Genesis 19:15-22 (ESV)
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. And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
Picture the angels physically seizing them by the hand and bringing them out. It’s almost comical. Lot is not obeying the very command he gave his sons-in-law. He’s dysfunctional and the angels have to take over. The Bible specifically says that this is a portrait of God’s mercy. This time God’s mercy literally involves hand-holding.
Then the angels tell him to run for the hills without even looking back. So, sure enough, Lot chooses that moment to argue for a different destination. Seriously? Lot, did you notice that they dragged you out of your house because you were so confused you couldn’t finish packing? Now you want to dicker about what’s the best place to flee to? Do you really think that even though the whole valley will be destroyed, one little city in the valley should be safe because it’s small?
Actually, he’s not arguing against their description of what’s safe; he’s arguing for them to block off a small exception. Thus doth the portrait of God’s grace continue. “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken.”
The key word here is, “also.” As we will see, Zoar doesn’t work out anyway. God cuts Lot a break (again) just to display His grace and mercy (again).
Is this a recurring theme or what? It must be important.
God’s patience, grace and mercy are the central theme of the Bible (and that we don’t deserve it). Praise Him.
Think back on how the Lord has been merciful (and patient, and graceful) with you. God’s grace is usually coupled with your need for His grace. So, try to recall the times you’ve messed up. Yeah, that can be difficult and painful.
His strength is displayed through our weakness.
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