Tag Archives: Homosexuality

Lot: The Tragic Consequences of One’s Father’s Sinful Choices

Today’s Bible reading is Genesis 19-20, Psalm 10, and Matthew 10. Our devotional is taken from Genesis 19-20.

We read in Genesis 18 that the LORD and two angels appeared to Abraham and Sarah as men.  That elderly couple soon realized the three visitors were not mere mortals, for the LORD revealed He knew Sarah’s private thoughts and how she scoffed and laughed within herself when she heard the promise she would bear a son in her old age (Genesis 18:11-15).

We are made privy to the LORD’s love for Abraham and His desire to not keep from the man the great judgment that would soon befall the cities of the plain, specifically Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:16-17, 20-21).

Abraham pled for Sodom, proposing if ten righteous souls be found there the city might be spared God’s judgment (Genesis 18:23-33).  The LORD heeded Abraham’s petition and promise to spare the city from destruction should ten righteous souls be dwelling among its citizens (Genesis 18:32).

After “the LORD went His way” (Genesis 18:33), the angels made their journey into the valley, arriving at Sodom that even (Genesis 19).   Entering the city, the angels found Lot sitting “in the gate” (Genesis 19:1) where city leaders transacted business and settled disputes.  Lot recognized the visitors were not like the wicked of Sodom and urged them to find refuge in his home for the night (19:2-3).

As darkness fell on the city, the wicked men of Sodom encircled Lot’s home demanding he turn his visitors out into the street to be sodomized (19:4-6).  Unable to prevail against them (19:7), Lot foolishly offered his daughters to satisfy their depraved lusts (19:8-9).  Refusing Lot’s offer, the citizens of Sodom pressed upon the man threatening to break down the door of his home.  Lot was saved when the angels drew him into the house and striking the sodomites with blindness (19:10-11).

Exhibiting grace, the angels urged Lot to gather his family and flee the city before God destroyed it (19:12-13).  A desperate Lot went out of the house into the night hoping to persuade his sons, daughters, and sons-in-laws to flee the city; however, they dismissed the man as “one that mocked” (19:14).

As the sun began to pierce the eastern horizon, the angels forced Lot, his wife and daughters out of the city, warning them to no look back upon its destruction (19:15-23).  Adding sorrow upon sorrow, Lot’s wife looked back and “became a pillar of salt” as God rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah (19:24-29).

One would hope the deaths of loved ones and the judgment that befell the cities might transform Lot and his daughters; however, such was not the case. Lot’s daughters enticed their father with strong drink and committed incest with him (19:30-36).  The eldest daughter conceiving a son she named Moab, the father of the Moabites (19:37).  The youngest daughter conceiving a son she named Ammon, the father of the Ammonites.

The tragic consequences of Lot’s sinful choices has shadowed God’s people as the lineages of Lot’s sons, the Moabites and Ammonites, became adversaries and a perpetual trouble for Israel to this day.

Copyright 2019 – Travis D. Smith

“Too Late!” (Genesis 17-18)

* Today’s Bible reading assignment is Genesis 17-18, Psalm 7, and Matthew 7. Our devotional is from Genesis 17-18.

God renewed His covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17 and ten years later when Abraham was nearly 100 years old, God announced the impossible: 90-year-old Sarah “shall be a mother of nations” (17:15-17).  Abraham laughed, saying in his heart, “Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?” (17:17)

Betraying his lack of faith and willing to content himself with less than God’s best, Abraham suggested Ishmael be his heir (17:18).   God, however, renewed His covenant with Abraham stating Sarah would bear him a son and his name would be Isaac (17:19). While God refused Ishmael as Abraham’s heir, He comforted him promising Ishmael would be father to a “great nation” (17:20).

A “theophany”, the LORD appearing in the form of man, occurs in Genesis 18 when He and two angels appeared as men before Abraham’s tent bringing news within Sarah’s hearing that she would bear a son.  We read how Sarah “laughed within herself” at the thought that she, a woman “waxed old” would bear Abraham’s son (Genesis 18:12).  The LORD questioned Abraham, “Wherefore did Sarah laugh?” (Genesis 18:13).

Sarah, was surprise Abraham’s visitor not only knew she scoffed at the promise she would bear a son, but laughed at the thought of it!  The LORD asked Abraham, “Is any thing too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:15) The LORD asserted He would return when the promise son was born (Genesis 18:14).  Sarah, perhaps fearing the visitor who knew her thoughts, denied she laughed at the birth announcement, and the LORD rebuked her lie (Genesis 18:15).

The closing verses of Genesis 18 contain the fateful message the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah would be judged and destroyed for their wickedness (18:20-22).  Knowing his nephew Lot and his family lived in Sodom; Abraham interceded that the LORD might spare the city (18:23-33).  The LORD mercifully agreed to Abraham’s request when he proposed if ten righteous people be found in Sodom the city would be spared God’s judgment.

