Lot hesitated but God was merciful

When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.
Genesis 19:16 (NIV)

Read: Genesis 19:12-29

Consider:  Genesis 19 is a difficult read as it reveals the wickedness that is in the unrestrained human heart.  We will concentrate on only part of Genesis 19; the section dealing with the saving of Lot, his wife and daughters from the destruction of Sodom.  

It would be helpful to remind ourselves of the circumstances that led to Lot and his family settling near Sodom.  Following disputes between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot, Abram suggested that they part company and settle in different parts of the land.  In Genesis 13 we read: Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan towards Zoar was well watered; like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt … So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out towards the east.  The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.  Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord (Genesis 13:10-13).  Fast forward to Genesis 18 where we read that God sent two angels to tell Abraham (note the name change) that the destruction of Sodom would soon take place.  Abraham then pleads with God for those living in Sodom.  God tells Abraham that he will not destroy Sodom if he finds ten righteous people in it (18:32b).

Coming to Genesis 19, we discover the two angels now in Sodom and Lot seeking to protect them from the wicked men of the city.  Although he lived near or in Sodom, Lot did not identify with the wickedness that happened there.  The angels warned Lot and his family that God was going to destroy Sodom and they should leave the city as quickly as possible.  In Genesis 19:16 we read: When he [Lot] hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.  

Why would Lot hesitate? Perhaps it was because he had settled near the city and his flocks were well watered and fed in the plain of the Jordan.  It could have been that he had a comfortable living and he was apprehensive of such a drastic change of direction in his life.  Perhaps he saw the two angels purely as men, so why should he heed their warning about the destruction of Sodom.  It could also have been that he did not realise the immediacy of the danger he and his family were in.  Whatever the cause Lot hesitated, resulting in the two angels forcibly taking him and his family to safety.  We are told the reason for their rescue was ‘… the Lord was merciful to them’ (19:16).  The Apostle Peter describes Lot in this way: ‘… he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among then day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard …’ (2 Peter 2:7-8).

Is there something God is currently asking you to do?  Have you been hesitating, offering excuses why you cannot follow through on God’s leading?  Once you have clear guidance from God, you should not hesitate in putting it into action.  Unlike Lot, God will not force your hand.  Instead he is looking for you to be obedient to his calling.

Pray: Father, we see warnings in the life of Lot and his family about associating with evil and hesitating in the face of clear advice from you .  Give us the courage needed to follow through when you guide us in a particular direction, or ask us to serve you in a particular place.  Amen

Every blessing

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