Of Abraham’s bosom that reaches out to multitude while he was on earth and of his bosom in the great beyond we have discussed in “Abraham’s Two Bosoms”. Abraham had many old testaments saints ‘hewn from him’ who looked unto him in many ways including this art of godly giving, giving that reaches the heart of God and connects the giver with his God. Men with bosoms, that is! We shall talk of Lot, Joseph, Moses, and Job; (and of David we have discussed already in “Between Holiness and ‘Prosperity’ Preaching”, which please endeavor to see). Of course, this is a representative list.
Righteous Lot had Bosom
Lot’s herdsmen may have had problem with his uncle’s herdsmen; and Lot may have been led by the flesh to lift up his eyes, to behold the well-watered plain of Jordan and to desire it, but the ways of Abraham were to lead his ways thereafter. Of his holiness and righteousness Peter speaks of glowingly. Of his being vexed with the unrighteous ways of the people (2 Peter 2:6-9) and of his often taking time out from that rubbish (as implied by Genesis 19: 1) are there for our learning and admonition.
In Genesis 19:1-3 we read: “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.”
And this is how the Holy Spirit through Peter sees or interprets that scene and or summarized the lifestyle of Lot in 2 Peter 2:6-9: “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;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.”
So, of Lot’s ‘righteousness’ we will now briefly speak before we look at his ‘giving’: Lot was vexed with the filthy conversation of the people (i.e. their filthy way of life, including of course their speech and immorality): ‘For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds’. That righteous man! Vexed his righteous soul! And that, from day to day! How do you explain that?
Now, ‘situate’ Lot in our age. Put him in our so-called churches. The result will be this: ‘For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds’. May God help us all in our age!
That is not all. The Holy Spirit tells us again of Lot’s righteousness when He says: ‘The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished’. Never should you miss the context. This Scripture flows directly from the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot. In all the unrighteousness of Sodom and Gomorrah with all the many temptations they present to Lot, the Lord implies here that He has been delivering Lot from them all. Why? Because he was godly! The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations. It was this godliness of Lot that delivered him from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; even as He reserved ‘the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished’.
Abraham knew of the righteousness of Lot. So, the intercession of Abraham to God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah was not for Lot not to be destroyed. Abraham knew Lot will never be destroyed. He (Abraham) was interceding for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. He knew that Lot and his family members were safely within the last intercessory figure of ten people he got to with God. Remember too that Lot’s two daughters have not known man: In Sodom and Gomorrah! What a righteous man; what righteous daughters; what righteous upbringing! In Sodom and Gomorrah! And even before the Law! May God help you and me who are under grace; may He help us not to frustrate His grace by our flesh!
Yes, Abraham knew God will not destroy Lot. In righteousness Lot was a chip off the old block. In righteousness, he looked unto Abraham from whom he was hewn.
And in giving too! Lot had bosom. He, like Abraham, has a tradition of inviting, receiving, entertaining strangers (even strangers) and entertaining angels of God in the process! The word ‘inviting’ is very instructive. More than that it was done with pleading, earnest pleading. ‘And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.’ All such men as Lot is here must one day entertain angels. With the way many of us are going, even in the Church, can we ever entertain angels? Have we entertained an angel? Thank God, some still do in our time.
We cannot entertain angels if we are living in sealed houses. We cannot if only those we harbor in our homes are our ‘loved ones’ and our close friends. Learn to harbor missionaries, the persecuted believers, the physically-challenged, orphans and the others who are in need INDEED, and it will not be long before you entertain angels with or without knowing it. But you will know or feel it anyway: right there or very soon after. What a warm glow of satisfaction entertaining the brethren if you’ve been sincerely and lovingly involved in this before; then extrapolate that to what it could be like entertaining angels. The tradition of the former (that is, entertaining saints etc as a way of life) with its experiences may sometimes lead to the later (entertaining angels) with its overwhelming experiences. It is the privilege of givers. Once experienced, you wouldn’t want to miss their company in all of eternity. Nay, once experienced your dream will always be to abide forever with the giver and sustainer of that glow: Even The Ancient of Days! Holy giving as a lifestyle connects the saints with God’s heavenly hosts even while he is still here and with God’s own Heaven eventually. Lot learnt hugely from Abraham. Why can’t we?
Godly Joseph had Bosom
In Genesis 37:1-5 we read: “And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.”
Joseph here represents a child in the bosom of his father. He was a child so loved by his father, and we are here told some of the reasons why he was so loved. But we still know too that love is reciproc
al. Joseph also had bosom for his father. He loved the father and was always a faithful errand boy. Joseph also ‘had’ righteousness too!
As with bosom, Joseph had righteousness from his tender age. And it grew with its exercise until Joseph became one of the finest models of holiness in history (among men). Finis Jennings Dake says this of Joseph: “His character stands out as one of the purest in history. He allowed no temptation to affect his high morality, no calamity to shake his implicit faith in God, no adversity to depress him, and no power or position to make him proud and haughty. With that example, we may return to the youthful Joseph and his bosom:
Verses 14-17 of the same chapter tell us this: “And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.”
Here Joseph did not meet his brethren where he was supposed to have met them. He didn’t take the easy way out by dashing back home to rest. No: He ‘wandered’ here and there if he peradventure could see his brethren. What a lesson! His heart yearned after his brethren. He ‘wandered’! He ‘wandered’ not in the sense of being aimless or just roaming about, but he wandered with only one consuming thought, only one goal in life those hours: To find his brethren. A huge bosom, if you ask me. Then somebody showed up and knew the obvious. ‘What seekest thou’, he asked. ‘Seek’: That is a strong word, and puts the real meaning into the word: ‘wander’, earlier used. So, Joseph wasn’t aimless, roaming or lost! His seeking was so intense and consuming and he was thoroughly searching everywhere in that field of Shechem knowing no other thing in life momentarily that his search was referred to as ‘wandering’. Joseph answered: ‘I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.’ Can you see the whole heart, the whole life of the lad in it? That is ‘bosom’ of young Joseph playing out wonderfully!
For Joseph, he must see his brethren, and see them alive. Love for the brethren! But the brethren turned out to be of the exact contrary heart just few moments later. For Joseph, he must not go back to the father with news that will break his heart and so tarried and kept on till the only needed news that can be told the father is heard. Love for the father! But the brethren’s hearts also turned out to be the exact opposite of Joseph’s a little much later.