Thursday, January 8, 2009

By the Hand

In Genesis 19, God is absolutely done with the wickedness of Sodom and Gommorah. Certain judgment is on the way for the immoral people of these two cities. There is but one righteous family the midst - Abram's nephew Lot. So God warns Lot to get his family together and get the heck out of those condemned cities.

I've always struggled with the character of Lot. 2 Peter clearly calls Lot righteous. But what was he doing living in a city of such depravity and wickedness? Highly suspect. Lot certainly was righteous (in a right place with God), but he was also entangled.

Genesis 19:15-16 - 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.” 16 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.

He lingered. There was something in his heart that just wasn't ok leaving. There was something that longed to stay in the midst of the wicked culture. I believe that same thing was in his wife's heart...and Lot lost her because of it.

What are the things that cause you to linger? Linger at the party when you know its time to be home...linger at the boyfriends house when it's really getting late...linger on that website when you're clearly convicted by the Holy Spirit...linger in that conversation when its obviously going in the wrong direction. You feel me?

What hit my this morning was this - God's mercy was grabbing Lot and his family by the hands and dragging them out of the city. We usually preach the "Holy Spirit is a gentlemen" message. Apparently not this time. The angels grabbed them and forced them out of the city before it was destroyed.

Sometimes as youth pastors and leaders that's our job. Sometimes we reason, sometimes we plead, sometimes we pray. But I believe there are times when we're literally supposed to drag young people out of their entanglement in sin. Certain judgment is on the way. It may seem a little forceful, it may be a little uncomfortable, it may be awkward. But Lot was sure glad in the end that they dragged him out. Being a vessel of God's mercy doesn't always mean being mild and gentle - sometimes force is required.

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