Athlete, Reflect On His Mercy

*This devotional series was written by the AIA staff team at the University of Virginia

Read Genesis 19

In this passage, we see Lot displaying hospitality to the angels much as Abraham did, but he also suggests the unthinkable (19:8).  We cannot know what was going through his mind or exactly what the cultural expectations were like in his day, but we can affirm that his plan of compromise was absolutely wrong.  Thankfully, the angels of God were not willing to go along with Lot's horrific plan (19:10-11).  

As if this were not enough, Lot later has too much to drink, two days in a row, and he and his daughters commit incest out of the daughters' sense of desperation.  The two nations that proceed from these actions end up being thorns in Israel's side for centuries to come (19:37-38).  It's difficult to imagine more heinous sins occurring in such a short span of time.  And yet these are the people to whom God shows mercy.  Amazing grace that saved a wretch like me.

But not all who were given the covenant promises of God remained in them.  Lot's sons-in-law scoffed at the judgment of God on Sodom's perverted desires and actions (19:14).  It's easy for us to think that modern, "enlightened" people are the first to make light of a God who actually judges sin, but clearly that is not the case.  On the other hand, Lot, his wife, and his two daughters heed the warning of God, with some nudging when they hesitated, "for the LORD was merciful to them" (19:16).  Sadly, Lot's wife looks back and is consumed by the burning sulfur.  We do not know if she was looking back longingly at her life in Sodom or if she was simply disobeying the clear warning to flee and not look back.  

Questions for Reflection & Prayer

1. Take time to reflect on the depth of God's mercy and his grace that covers your deepest, darkest sins.  How has the LORD taken your hand and consistently nudged you back to faith, and faithfulness, when you have hesitated?  

2. Lot's drunkenness and his daughters' faithless desperation lead them into further sin.  In what parts of your life do you need the forgiveness and power of Christ to keep you from sins that could lead you into further compromise?  In what ways do you need to flee and not look back at your old self?  Where do you need the love and hope of God - Father, Son and Spirit - to meet you in your desperation?

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