Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Genesis 19:12-14 Our Part in Winning Our Family for God

Genesis 19:12-14: Then the men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” And Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the Lord will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his son-in-law to be jesting.

The two angels understood the gravity of the situation. This recent act of the men of Sodom (see comments on previous verses) was what we would refer to as the last straw as far as God was concerned. God’s messengers had to take immediate action, evacuating those that were righteous and their family. It turns out only Lot was the righteous one. So they asked a question to which they already knew the answer. “Who else is here with you, Lot? You need to take them out of this place.” The list they rhyme off as possible kin is simply provided to indicate that all in the family were to be included. It turns out Lot had more than one son-in-law to be, but we have no other reference to Lot having sons. What is important here is that Lot was allowed to take his family out of danger with him because of his righteousness. However, there is no evidence we can transfer this concept of “familial salvation” to the case of salvation of the believer for eternity.

We know that Lot understood his responsibility to advise his family of the situation and encourage them to escape with him. He was in essence to do all he could to bring them out with him. That’s our role as well when it comes to the salvation of our children and relatives. We can only share the Gospel and then allow God to work in their hearts.

In this short passage, there are three references to the destruction of Sodom: first, the angels say they are about to destroy it; then, they say the Lord sent them to destroy it; and finally, they say the Lord will destroy it. Sometimes we miss the fact that God uses angels, often disguised as men, to do His work. Sometimes He uses fellow believers. But let us not miss the fact that it must be God’s work that needs to be done, not that of the angels, not that of others, not even our own. When we know what God wants to do as Lot did in this case, then we can believe and expect to see it done through whatever means or whomever God chooses. We just need to be ready for it.

So Lot heads out of the house and looks up his sons-in-law who were to marry his daughters. He tells them to get up from whatever they’re doing and get out of Sodom because the Lord will destroy it. That’s the simple message we’re asked to pass on to our relatives, friends, and anyone that God puts in our path today – “repent, change your way, be saved, for God hates evil and will destroy it, punishing those that remain in its grasp.” It is a simple message. Yet, as in the days of Lot, so today – people just don’t readily believe it. Scripture says Lot’s sons-in-law thought he was kidding. As we’ll see in the verses that follow, the fact that people do not believe us does not change what God has said He will do. The difficulty for us is how we deal with that very fact.

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