Tuesday 27 October, 2015

Genesis 19:12-29

12 The two angels said to Lot, “Do you have any other family members here? Do you have sons-in-law, sons, daughters or any other relatives in the city? Get them out of here! 13 We are going to destroy this place. Many have cried out to the Lord against the people of this city. So he has sent us to destroy it.” 14 Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law. They had promised to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry up! Get out of this place! The Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. 15 The sun was coming up. So the angels tried to get Lot to leave. They said, “Hurry up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out! If you don’t, you will be swept away when the city is destroyed.” 16 Lot didn’t move right away. So the men grabbed him by the hand. They also took hold of the hands of his wife and two daughters. They led all of them safely out of the city. The Lord had mercy on them. 17 As soon as the angels had brought them out, one of them spoke. He said, “Run for your lives! Don’t look back! Don’t stop anywhere in the valley! Run to the mountains! If you don’t, you will be swept away!” 18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords! Please! 19 You have done me a big favor. You have been very kind to me by sparing my life. But I can’t run to the mountains. I won’t be able to escape this horrible thing that’s going to happen. And then I’ll die. 20 Look, here’s a town near enough to run to. It’s small. Let me run to it. It’s very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.” 21 The Lord said to Lot, “All right. I will also give you what you are asking for. I will not destroy the town you are talking about. 22 But run there quickly. I can’t do anything until you reach it.” The town was named Zoar. Zoar means Small. 23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the Lord sent down burning sulfur. It came down like rain on Sodom and Gomorrah. It came from the Lord. It came out of the sky. 25 The Lord destroyed these cities and the whole valley. All the people who were living in the cities were wiped out. So were the plants in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back. When she did, she became a pillar made out of salt. 27 Early the next morning Abraham got up. He returned to the place where he had stood in front of the Lord. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole valley. He saw thick smoke rising from the land. It looked like smoke from a furnace. 29 So when God destroyed the cities of the valley, he showed concern for Abraham. He brought Lot out safely when he destroyed the cities where Lot had lived.

The time for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah has finally come. Lot, his wife and two daughters must be trembling with fear. They left all their possessions and are now running for their lives.

Lot knew he may not be able to make it to the mountains so he pleaded for a closer destination, a town called Zoar. Eventually they made it. It was only then the Lord rained down sulphur and destroyed everything; humans, animals and also the vegetation. However Lot’s wife was also destroyed as she was turned into a pillar of salt.

God remembered his promise with Abraham. God had to destroy the cities as He could not even find ten righteous persons.

Reading these verses highlighted 2 things to me. First, the importance of total obedience. Lot’s family was instructed specifically not to look back and not to stop in the plain. Lot’s wife obeyed only part of the “commands” and that cost her life.

The second thing is that our Lord is a holy and compassionate God. Yes, He cannot tolerate sin and His wrath will drive Him to destroy even the whole human race (as seen in Noah’s flood). But His compassion can also cause Him to relent; if there was found ten righteous persons in Sodom, God would have spared the cities.

Father, I thank you that you love us and you know that we are but made from dust. Our disobedience displeases you. You could have ‘wipe us out’ just like Lot’s wife. But you are a God that is slow to anger and compassionate in love. Your long-suffering and patience towards us deeply humbled us. But we know that if we confess our sins and repent, You will always forgive us. In Jesus name. Amen.

Written by Shin Liu

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