The story of Sodom and Gomorrah stirs up lots of topics of discussion for the issue of the sin of homosexuality. Most people are so busy looking at it from that standpoint that they lose sight of the fact that the story has a lot to teach all of us about sin, God’s mercy, and time.
Without going through all the passages right here, I would ask you to pull out your Bible and read for yourself Genesis 19:1-30. We will focus on verses12-30 for the purpose of our blog today and the principles I would encourage you to take away from this reading.
Things to be mindful of…
- God realizes we are in over our heads before we do (v. 12). - Remember He has a bird’s eye view of all things.
- People are praying (crying out to the LORD) for you and your situation when you don’t even realize they are carrying it to God (v. 13a)! - Praise God for intercessors.
- He sends help to us even when we don’t realize we need it (v.13b). - Sometimes we are just too close to the situation.
- The help sent caused Lot to see the seriousness of his circumstances (v.14a). - Lot was willing to listen.
- But just like some of our very own family members, his son-in-laws did not listen to or believe Lot (v.14b). - Some individuals we love and even we ourselves at times, refuse to yield to people God puts in our paths to bring us out of danger!
- Maybe Lot himself wasn’t setting too good of an example of taking the angels seriously either, since they had to urge Lot to leave (v.15a). - Isn’t Lot like us…we listen, but when the ‘feeling’ of crisis is over we start to settle back into hesitation regarding change.
- The angels also made it clear that punishment was eminent for the city (v.15b). - God has NEVER withheld the truth from us that Judgment is eminent regarding this world!
- Knowing what has been told to him…LOT still lingers (v.16a)! - Really! Hmmmmm we are sooooo like Lot!
- But, because of God’s mercy the two angels took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand and the two daughters and set them outside the city (v.16b). - Note: The word hold in that passage doesn’t mean they gently guided them out. It means in the original Hebrew language to seize hold of them. To put in terms we can relate to, they jerked their behinds up and got ’em out of there! Just like we would jerk a child out of the path of an oncoming car.
- Once they got them out of there the angels tell them, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plains. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed!” (v.17). - In other words RUN!!!! FLEE!!!
In verses 18-20, there is a simple dialogue of Lot whining because he is continuing to trust in his own lack of abilities instead of God’s to get him to safety.
In verses 21-23, we once again see God’s favor, patients, and love extended to Lot in spite of Lot’s lack of trust.
In verses 24-25, we see God keep His word to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, all the plains, and all the inhabitants of the cities and what grew on the ground. (God does what He says He will do!)
And verse 26, “But his wife looked back behind him, and became a pillar of salt.”
I hope I can bring this full circle for you as I close out. Many of us will look back over 2011. For me personally the past year has been like the wildest ride since forever. There are some really great things that have happened and some really hard things that have happened. But, presently they help me be all that God is continuing to work out in me regarding my salvation. Where it all takes me in the future remains in His hands.
Many of you will be tempted to live in the past of 2011. Because of people that have left you behind through death, divorce, circumstances, etc. Some will be tempted to live in the glory of things magnificent that took place in 2011. In either case spending your time looking back or riding the laurels of past accomplishments will harden your heart and keep you from the present. Believe me when I tell you that His blood has covered the past whether it was good, bad, or indifferent. And know that He holds your future. If you read on, you will see that Lot still ended up where the angels instructed him to go: the mountains. Wonder what he missed out on by not doing it in God’s timing.
Precious ones, He has the past covered, He dwells in the present, He holds the future. Living in the past will harden your heart; living in the future will cause you to forfeit His presence revealed in your life today.
Let us make a commitment to heed his warnings regarding our sin, accept His Grace and Mercy to set us free, and Trust His Timing is Perfect!!
He has the Past covered, He dwells in the Present, He holds the Future!
Rest and Blessings to you in this New Year 2012!