I’m often intrigued by the story of Lot in Genesis 19.
Abraham’s nephew, Lot had been living in Sodom for years by the time God decided to bring punishment to there. In desiring to uphold his promise to Abraham, God sends two angels to the city. Lot insists that they stay with him so as to not spend the night in the city square. After seeing the vileness of Sodom, the angels tell Lot to leave, quickly. But watch what he does:
As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” (Genesis 19:15-17 ESV) (emphasis mine)
Get out of here!
These angels had been sent to Lot in order to save his life, and he lingered. You can almost picture them yelling at him, “GET UP! LEAVE! We’re trying to save you, dang it!” Lot was holding so closely to Sodom that he almost was caught in the destruction. He would even ask the angels not to destroy another nearby city so that he could go there instead of fleeing to the hills (where he had been told to go).
That’s what God does
God rescues sinners. Period. He shows up in their lives and, if he has too, he drags them out of their rejection of him- we call that mercy. As God mercifully dragged Lot out of Sodom kicking and screaming, so He compels us out of our sin and rejection. And just as Lot tried still to keep hold of the world in which he lived, so we too, desiring the things of the world, hang on for dear life the things which are deadly to us. As CS Lewis said:
I was the object rather than the subject in this affair. I was decided upon. I was glad afterwards at the way it came out, but at the moment what I heard was God saying, ‘Put down your gun and we’ll talk.’”
Let go of your rejection of Christ, put down your gun, cling to Jesus.
(HT: Jared Wilson)