Friday, January 20, 2012

Stubborn Sinners Vs. Merciful God

I read this morning in Genesis about Lot and the destruction of the wicked cities Sodom and Gomorrah. A brief synopsis of the story goes like this:

Lot - who, according to 2 Peter 2:6-8, was a righteous man - lived in the city of Sodom. (If you know what the word "sodomy" means then you can understand just how wicked the city of Sodom was.)

God sent two angels disguised as men to the cities to destroy them. As they are entering Sodom, Lot is sitting by the gate and invites them to be his guests. That night the men of the city surround Lot's house and try to break in and commit wicked crimes against these men, not knowing that they are angels. As the men outside are about the bust through the door, the angels strike them all with blindness.
"Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.”
(Genesis 19:12-13)
(His sons-in-law-to-be didn't listen to him by the way.) But now check this out:
"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."
(Genesis 19:15-16)
And thus, Lot escaped the destruction that came on the city.

Now, I think to myself, "How many times am I like lot?" So often I find myself hearing the word of God calling me flee from sin and things that are spiritually killing me, and I find myself lingering. Full of good intentions but lacking commitment and hatred for sin - just kind of wavering and not willing to stand. Many times in my life I have seen God, in His mercy, painfully rip from my clenched fingers the worthless things that I have refused to leave. I am thankful that He is MERCIFUL to me, despite of me, and "seizes me". Sometimes carrying me, kicking and screaming, away from the very thing that will bring destruction on me.

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