In Genesis 19, we read one of the saddest stories in the Bible. Evidently, the behavior of the valley inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah was so awful that the Lord with two angels came down to investigate. Fearfully, Abraham asked Him if He would spare Sodom if He found just ten righteous people there. He was concerned because his nephew Lot lived in the city. The Lord replied, “for the sake of ten I will not destroy it” (18:32).
Two angels arrived at Sodom just before nightfall and as it happened, Lot saw them and insisted that they stay in his home. He knew it was not safe for them in the town square. “But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house” (19:4). They insisted that Lot give his guests up so they could have sex with them. When he refused the Sodomites threatened Lot and attempted to assault his home. The angels intervened and struck the men with blindness. These people were so evil that even when blind rather than seek forgiveness or help, they wore themselves out groping for the door. In the morning, the angels urged Lot to flee with his wife and daughters before God torched the valley.
Genesis 19:16—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. (ESV)
Without God’s help, the men in Sodom could easily have ravaged Lot. He saw their wickedness in full display. So I find it incredible that instead of taking off he lingered. He hesitated! Are you kidding me!!! Only God’s mercy kept him from becoming toast. Finally when fleeing, his wife ignored the angel’s warning not to look back or stop anywhere in the valley and she became a pillar of salt. Disobedience always begins with lingering.
But he lingered. . . May I ask several tough questions? What’s your threshold for sin? It was easier for Lot and his family to live with sin than to move away. How much evil can you stand and do nothing?
But he lingered. . . When a merciful Father asks you to do something, do you hesitate or do you obey? Very rarely does evil walk up to us and smack us in the head. It comes alongside us subtly. It whispers in our ear. It seduces the flesh with clever promises and feeds the appetite with decorated garbage. Slowly we become wrapped in wrongs we don’t even notice. We compromise. We rationalize. We die. I don’t know about you, but I would hate to have on my tombstone, “But he lingered.”
We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.—C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)