A while ago I was asked write an article for the suspense/thriller genre and I did one titled: Double Catastrophe – based on Lot’s escape from Sodom as inspired by Genesis chapter 19. This story still fascinates me. God planned to destroy Sodom (the city in which Lot lived) and Gomorrah because “their sin was very grave” (Genesis 18:20-21).
As I read this story again, few things stand out. When the two angels came to Sodom to carry out the destruction, they told “escape for your life” (Genesis 19:17). We live in a world where evil seems to prevail but God’s word for us is to flee/reject/stay away or abstain from all/every appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). We are to escape for our lives lest destruction comes upon us.
In the same Genesis 19:17 Lot was told, “Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley.” As God’s chosen people living in a fallen world, when He rescues us as He did Lot, we should not look to the past or in the pits or depressions of life. If you stop in your pitfalls you will go under, you’ll be swept away and buried in them. Beloved “escape to the hills” from whence cometh your help! (Psalm 121:1)
Lot argued with the angels (vs 18) and they let him do his own will. Sometimes we argue with God and He permits us to follow our own desires. The fact that calamity hasn’t befallen you doesn’t mean that you’re in God’s will. God stopped striving with man in Genesis 6:3 because every inclination of the thoughts of man’s heart was evil (Genesis 6:5). So yes, there are plenty of times – if you’re not led by the Holy Spirit – you’ll be doing your own will; which we try to elevate as “God’s permissive will” .
NB: God has only one will – the pleasing and perfect will and this we can learn only if we are not conformed to the pattern, behavior and customs of this world (Romans 12:2)
For instance, Ishmael was not God’s pleasing and perfect will but Isaac was. (Genesis 17:18-19)
“Escape to the hills” was God’s pleasing and perfect will for Lot but in verse 16 we see that he lingered and in verse 18-19 he argued. Then in verse 20, he chose a place which wasn’t what God had in mind. Lot was acting on his own will here and he settled in Zoar (which means ‘little’). Lot settled in a little place. Oh, how we many times behave like Lot! God wants to take us out of the place of immorality, corruption and destruction to a place that is above (the hills), but we choose to settle in a place that is little (Zoar). Lot came from an environment of immorality to settle in a place of littleness and his life became miserable. What is your Zoar?
Eventually, in verse 30, we see that Lot actually moved and went to the hills where he should have gone in the first place. However this delayed obedience. When you delay in your obedience to God, you give the enemy grounds for entry. The real reason Lot moved is that he was afraid to live in Zoar. Why? He wasn’t in God’s perfect will. When Adam and Eve sinned and they heard God walking in the garden, they hid because they were afraid. They had fallen out of God’s will and knew it, hence the fear. (Genesis 3:10) Fear has no place in your life when you’re God’s perfect will (2 Timothy 1:7).
When you come from an environment of immorality to settle in a place of littleness, your thinking become dull – you’re not sharpened, you’re not challenged, you cannot see far – your vision is limited such that when you eventually go to the hills, you settle for the cave. A cave is a large underground chamber. Why go to the hills to live underground? This is abnormal and abnormal behavior attracts abnormal activities. (Genesis19: 30-38)
This message continues…