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.
There are many in and outside the church that have a huge problem with the truth displayed in this verse.
Here in Genesis 19, amid the story of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction, we find Lot and his family on the brink of escape. But instead of leaving with all haste they “linger”, finding some unknown reason to drag their feet to safety.
Lot’s story is a clear and powerful picture of the salvation that God has brought to His people in Jesus, sinful people living in a world headed for destruction, rescued by God for no other reason than that they are His. And like Lot, we need a little more than an offer of salvation. We need God to grab us out of that destruction and carry us to safety.
The warning from the angels to leave was not enough for Lot, so God mercifully steps in and makes sure that Lot and his family are saved.
Here’s what people have such a problem with. Doesn’t God’s intervention impede Lot’s freewill to choose? Isn’t God forcing Lot and his family to do something that they don’t seem to want?
That sounds like a ridiculous question doesn’t it? Everyone in their right mind would want someone to snatch them out of the fire. If I’m to foolish enough to step out of the path of an oncoming train, I want someone to grab me by the shirt and pull me to safety.
But for some reason, we have a problem with God doing the same thing for us. We want the final say. We don’t want God to have ultimate control. We don’t want to feel forced into something.
But even though we love the path we’re on and we linger here even to our own destruction, God, in His mercy seizes us and brings us to safety.
This is what Jesus bought at the cross.
Not the ability to save us.
Not the means of our salvation.
He rescued us.
He definitively saved us.
Praise God that he did not wait while we lingered but snatched us out of destruction by His great mercy. This is good news worth telling.
Our God can save and He does so mightily.