For those of us in America, June 1st marks the beginning of pride month. We cannot leave our homes without coming into some form of contact with this movement. Our stores, schools, news sources, advertisements, and even armed forces, are promoting the LGBTQ+ community. We are constantly inundated with the message of “Pride” all wrapped up in child drag shows and gaudy rainbows. As we look at our country, and see that we not only allow, but approve and applaud these things, what should be our response?
In his second epistle, the Apostle Peter makes an interesting statement. Peter wrote about Lot, saying that he,
“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)
There are a few things that are noteworthy about this passage. First, there’s the phrase “dwelling among them.” Lot lived in Sodom. The phrase reminds us that Lot didn’t just live near the city. He and his family resided within the city walls. Much could be said about why Lot chose to live inside the city, but regardless of why, Lot was smack dab in the middle of “their lawless deeds.” Much like America today, we are hard-pressed to find a space not yet tainted by the wickedness of our time. It surrounds us, and we dwell within its midst.
But what was this wickedness Lot was living among?
In Genesis 19:4-5, we are told of the men of Sodom. They surround Lot’s home, wishing to gang rape the angels sent by God. Knowing the history of Sodom and Gomorrah, the torment that Lot experienced, undoubtedly, was in part, due to the homosexual wickedness of his day. It is because of this torment that Lot is mentioned here in 2 Peter, as an example, to us.
It is a righteous thing for the people of God to be troubled by evil. When we see the wickedness around us, we should be disturbed.
When we see children being abused and influenced by this ideology, we should be heartbroken. That is a godly response.
The terms “oppressed” and “torment” here clearly denote suffering. It is a form of suffering Peter describes was a daily struggle for Lot. For example, the word “oppressed” (kataponoumenon) means “to cause distress through oppressive means, subdue, torment, wear out, oppress” (BDAG). We are told many times throughout the New Testament, that believers who suffer for the Lord will be rewarded greatly (Hebrews 11:35-40, Rom 8:17-18). We might be inclined to think of “suffering” for the Lord as being limited to external things like the physical torment described in Hebrews 11. However, the Bible doesn’t limit suffering to those things. Spiritual and mental torment like that of Lot, are also forms of suffering that not all believers are willing to endure.
Many believers have become desensitized to the wickedness around us. Some even promote it themselves. As believers, we can become ensnared by the riches, pleasures, and mindset of this world (Luke 8:14). While we can’t lose our salvation, we can become conformed to this world in our thinking (Rom 12:2). If that happens, we can fall out of fellowship with the Lord. That which troubles the Lord should trouble us, and when we are troubled, even “tormented in our souls” due to the wickedness around us, that is a rewardable response.
Rainbows in the bible:
In the midst of the wickedness of our generation, the use of rainbows is often discussed. We are told in Genesis, that the rainbow was created as a promise, that the Lord will never destroy the world by water again. Many have written and debated the rainbow in light of the LGBTQ+ community and their distortion of this beautiful promise.
What is interesting is when we look beyond Genesis, the word rainbow occurs six times in the Bible: three times in Genesis 9 (vs13, 14, and 16) after the flood, once in Ezekiel (1:28), and twice in Revelation (4:3, 10:1). It is in Revelation 4 that we see an interesting connection.
“Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald” (Rev 4:2-3)
In this passage, we are given a glimpse into the very throne room of God (also see Ezekiel 1:28). Many see this as a picture of heaven after the rapture. The Lord is seen on His throne, right before the Tribulation period begins. A time of great destruction is about to fall upon the earth, just like in the days of Noah and Lot. It is in this moment that we are told of another rainbow. This one, however, is surrounding the throne, and the One who sits on it.
What is the significance?
In the Grace New Testament Commentary, Robert Vacendak makes this comment regarding this passage:
“The rainbow that encircled the throne was similar to an emerald in color (various shades of emerald) and is reminiscent of the faithful promise God made to mankind after the Flood (Gen 9:8-17), Thus God’s throne and the verdicts it confers on mankind are rooted in His absolute purity (the jasper), His righteous anger towards sin (the sardius), and His perfect faithfulness to His promises (the rainbow). Together these stones reveal that God’s throne is a throne of grace” (emphasis added).
The rainbow is a symbol of the Lords “perfect faithfulness to His promises.” We saw this in Genesis, and now once again in Revelation. In the book of Revelation, this undoubtedly, is connected to the promise of the Lord’s soon return (Rev 1:7, 22:12, 20).
About a month ago, I bought a couple of prisms on Amazon. The sun sets outside of a bay window in my living room, and I loved the thought of them hanging from the center. Last night, I finally got around to putting them up in the window. As the sun went down, thousands of rainbows waltzed around my house. It was dreamlike as the sun faded, and the rainbows shifted and glided around the walls and furniture. It was a true masterpiece of light.
As I watched the rainbows dance, I was reminded of something. By their very design, rainbows need light in order to be seen. It is only through light that the prisms beauty can be fully revealed.
It is undeniable; Satan has corrupted and distorted the meaning of the rainbow today. This is a perfect example of the depravity that comes from the imitation of truth. Like Lot, this should cause us to be troubled. However, let the rainbow also be a reminder to us that the Light of the world is coming again. Just as He did in the days of Lot and Noah, He is going to destroy this world. However, at His second coming, He will put an end to wickedness forever. His promises, as seen from Genesis to Revelation, can never fail. His throne is one of grace, and it is encircled by the very thing that the world has used to try and shadow Him. One day, He will be revealed, like the sun piercing through a prism.
May we long to see that day!
Photo Credit: Noelle Rebekah Written By: Kathryn Wright