Genesis 19:23-29 Raining Fire

RUN from sin before it paralyzes you too!

The whole valley of Sodom is about to receive their judgement, except one city. That is the city where Lot has fled to; the city of Zoar.

When the angels dragged Lot and his family out of Sodom they told them to run to the city Lot had specified and to not look back. They were being gracious and waiting to send God’s judgement until Lot and company reached safety.

But Lot’s wife didn’t obey this simple command. It took the angels physically removing them from Sodom to get them moving. But Lot’s wife’s heart was still in Sodom. I’m wondering if she was from there. We aren’t told that Lot had a wife when he separated from Abram. Maybe he found one in the city of Sodom. Was she the reason he moved closer to the city? Was she the one who enticed him to make his home there? She apparently wanted to keep her home, even though the angels told them what would happen to the city.

When the angels asked Lot if he had any family in the city, they started with him and went forward in the family genealogy. They didn’t ask if he had a father-in-law; only sons, daughters, and sons-in-law. Lot’s wife’s family was left out of this question. Is that who she was looking back in longing for? I can’t imagine abandoning my parents to certain destruction. But my parents would have been among the number of righteous being spirited away that day. Hers weren’t.

By turning back, Lot’s wife demonstrated that her heart was still tied to Sodom. She would never be free of their depravity as long as she lived. And she died for that decision. She became a monument to the hold sin can have on a person.

Once Lot and his daughters, who were all that were left of his family and wealth, reached Zoar God’s judgement reigned and rained. Fire and Sulphur fell from the sky over the whole valley. Only one small city was left standing that day. Even the fields were scorched and their crops burned up.

I wonder what the people of Zoar thought as they watched their whole valley burning. I imagine they were terrified they would be burned too, but that didn’t happen. Did they blame Lot for the destruction or did they thank him for their safety? His arrival at the city coincided with the destruction. Were they a walled city? Did he shout for the gates to be shut once he was inside? If so, what did the people think of him and this order?

God gave Abraham Lot and his family’s lives as a gift. He didn’t have to save them but because of His relationship with Abraham, He did. When Abraham looked out at the valley the next day he didn’t rush out there to check on Lot. He didn’t even ask God about him during their conversation. He knew by the looks of the valley that his estimate of ten righteous souls had not been met. Did he wonder what had become of Lot? Did he believe he had been killed along with the inhabitants of the valley? Did he wonder if they would ever meet up again?

Father God, You are holy and righteous! You are worthy to judge man. No one can buy Your favor. It comes only through a relationship with Your Son Jesus. Just like Lot was spared because of his relationship with Abraham, so am I spared because of my relationship with Jesus. My salvation is much more permanent than Lot’s. That is because my relationship with Your Son is only part of my relationship with You.

Lot would not have been in the position he was in if he had a relationship with Abraham’s Lord too. His reception of the “strangers” testified that he knew the truth but his willingness to appease sin by offering his own daughters to it showed where his heart was. He would deflect but not reject sin. Was he afraid or ashamed to return to Abraham? What would have become of him if he had? I have a feeling Abraham would have welcomed him home, just as You would have.

Thank You that You always welcome me back when I return to Your will. I know I’m not perfect or even easy to love at times. Thank You for loving me anyway, in spite of myself. Help me become the daughter You planned for me to be from the beginning. Help me to listen to Your voice and learn more of Your ways every day. Make me into the jewel You created me to be.

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