The Agony of A Righteous Soul

Daily Devotion | Day 292

“And [God] delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds” (2 Peter 2:7-8).

Not only is God righteous, He is righteousness. He desires as well that His sons and daughters walk in His character of righteousness. This is important because the Father wants fellowship with His children. It is within this fellowship that one finds eternal life.

Fellowship with the Father is a fellowship of righteousness.

Because He is righteous and holy, the Father does not fellowship with unrighteous people, i.e. those who walk in sin. Paul put it well when he wrote, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). If you are righteous, you will know it. The Holy Spirit will bear witness with your spirit (Romans 8:14-16). You will have no doubt about it.

In this world, being righteous or godly comes with a price. This brings us to today’s Bible passage. Peter is writing about Lot. As you recall, Lot was Abraham’s nephew. He lived in Sodom with his wife and two daughters. The Bible tells us that the people of Sodom were involved in all manner of iniquity (Genesis 18:20-21). God eventually destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. But, as Peter says, the Lord saved “righteous Lot.” Lot was a righteous man living in the midst of unrighteous people. And he suffered on account of the ungodly environment.

Peter says Lot was “oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked.” This tells us about the agony of a righteous soul. Righteousness is purity. When you are pure, it makes you highly sensitive to ungodly behavior. When you encounter any form of ungodly conduct, in your spirit you will find it disgusting and distressing. It’s a silent and indirect form of persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). This was what Lot felt. He is not alone. This ‘oppressive’ feeling is common to all who are righteous.

Peter further explains that Lot “tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds.”  Lot had a righteous soul. He wasn’t corrupted by the sinful environment in Sodom. However, each day, he put his soul through torment on account of the lawless acts he saw and heard in Sodom. If you have a righteous soul, you can relate to Lot’s experience. A righteous soul makes you spiritually sensitive. It makes you cringe when you witness ungodliness. It makes you feel what God feels when He sees iniquity. This is the agony of the righteous.

With a righteous soul, you can’t participate in ungodly conduct. What others consider entertaining, you find disagreeable. There are TV programs you can’t watch. There are books you can’t read. There are images you can’t watch. There’s music you can’t listen to. There are dresses you can’t wear. There are places you can’t go. There are conversations you can’t have. There are words you can’t speak. There are thoughts you can’t entertain. And, there are friends you can’t have.

It is the price you pay for being a righteous soul. But it’s worth it. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). And Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). 

Be a righteous soul. Stay pure. Stay blessed.

For further study2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Ephesians 5:1-21 and 1 Peter 4:1-19

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