Ten righteous souls; perhaps the size of Lot’s own family, would have spared a city of lost, hell-bound souls.  Of course, Lot’s presence in Sodom was not ordered of the LORD nor was Lot’s interest the lost souls of his neighbors. Abraham cared for the inhabitants and interceded for the city, but all was lost when Lot was unable to stir the hearts of his own children to flee before God’s judgment (Genesis 19).

Allow me to close by suggesting you and I have a sphere of influence, a providential presence, among lost souls.  While the fate of a city does not rest within our realm, I wonder how many might?

Comparing the two, Abraham and Lot, whom did you most resemble? Abraham who compassionately made intercession for the wicked of that city or Lot who lived in the midst, but waited too late to plead even for the souls of his children?

Copyright 2019 – Travis D. Smith

Ever Wonder Why Wickedness is Parading in Our Cities?

womens-marchWednesday, February 1, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Psalm 12-14

My focus for today’s devotional is Psalm 12:8.

Psalm 12:8 “The wicked [ungodly; evil; immoral] walk on every side [encircle; surround; unrestrained], when the vilest [worthless; weak; i.e. gluttoness] men are exalted .”

madonnaToday, more than at any time in my lifetime, the essence of Psalm 12:8 is on full display for the world to see. Permit me to put the words of Psalm 12:8 in my own words:

The wicked, immoral, and ungodly are embolden, proud, and unashamed of their sin when worthless, undisciplined, narcissistic men and women are applauded, admired, and promoted.

hillaryWonder why lawlessness, depravity, and wickedness parade shamelessly in our cities?   Wonder no longer!  The pleasures of sin and the debauchery of sexual depravity is a consuming passion of the American public because we have put on political pedestals, stage, and theater screens the purveyors of immorality and rebellion.   Wickedness and rebellion are cancers eroding the moral fiber of our homes, churches, schools, communities, and nation. Consider the following as supporting evidence.

When a villainous, lying woman receives the majority of the American vote for president, “the wicked walk on every side”.judd

When Hollywood stars and Rock musicians swear and curse the nation’s leaders, “the wicked walk on every side”.

When college campuses promote the wicked and despise the righteous, “the wicked walk on every side”.

Is the same not true of the church?  When carnality is the entertainment diet of church members and immorality is tolerated in her leaders, “the wicked walk on every side”.

Christian friend, God has called us to be Salt and Light in the world.  Salt is a natural preservative; however, when contaminated, salt becomes in the words of Christ, “good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Mt. 5:13).  light-of-the-worldSadly, I find that statement is true of many church members; too many Christians tolerate sin and have “lost their savor”.

It is easy to condemn the world’s sinful darkness, but I remind you, if the church were Light, there would be less darkness (Mt. 5:14-15)!

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

The Consequences of Faithlessness

sodom-and-gomorrahMonday, January 30, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Genesis 16-19

Today’s Bible reading brings us not only to a crisis of faith in the lives of Abraham and Sarah, but also to a crossroads for humanity as we realize the failure of one man’s faith in God’s promises bears consequences that shadow the world in our day…twenty-three centuries after Abraham’s sojourn on this earth.

call-of-abrahamGod chose Abraham, promising to bless him, make of his seed a “great nation”, and make him a blessing to “all families of the earth” (Genesis 12:2-3).  Already “seventy and five years old” (12:4) and his wife Sarah beyond the childbearing years, Abraham believed God would fulfill His promises and Sarah would bear a son.

Years passed and Abraham’s longing for a son went unfulfilled.  Abraham complained, “I go childless…to me thou hast given no seed” (15:2-3).  God patiently assured him his posterity would be in number as the stars of heaven (15:5).

Genesis 16 introduces a crisis of faith for Abraham when we read, “Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children” (16:1).  85 years old (16:16) and his wife 75 years old, Abraham’s faith waned and the complaints (the word “voice” in Genesis 16:2 indicates a constant complaining, like the bleating of sheep) and barrenness of his wife Sarah moved the man to make a faithless decision.  Contrary to God’s will, Abraham turned his back on God’s promises and yielded to Sarah’s proposal that he have a son by her Egyptian servant Hagar (16:1-3).hagar-and-ishmael

Hagar conceived Ishmael (16:4); however, instead of joy, the conception and birth of Ishmael brought division and sorrow into Abraham’s home (16:4-10).  Ishmael, the son of Abraham born of Hagar, is the father of the Arabic people who are the followers of Mohammad and Islam.

The character of Ishmael and his lineage is described as “a wild man [lit. “wild donkey”]; his hand will be against every man [i.e. a man of hostility], and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren” (Genesis 16:12).  The perpetual turmoil afflicted on Israel and the world by Ishmael’s lineage has fulfilled this prophecy.

