Most people are familiar with the story of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. But please read Genesis 19:1-29 again with a prayerful heart. In this devotion, I am going to focus on verses 16-22. So please make sure you read these seven verses more carefully.

These seven verses depicted how the angels saved Lot and his family from the disaster that is going to pour down to Sodom. The whole issue of Lot, how different he was from Abraham was vividly expressed in these few sentences. I think the most crucial two verses of these seven verses are 16 and 17. Verse 15 says that God's time for Sodom and Gomorrah has come to an end, the two angels urged Lot and his family to leave the city, "but he lingered." (v.16, NRSV) The angels had to "grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city." The following sentence is first of the two crucial ones that I mentioned earlier. It explains why God wanted to save their family: "for the Lord was merciful to them." It was not because of the righteousness of Lot's family. Their lives were preserved out of God's mercy, not anything Lot and his family did.

Even when that's the case, Lot was trying to bargain with God out of his convenience and lack of faith. The second vital sentence for me was in verse 17 when one of the angels told Lot to “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (NIV) The importance of this sentence lies in that fleeing to the mountains means to follow God's guidance and trust in His protection. Instead of listening to God, Lot asked if he and his family can go into a small city called Zoar. His reason was that he was afraid that the "disaster will overtake" (v.19, NIV) him if he hides in the mountains, and his life "will be saved" by this little town instead! (v.20, NRSV) What a reason! God was the one giving this particular disaster as a judgment, and even sent two angels to save him and his family (even his son-inlaws if they were willing to leave!), and he didn't believe that God will protect him? Further, he trusted this small town over God and believed that it would protect him from the judgment of God? The irony is, if we read further to verse 30, we'll see that Lot moved his family out of Zoar and moved into the mountains because he was afraid to stay at Zoar. So clearly, it was not about which location provides better security but his willingness to put his trust in God.

We learned at least two things from the passage today. The first thing is that whatever we have are graciously given by God. The second thing we learn is that we are responsible for our choice to or not to trust in God and His provision. We know that God will never withhold the best from us since He even gave His one and only Son, and we know that "the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." (1 Corinthians 1:25, NIV) So the ball is in our court. Are we going to trust ours or God's wisdom?

Share an experience when you choose to follow God's Word. Pray for each other that we are more willing to put our trust in God's love and faithfulness.