T. Pierce Brown

In Genesis 19, there are several significant lessons that have present application. We see God’s longsuffering. We see His judgment on evil. We seeLot’s wavering indecision and his wife’s failure and destruction. An interesting contrast is worth our special consideration. The contrast is between the heavenly hastening and the lingeringLot. God often wants us to hasten to be about our Father’s business while the doors are still open, but we linger.

Verse 15 says, “When the morning arose, then the angels hastenedLot.” Sinners need to be hastened. They have often settled in theSodomof sin and sluggish servitude to Satan. To them the warnings of God messengers seem to a joke. Because they do not believe the warnings, they linger.

However, here is a man who is called “righteousLot” (2 Peter 2:7). He is the one about whom it is said, “He lingered.” We can understand why the sinners linger in their unbelief. What causedLotto linger? What causes us to linger when our duties or opportunities are apparent before us? When the Great Commission is set before us, and plans are made to implement that plain command of Christ, what causes men to linger?

We do not know all the reasons why, but here are some possible ones. Wordsworth put it this way, “The world is too much with us; late and soon, getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.” Strangely enough, it may be that the ease with which the job could be done with no sacrifice on the part of any has caused many of us to do nothing at all. Think of this: Suppose every Christian who has small grandchildren, not yet old enough to be Christians said to them, “Would you like to give a dime of your allowance money each day to help carry out the Commission of our Savior?” Our grandchildren would gladly, willingly, and easily have contributed enough from their allowances to have funded almost any program among us!

One of our problems may well be that most of us do not even think in terms of making any sacrifice for Christ, but of how much could be done if each of us did practically nothing. So we may linger because there is such a little difference between nothing and almost nothing that it seems insignificant. It is not insignificant. The whole ocean is made up of little drops of water, and the beach of small grains of sand.

Another reasonLotmay have lingered was the refusal of his relatives to escape with him. He may have felt that since he could not push them, if he would make a compromise they would come along more easily. This is a tragic misjudgment. The truth is, if the Great Commission does seem very urgent to one who claims to believe it, why should anyone be in any hurry? If the salvation of souls in foreign lands is not important to you now, will sending an army to overcome Communism and other forms of repression be important to in several more years?

We urge you not to linger in your commitment to support those scriptural programs that are trying to get the gospel to every person in the world. Would you like to have, “He lingered” put on your tombstone?

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