Hesitation and Desperation
Waiting Journal Entry on Sodom and Gomorrah
June 7th, 2020
DO NOT HESITATE
“At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. ‘Hurry,’ they said to Lot. ‘Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!’ When Lot hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. When they were safely outside of the city, one of the angels ordered, ‘Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!’” (Genesis 19:15-17)
“When Lot hesitated…” That word hesitated means to linger, tarry, wait, or delay. What would have caused this hesitation in Lot? Why was he waiting around when he knew that the city would be destroyed? His life and the lives of his family members were at stake, so what was he waiting for? What was worth waiting for at the expense of their lives? Based on what we have seen from Lot’s life, we can only speculate. According to David Guzik, “there was a steady progression of compromise is Lot’s life. He went from looking toward Sodom (Genesis 13:10), to pitching his tent toward Sodom (Genesis 13:12), to living in Sodom (Genesis 14:12) and losing everything. Now Lot sat in the gate of Sodom, indicating he was a civic leader (Genesis 19:1).” We get a further glimpse into his depravity when he offers his two virgin daughters to a mob to do whatever they wish with in place of the two strangers/guests in his home; substituting one sin for another.
The sin was great in Sodom and Gomorrah, so much so that the Lord constantly points to these cities as an example. “For the look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves” (Isaiah 3:9). We are also told in Genesis 13:13 that “the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.” And this was where Lot decided to pitch his tent. No doubt his environment was beginning to infiltrate his life and that of his family’s. Compromise after compromise began pulling his heart farther and farther away from the Lord. He became more comfortable in the world, even to the point of rising to civic leadership. He was wealthy, he was established, he was comfortable, his daughters were betrothed, he had a life in this place. So, when told to flee, to let go of the things of this world, to leave it all behind, he hesitated; he waited. But, he lingered to the point that the angels had to drag him away. “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
What has my heart become so attached to that I would hesitate if God told me to leave it? I don’t want to wait when God calls me to obedience. I don’t want to linger or hesitate to move. I want to be so sure and confident of His voice that I’m active in my obedience, even if it means sacrifice. Even if it means being stripped bare. I don’t want a hesitant heart. Nor do I want one that looks back longingly for what I’ve left behind, as Lot’s wife did.
DESPERATION THAT LEADS TO SIN
“Then Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him; for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. And he and his two daughters dwelt in a cave. Now the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father” (Genesis 19:30-32).
These two girls were betrothed to men in Sodom, but they had been forcibly evacuated from their home. They had lost everything, including their friends, fiancées, and mother, to the city’s destruction. Lot had then again uprooted them from their new dwelling in Zoar and relocated them in the mountains to live in a cave, apart from civilization. So now they find themselves unwed, their father unmarried, and no male descendent to continue the family line and no possible way (or so it seemed to them an impossibility) of bearing children. They hadn’t put themselves in this situation. This was the result of their father’s poor choices and of sin. Life was far less than ideal. But, they had a choice. Would they continue down the path of sin they had witnessed their entire lives, or would they choose to instead follow and trust the Lord? They had seen His power displayed in the destruction of the Sodom and Gomorrah, they had experienced His deliverance, and they had come to learn how seriously God took sin. However, they failed to take those things into account and instead chose to focus on the impossibility of the situation before them. There were no men around. They were living in isolation. So, they needed to act. They needed to do something.
This passage could be an example of not waiting. They didn’t trust the Lord’s provision. He had rescued them and saved them from destruction, could He not also provide husbands for them? But instead of waiting upon the Lord, they took matters into their own hands and not only got their father drunk, but then committed incest. “We are most likely to sin when we are desperate for what we feel we must have” (Life Application Bible). Instead of waiting for God’s provision, they forcibly took what they wanted; what they felt they needed. The results, Ammon and Moab, the fathers of two of Israel’s greatest enemies, the Moabites and the Ammonites” (Life Application Bible).
*Side note: The consequences of our sin can have lasting effects (as seen with the Moabites and Ammonites). However, the grace of God blows my mind; it is always greater than our sin. Ruth, a woman named in Jesus’ genealogy, was a Moabite. I love how the Lord redeems our sin; He truly makes beauty from ashes.
“The Lord kept His word and did for Sarah exactly what He had promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would” (Genesis 21:1-2).
Here we finally see the fulfillment of God’s promise, or at least the beginning of many descendants. Abraham and Sarah had waited 25 years for a son. Though it took a lot of time, God was faithful. Never mistake His patience for unfaithfulness or indifference. He hasn’t forgotten about you. He is bringing forth His perfect plan in His perfect timing, so continue to trust even when you can’t see or even when things look hopeless.
In thinking back to Lot and his daughters, how desperate are we to be married or to have children? To what lengths will we go to get those things because we think we need them? I was just thinking about the countless girls and women in my life who were so desperate to be a wife and a mom that they settled, compromised, married unbelievers, etc. Are we willing to wait? Are we willing to let go of our expectations and desires and surrender ourselves completely to the Lord? Or will we compromise or even go so far as to sin to get what we think we need or want? Are we looking to other things to satisfy or fill the void that only Christ can fill? Are we trying to find solutions to problems, or what we see as problems, without recognizing or acknowledging that God is in control and He desires good things for His children?
What we see as impossibilities or obstacles are never such things for the Lord. He is bigger than all of those and He can make it happen. Just like Isaac with Abraham and Sarah, they didn’t need to make it happen by using Hagar. May we not compromise, but rather wait patiently upon the Lord to work and provide. We may never get the thing we are hoping for or desiring, but do we truly believe that God’s plan, though it may be contrary to ours, is best?
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
“As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him” (Proverbs 18:30).