Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Genesis 19: Escape for your Life!

Read Genesis 19:1-26

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is certainly not one of those "feel-good" Bible stories parents like to read to their children before bed. The infamous encounter between Lot, the 2 angels, and the wicked men of Sodom in Genesis 19 is hard to stomach. Nevertheless, I believe there is much to learn from this passage concerning the correct attitude toward sin.

After we see a glimpse of the dark and perverse deeds that are rampant in Sodom in verses 1-11, we see God's response to this great evil in verse 12 when the angels say, "For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord and Lord has sent us to destroy it." Remember that God always judges sin. Though it sometimes seems like the wicked are getting away with their sins without consequence, God sees all that goes on and He will not leave sin unpunished. In this passage, God has had enough of Sodom and Gomorrah and has decided to wipe them out completely.

In the midst of God's wrath and judgment, we see a glimpse of God's mercy in saving a remnant from destruction. Verse 16 says, "and while he (Lot) lingered, the men took hold of his hand, the wife's hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought them out and set him outside the city." This is a beautiful picture of the gospel...sin brings destruction, but through God's mercy we're delivered from death through faith. Without God's intervention in sending Jesus to die for us, we would all be in the same boat as the people of Sodom. Don't you love the way the gospel is weaved into the entire Bible? The whole Bible always goes back to this same message!!

Listen to the angels' words in verse 17: "Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed." In the midst of the wickedness surrounding him, Lot is urged to run as fast as he can in the opposite direction, or he will literally be destroyed. Is this not the case for us as well? We often are content to dwell among sin and linger as Lot did (16). We may even have the lackadaisical attitude that Lot's sons-in-law had, who refused to believe that anything serious would really happen to them if they continued to dwell in that wicked place (14). Or we could even resemble Lot's wife and foolishly look back with longing at our former sinful life rather than embracing the new life God has offered us (26). Do not be fooled into thinking there will not be consequences for disobedience and will reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7).

Girls, let me remind you that complacently remaining in the midst of sin will undoubtedly destroy you. If you do not have a sense of urgency to escape from all sin, you will get swept up into it. We are sinners by nature and "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matt 26:41). We must not be naive in thinking that we can dwell among sin without consequence, but we must have an urgency to flee from sin as fast as we can. When faced in a tempting situation, don't linger and don't look back...escape for your spiritual life!