Lingering Lot

Saturday, June 24, 2017

“And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city” (Genesis 19:15,16 KJV).

In “lingering Lot,” we see many a Christian today!

Nephew to Abraham, Lot was a very compromising believer. While the world’s sins bothered him (2 Peter 2:6-9), he did not mind dabbling in them himself. For example, Lot “sat in the gate of Sodom” (Genesis 19:1): he was an important statesman in that most wicked city, enjoying high social standing and great wealth. Once God had enough of the homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah, He sent two angels to destroy them (see Genesis 18:16-22; Genesis 19:1ff.).

God also sent those angels to deliver Lot and his family before His righteous wrath falls upon Sodom and Gomorrah. In today’s Scripture, the angels urge Lot to hurry and take his wife and two daughters and escape. Three words stand out: “and while he lingered….” Lot wanted to stay just a bit longer, to take one last look at all his possessions he had acquired while officiating over Sodom. His beautiful home and its furnishings would be destroyed. His sinful acquaintances would be killed. (Notice how his wife “looked back behind him” once they did leave in verse 26, and she “became a pillar of salt!” She too had been attached to the material goods she and Lot had.)

Lot should have led his family out of such wickedness, yet he “lingered.” The angels had to thus forcefully grab all four of them (he, his wife, and their two daughters) and bring them outside the city! JEHOVAH God could have consumed Lot for being so wicked, so idolatrous, and yet He was “merciful unto him.” No doubt, many such saints will want to “linger” at the Rapture, when Christ returns to take all Christians to Heaven, desiring to stay behind and enjoy this evil world one last time. May we not be those “lingering” believers!

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Iniquity Not Yet Full #2

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

“But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:16 KJV).

Today’s Scripture expressly declares why the God of the Bible “takes His time” when dealing with sinful mankind.

The God of the Bible is very orderly; He is organized and does not act on haphazard whims. On one hand, His justice demands that sin be punished in full, and His wrath inflicts a punishment to satisfy His offended righteousness (ultimately, everlasting hellfire, banished from His presence forever). On the other hand, His mercy, love, and grace provide a means so that the sinner can escape that wrath via substitutionary atonement (ultimately, the sinner can come by faith alone in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, where Christ suffered God’s wrath on our behalf, and be accepted of God). Whether operating in wrath or in grace, the God of the Bible is completely fair and wise in every deed.

Certain limits must be breached before God’s wrath falls on the sinner, and while only God Himself knows those parameters, the entire Bible’s canon demonstrates that this is how He deals with wicked humanity. For example, consider three major events of sin in the book of Genesis:

  • God could have destroyed Adam and Eve immediately after they sinned; however, He responded to them in mercy and grace, seeking them while they hid from Him, and then killing animals to cover them physically with those skins, as well as clothe them spiritually with animals’ blood (a type of Jesus’ blood which was shed millennia later) (Genesis 3:21).
  • Before the Great Flood of Noah’s Day, some 1,700 years after creation, God gave sinful mankind 120 years to straighten up (Genesis 6:3), and then His judgment came and swept them all away (excluding Noah and his family on the ark)!
  • It was not until Sodom and Gomorrah had reached their limit of sin that God finally sent two angels to destroy those two wicked cities (Genesis 18:20,21; Genesis 19:13).

Let us continue skimming the Scriptures for other instances of the longsuffering, yea, the patience, of God…