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.” 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. (Genesis 19:15, 16 ESV)
Even though the city of Sodom was corrupt and was about to be destroyed, Lot lingered instead of flee. You would think him eager to go, given the recent events. All the men of the city had threatened to attack him and his household for withholding his visitors from their sinful pleasures. But he lingered. I’m sure part of him was ready to go, but another part was still rooted in the life of the city, perhaps even in its corruption. Lot gives us insight into our own soul as we too can see part of us still rooted in the ways of the world that will be destroyed. We too linger when it comes to particular temptations of things in which we have engaged in the past.
The good news is that God is merciful. “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.” We too need God to “seize” us away from our past sinful patterns. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak! God has provided for this very thing through the church. We are encouraged and exhorted in the church, provided an accountability structure and church discipline. These are all means of mercy for us in our weakness.
Lord, I know I am weak and “linger” when it comes to particular temptations. Show me your mercy and seize me that I might flee temptation.