Saturday, April 28, 2012
Remember Lot's Wife! (and Lot)
I was reading my Bible tonight, studying Genesis chapter 19. It is a story we all know, but I felt compelled to really study it tonight. Even though I know this story, tonight it felt particularly harsh. It pointed a light into my dark corner of the world and showed me places where I am so much like Lot and so much like his wife, and so very little like Abraham.
We start out in verses 1-3 with Lot welcoming the angels of the Lord into Sodom. The said they would stay in the town square but Lot insisted they go with him to his house. And why? Because even Lot knew the wickedness of his city and it was demonstrated throughout verses 4-14. Lot even demonstrates some wickedness of his own by saying, "No, my friends" and offering up what he saw as a lesser evil when he offered his daughters. To completely understand what he offered, we have to remember that when girls/women had been with a man but not married to him, she was considered unworthy and unredemptive (see 2 Samuel 13). Regardless of his wicked ways, the angels of the Lord sought to save Lot from the coming destruction because of God's promise to Abraham. They told him what was coming and how to escape. What does Lot do? At first he hesitates. Then he tries to bargain with them.
Eventually Lot does as he is told and he, his wife, and his daughters flee the city. On the way, Lot's wife turns around and she becomes a pillar of salt. When you read this you might say why on earth did she turn around?
These 29 verses can pack a punch if you really stop and meditate on them. When I chose this section of scripture, I thought it was going to be a lesson of not looking back on evil with fondness, but it is so much more.
1. Why do we live in such wickedness, knowing it is wickedness? Lot knew he lived in it but didn't do anything about it. Yet he acted almost embarrassed of the situation when the angels appeared.
2. When we live in this world and allow the world and its wickedness to take control, we find we are a friend of this world. When Lot tried to discourage those who were trying to get to the angels, he said, "No, my friends..." Then he offered up his daughters (see notes above).
3. When we find ourselves in trouble, God tries to rescue us as He did Lot. Verse 16 reads: "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." Lot hesitated. God was giving him a way out of the coming destruction, and he hesitated. But in so many aspects of our lives, we hesitate when God tries to save us. God is merciful to us as well, if we allow Him to be.
4. Lot finally was led out of Sodom, but then disagreed with the angels on where he should go. God's angels listened to Lot, but could have easily said never mind to him. We read about how ridiculous Lot is to argue with them, but how many times in our lives do we say yes to God, but then try to manipulate the plan, the will, or the outcome?
5. After fleeing the city, Lot's wife turned around and became a pillar of salt. The Amplified Bible says this about verse 26: "Lot's wife not only 'looked back' to where her heart's interests were, but she lingered behind; and probably overtaken by the fire and brimstone, her dead body became encrusted with salt...".
6. Luke 17:20-37 mentions Lot's wife as well. Jesus is talking about the coming of the Kingdom of God and tells the Pharisees to "Remember Lot's wife!" How frightening on that day to think as God's Kingdom is coming, that some of us might be like Lot's wife and look back to where our heart's interests are.
It scares me to think of where my heart lies. Will I be embarrassed of where my life is if an angel of the Lord visits? If God tries to save me, will I hesitate or argue? If Christ returns in my lifetime, will I "look back"? Where are my heart's interests?
It is time to stop sitting in this wickedness and turn my heart and its interests and desires toward kingdom things.
I want to be like Abraham in verse 29 "...he remembered Abraham..." and behold God's promises He makes to me.
Father God - I thank You for the opportunity to come before Your presence. You are an awesome God and I praise You. Lord I ask that you make my heart's interests what interests You. I ask that You make my heart to be like Your heart. I want to know You, to love You, and to be that light that always points to You. Forgive me Father when I fail to do or be those things. Forgive me when I am easily led astray. Lord I ask that I make Your will my will and that I not try to make my will Your will. I pray for my children Lord, that they will know and love You and they will seek to do Your will. I pray each person who knows You that they will also turn their hearts to You. I pray that those who do not know You will hear of the good news. Help me be Your hands and feet and the tool You use to reach a hurting world. I love You so much and it is in Jesus' precious name that I pray. Amen.