Genesis 19: 26-29: Take God seriously.
“26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 He looked down towards Sodom and Gomorrah, towards all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. 29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.” NIV UK
‘The inhabitants of the cities of the plain had no idea that they were awakening that morning to the last day of their lives (Genesis 19:23). Life was going on as usual, and then the fire fell (Luke 17:26-30).’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (OT)’, p.79.
Here are at least 3 lessons from this short passage:
- Sin is serious (The sin described in Genesis 19 is a serious matter);
- God’s judgment is real. We should look and learn, and fear God. We should recognise that contemporary cities could suffer a similar fate, for God has not changed. He never will. One day we will all have to face God as our Judge, if we do not trust Jesus to be our Saviour;
- A praying person, however, can make a major difference. God listened to Abraham and He saved Lot. In wrath, He remembered mercy. Don’t fail to pray for your relatives – however lost they may seem. One intercessor is a difference-maker. ‘In the same way, God will remember our intercessor prayers. He may not grant our exact requests; He did not spare Sodom as Abraham had asked. Instead, he rescued Lot out of Sodom, which – at least for Lot – was better. So it was God’s mercy, activated by Abraham’s prayer, that resulted in Lot’s salvation.’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.160.
Never forget that although God hates sin, He loves sinners, and wants to save them.