minds and hearts for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
We pray that you have been blessed by this country living series. Please feel free to share with us (below) – What stands out to you from this study?
Next week, we will be continuing with the schedule of our class rotation. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then… Maranatha!
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.