Friday, October 26, 2007

Don't Look Back

"But Lot's wife looked back ..." (Gen 19:26)

A Bad Press
Lot's wife gets a very bad press over her failure to respond correctly to the word of God. It's not enough that she ended up as a pillar of salt. She is held up as an example to us of what happens if we're not obedient to God, or if we're reluctant to leave our sin behind.

If we're not careful, we can find ourselves taking a superior attitude as though we think we would never make such a fundamental mistake.

The Fine Line Of Obedience
What we perhaps miss is how close Lot's wife was to getting it right. She was, after all, being obedient and running away from Sodom and the depravity there. How many of us can say that we actually run from sin? We all know the experience of the internal struggle we sometimes have to do the right thing when what we really want is to do the wrong thing.

Lot's wife was being far more committed than we often manage to be but she still wasn't wholeheartedly obedient to the Lord. She had been told not to look back (v17) but she thought she could get away with a quick glimpse behind her as she ran. The result was devastating.

Responding To God's Voice
Was the Lord harsh on Lot's wife? Should He have punished her so severely for one little slip? Look more carefully at v26. The woman's fate was not God's doing, she brought it upon herself. Her death was a direct consequence of her disobedience.

When, in our Quiet Time, we hear the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit convicting us of sin there is one route away from destruction and that is rapid flight without looking back. Paul told the Corinthians to flee from sexual sin and idolatry (1 Cor 6:18 & 10:14) and Timothy to flee from the evil desires of youth (2 Tim 2:22).

There is no room for compromise in dealing with sin. Jesus said, "if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off" (Matt 5:30). He knows more about conquering temptation than anyone and we should heed His instruction. Lot's wife should be a warning to us. Don't take the slightest chance with sin. The consequences could be devastating.

Prayer College Assignment
Give some thought to whether there is an area of compromise in your life. Are you struggling with a besetting sin, but unwilling to make the commitment to run from it wholeheartedly and never return? Take some time, like David, to let God search your heart (Ps 139:23), and reveal the truth to you. Determine you are going to run, with everything you've got, away from sin and, fixing your eyes on Jesus, complete the race marked out for you (Heb 12:1-2).

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