God renewed His covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17 and ten years later when Abraham was nearly 100 years old, God announced the impossible:  His 90 year old Sarah “shall be a mother of nations” (17:15-17).  Betraying his lack of faith, Abraham laughed, saying in his heart, “Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?” (17:17)

Willing to content himself with less than God’s promise and best, Abraham suggested Ishmael would be his heir (17:18); however, God refused Ishmael.  Comforting Abraham with the promise the son of Hagar would be father to a “great nation” (17:20), God renewed His covenant that Sarah would bear Abraham a son and his name would be Isaac (17:19).

Genesis 18 contains the fateful message from the LORD that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah would be judged and destroyed for their wickedness (18:20-22).  Knowing his nephew and Lot’s sons and daughters lived in Sodom; Abraham made intercession to the LORD that Sodom be spared if ten righteous people could be found living in the city (18:23-33).

sodomIn Genesis 19, two angels appeared in the physical form of men and, entering Sodom, found Lot sitting “in the gate” (the place where city leaders transacted business and made judgments in disputes).  Somehow realizing the visitors were not like the wicked of Sodom, Lot urged the men to find refuge in his home (19:2-3).

The wickedness and depravity of Sodom was on display that night when the homosexuals of the city encircled Lot’s home and demanded he turn his visitors out into the street to be assaulted (19:4-6).  Lot pleaded with the sodomites, describing their lusts as wicked (19:7), he offered his daughters to satisfy their lusts (19:8-9).  Finally, the angels saved Lot when they struck the sodomites with blindness (19:10-11).

Showing God’s grace, the angels urged Lot to flee the city with his family, warning him the LORD would destroy the city for its wickedness (19:12-13).  Sadly, Lot’s married sons and daughters refused his plea to flee God’s judgment (19:14).  Being warned to not look back, Lot, his wife, and two daughters were led out of the city (19:15-23).  Adding sorrow to sorrow, Lot’s wife looked back and “became a pillar of salt” as God rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah (19:24-29).lots-wife

I close with a final observation: One would hope Lot’s straying from the LORD would end with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; however, he became drunk with wine and his daughters committed incest with him (19:30-36).  The eldest daughter conceived a son she named Moab, the father of the Moabites (19:37).  The youngest daughter conceived a son she named Ammon, the father of the Ammonites.  Both nations, the Moabites and Ammonites, would become a curse and perpetual trouble for the nation of Israel.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

Standing at the Precipice of God’s Judgment

Friday, January 6, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Isaiah 1-6

The Book of Isaiah is the first prophetic book in our yearlong “Read-Thru the Bible” challenge. The prophet Isaiah lived in the 8th century BC during the final days of Israel before the armies of Nebuchadnezzar conquered the nation and the Jews were taken captive to Babylon.  His prophetic ministry was directed to a rebellious people who had maintained an outward formality of religion; however, whose hearts had turned to idols and rejected God and His Law.

Isaiah stands out as the foremost among the Old Testament prophets; however, in his lifetime his people viewed him as a traitor. He was a fearless preacher, courageously confronting the sins of Judah’s kings and boldly calling the Jews to repent.  His preaching was powerful, his style soaring, and his prophesies vivid.

isaiah-5-20Isaiah foretold the judgment of God in a series of “Woes” pronounced against the nation should the people not repent of their sins (Isaiah 5:20-23, 26-30). In a parallel to our own day, the first “woe” condemned the nation for rejecting God’s Laws leaving the people with the dilemma of no moral absolutes. We read:

Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Such is the condition of our nation and world. I will illustrate with one example, “Gay Marriage”. Our nation’s leaders, judicial courts, secular schools and liberal churches have rejected God’s definition of marriage, condemned those who embrace the biblical and historical definition of marriage between one man and one woman, and now promotes the lunacy of men marrying men and women marrying women (Romans 1:26-27)! Condemning moral virtue, our society has embraced wickedness and depravity.

A second “woe” describes the people as unteachable.

Isaiah 5:21 – “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent [wise, shrewd] in their own sight!”

Paul’s letter to Christians in Rome described the same in these words, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).

A third “woe” illuminated the narcissistic nature of the people and the “pay to play” sin of 21st century politicians.

Isaiah 5:22-23 – “Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine [drunkards], and men of strength to mingle strong drink [boasting of their drunkenness]23 Which justify [acquit] the wicked for reward [bribe], and take away the righteousness [innocence; justice, rights and liberties] of the righteous from him!”moral-absolutes

I close with a fourth “woe” stated by Isaiah of himself.  Shaken by a vision of the LORD sitting on His heavenly throne (Isaiah 6:1-4), the conviction of his own sinfulness overwhelmed the prophet:

Isaiah 6:5“…Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

When God asked, “Who shall I send [i.e. to preach to the nation], and who will go for us?” Isaiah answered God’s call, “Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

“REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE”?

christians-under-attackA recent article published in the Evangelical magazine Christianity Today and titled “Fairness for All: Evangelicals Explore Truce on LGBT and Religious Rights”, evidences why I refuse to be associated with the label “Evangelical”.  The Evangelical crowd is rife with compromise and many of its members are at best nominal Christians.

