But He Lingered…
Genesis Chapter 19, where we find the infamous Sodom and Gomorrah. But here we also see a story of grace and ingratitude.
Lot had already been physically grabbed by two angels to save him from the mob of men from Sodom who were threatening him. These men were struck with blindness so they couldn’t find the door. Lot rushes out to try to convince his sons-in-law to flee the city with him before judgement comes. They decline, thinking he is jesting. So with urgency, the angels implore Lot to gather his wife and daughters and flee the city. And this is where we find this text- but he lingered. Why? Did he mourn over the city? Did he long for his sons-in-law to come with him? Did he regret the need to leave his comfortable place? Did he doubt that God was going to destroy the city? But he lingered.
How often do I linger over sin? Do I settle in and get comfortable with it? In the face of commands from Scripture, and even physical evidence of the folly of continuing to dwell there, I stay, contemplating the different choices as if they were valid options.
Then the angels seized him and his wife and daughters and pulled them to safety outside the city, “the Lord being merciful.” Again, why? Why did the Lord show him mercy? He certainly didn’t seem to want it. He wanted to remain in Sodom. The answer is just a few verses later:
“So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.”
God spared Lot for the sake of Abraham. And I, too, am saved for the sake of another. God, in his justice, should condemn me to the same punishment for my sin as he punished Sodom and Gomorrah, and so many others that we see in the Old Testament. But for the sake of another, Jesus Christ, the Righteous, he has saved me, despite my lingering in my sin. He has plucked me up and set me on solid ground.
Lord, like Lot, I am fearful and sometimes unwilling. I long for the comfortable and the familiar. But, Father, with your strength and by your Spirit, may I joyfully obey and unlike Lot, may I not be driven by comfort or fear, but rather walk in your commands without hesitation. Cause me to hate sin rather than dwell with it.