1 2 3

2 Peter 2:7

ESV and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked
NIV and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless
NASB and if He rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the perverted conduct of unscrupulous people
CSB and if he rescued righteous Lot, distressed by the depraved behavior of the immoral
NLT But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him.
KJV And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

What does 2 Peter 2:7 mean?

To convince his readers that God would be faithful to judge the false teachers in the church, Peter has been citing historical examples of God's swift and comprehensive judgment. At the same time, Peter has shown that God is faithful to save those He calls righteous from that judgment. Peter's first example of that salvation was Noah and his family. Here, he comes to Abraham's nephew Lot, a citizen of the town of Sodom. God reigned fire from the sky, utterly destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, but Lot was saved.

Peter's description of Lot sometimes raises eyebrows. Peter speaks of Lot far more generously than we might expect after reading Genesis 19. After all, Lot chose to live near Sodom, knowing what kind of moral sewer it was (Genesis 13:12–13). He certainly had other options, but he remained, eventually moving into the city itself. He stayed long enough to raise his daughters there. He got along with the people of the city well enough to be an elder, sitting at the gates (Genesis 19:1).

Still, Peter calls Lot "righteous," and says he was "distressed" or "oppressed" by the sexually immoral and violent conduct of the people of Sodom. The Greek term translated as "distressed" here is kataponoumenon. While rare in the New Testament, it means to be tired, exhausted, worn down, afflicted, or treated roughly. Verse 8 will refer to Lot's soul as "tormented" over the situation. Peter is saying, therefore, that Lot was beaten down and discouraged by what he saw in Sodom.

In its own way, this is actually quite an encouragement! It's true that God's judgment of those in rebellion against Him is swift and complete, far more devastating than any human judgment. And yet, it is also true that God's grace and mercy far exceed what we as humans might grant to each other. Lot was righteous in God's eyes because he had been justified by God. This was in part due to Lot's place in God's family as Abraham's nephew. In both letters, Peter has taught that we Christians also have been justified—made righteous in God's eyes—because of our place in God's family through faith in Christ.

We may read Lot's story and conclude he was worthy of God's judgment. We may even be tempted to look at our own choices and wonder if God will condemn us. But the only question is whether we have been declared righteous because of Christ (Romans 8:1), not whether we have made perfect choices since then.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: