Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tempted to linger

Lot and His Family Flee Sodom - Artist Unknown

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 19:1-22

TO CHEW ON: “And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.” Genesis 19:16

Lot is an interesting character. If we follow his story, we discover his own father (Haran) died before his grandfather Terah, and that as a family his uncle Abram (& wife Sarai), Uncle Nahor (& wife), Grandfather Terah and Lot moved form Ur to Canaan (Genesis 11:27-31).

When God told Abram to move from Haran (the town) in Canaan to a place He would lead, Lot came along - Genesis 12:4.

When both men prospered so that their herds became to big for the available grassland, Abram offered Lot the choice of where to go. Lot “chose for himself” what looked like the best territory - Genesis 13:10,11.

In our reading today we discover Lot was hospitable and aware of the disturbing social customs of the city’s men, so that he insisted these visitors who came to him from Abram, stay the night with him. In fact, the spiritual climate bothered him (2 Peter 2:7,8). But not enough.

He callously offered his daughters to the lecherous and clamouring men. His sons-in-law didn’t take his warning seriously. And when the angels insisted he come with them, he “lingered” with his family so that the angels had to literally drag them out of the doomed city - Genesis 19:12-16. Lot had become spiritually dull.

Contrast Lot’s behaviour with Abraham’s (name changed by God - Genesis 17:5). He took the angelic messengers so seriously, he risked the LORD’s anger by begging for the preservation of the city and the lives of the righteous with in it (Genesis 18:23-32).

I would submit that the “city” we live in spiritually can also cause us to become spiritually dull or remain sharp and attuned to God. Do we spend time with other believers who help us see life through the lens of faith? Do we regularly read the Bible and meditate on it? Do we listen and watch music, programs, podcasts, and shows that build our faith?  Or do we give all our attention to the natural world around us—the political news, our society’s entertainment and sports, getting and caring for more of this world’s stuff for ourselves?

Let’s do what it takes to stay spiritually sharp—even if that means, like Abraham, we need to live apart from the populated Sodom's and Gomorrah’s of our time.

PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to recognize and flee the things of this world that tempt me to linger with them instead of going with You. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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