I am not at war with members of the LGBT crowd, but only a fool believes there is room for compromise when the leaders of that movement oppose and are at war with Biblical Christianity, traditional marriage and family values.

I have engaged with members of the LGBT movement on a personal level and in political skirmishes.  Contrary to the assertions of LGBT militants, I have the same love for them that I do for all sinners.  My heart goes out to their struggles with their sin as much as it does to those struggling with other enslaving sins.militant-gay-houston-mayor

However, the militant LGBT crowd is another story!  They have a fervent passion for their “cause” and an unbridled hatred for any who will not bow to their demands.  Make no mistake, militant members of the LGBT movement will accept nothing less than capitulation and accommodation of their sin, even at the sacrifice of your moral values, innocence of your children, Christian family owned businesses, and Constitutional liberties (freedom of religion and free speech).

Adherents of the militant LGBT crusade are seeded in all levels of government, including judicial activists who will punish and annihilate any who dare oppose their demands (including Christian family-owned businesses that refuse to participate in “Gay weddings”).  While politicians trumpet the LGBT cause under the guise of “Rights”, liberal educators rob our children of their innocence using secular classrooms as a platform for opposing Biblical moral values.

A warning to Evangelicals:  “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32)?  Moving his family into Sodom and sitting among the elders of that wicked city did not work out so well for Lot, did it? (Genesis 19)

2 Peter 2:7-8 – “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;)”

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith

The overwhelming majority of the voting public might tolerate the intolerable, but few have any desire to celebrate it.

gay flagDear Heart of a Shepherd Readers,

The following is my public statement read before the Hillsborough County Commissioners this Wednesday, July 20, 2016, opposing the motion of County Commissioner Kevin Beckner who is once again promoting the militant LGBTQ agenda in our communities, city, and county.   His latest attempt is to designate the month of June as “Gay Pride Month”; to my knowledge, the county has no other such designation for any cause, group, or organization.

Hillsborough County“For several years I have observed members of the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners, past and present, accommodate the escalating demands of the LGTBQ community.  I have witnessed this board’s courtship of that community, and watched as you slighted the moral sensibilities of the majority of your constituents.

Unless you are deaf, you know there is a growing spirit of concern and anger among voters who are sick of watching elected officials placate the demands of militant groups.

I have charted the rationale of the LGTBQ community for years and long ago recognized their crusade is not for rights, but acceptance of the abnormal, or in the words of the Bible, “vile affections…against nature… unseemly” (Romans 1:26).  The overwhelming majority of the voting public might tolerate the intolerable, but few have any desire to celebrate it.

This board has entertained the LGTBQ community’s argument they want their privacy and the public and government have no business invading the privacy of their bedrooms.  Privacy”, however, was never the goal of the Homosexual Community.Gay Parade

The Homosexual Community demanded the right to revel in their sexuality and the County once again supported vulgar and lascivious behavior parading in the streets violating Florida Indecent Exposure Laws and offending those who adhere to traditional family values.

The homosexuals demanded the “right to marry”, attacking an institution that for 6,000 years was the foundation of civil and moral society

The Homosexual Community demanded the civil rights of a “protected class”, and this board again bowed to its demands. Now, every private, family owned business that embraces traditional moral values faces the threat of crippling lawsuits should any dare not capitulate to the invasive demands of the homosexual community.

Today you are asked to consider a resolution that perpetuates and promotes the sexual exploits and expressions of the homosexual community as though their sexuality deems them worthy of special honor and designation in our county…it does not!

It is one thing to tolerate homosexuality, it is quite another to ask Hillsborough County citizens to dedicate a month of our County calendar to celebrate moral decadence!

Finally, the terrorist attack in Orlando on June 12, 2016 that left 49 dead was a tragedy; however, to memorialize it as anything other than what it was, the murderous actions of a militant Islamic terrorist, is disingenuous. The 49 who died in the attack were not martyrs; they were victims of an Islamic terrorist.Hillsborough Fire and Rescue

Tampa PoliceIf you want to dedicate the month of June, dedicate it to First Responders who have died in the line of duty serving their communities…16 County Sheriffs, 30 Tampa police officers, 16 Tampa firemen…those men and women, and the ones who risk their lives everyday, are the heroes whose lives should be celebrated and whose deaths should be memorialized.”County Sheriff

Travis D. Smith

Senior Pastor

Hillsdale Baptist Church

Tampa, FL