God Can Take You Out of Sodom, But He Can’t Keep You Out Of Zoar!
\”Empty Me by William Murphy III\”Back on August 9 the Lord brought two scriptures to my mind from Genesis 19. The Lord began reminding me about how in Genesis 19 the angels who came to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah told Lot & his family not to look back and shortly after that we see that Lot’s wife looked back on the wicked city and became a pillar of salt. A couple days later I decided to go re-read Genesis 19 and God showed me some powerful points in this chapter I had never seen before and that I have never heard anyone preach.
For those who may not be familiar with Genesis 19 I will brief you on it. Genesis 19 recounts the story of the destruction of a city called Sodom & Gomorrah. This was a city that was filled with wickedness and all manner of sexual sin, especially that of homosexuality (hence the name of the city “Sodom”). There came a point that God decided to destroy this city because of how wicked & unrepentant they were and thus he sent angels to carry out His judgment. Now, in Sodom & Gomorrah there was a man named Lot and he had a wife & two daughters. Lot was a relative of Abraham & Abraham had been pleading for Sodom in the previous chapter saying to God for the sake of 50 righteous, for the sake of 20 righteous, forthe sake of 10 righteous will you not destroy the city? When the angels came to destroy the city God had mercy on Lot and his family. The angels warned Lot of what was coming and gave him and his family a chance to escape the city. The mercy of God on Lot & his family was linked to the prayer of Abraham.
Now, that I’ve given a basic overview of what was taking place I can begin digging into the specific points God showed me in Genesis 19. Also for the sake of your time & in order to keep this blog as concise as possible I am not going to post the entire passage but will mention SPECIFIC verses & briefly explain what God gave me concerning that verse….
Genesis 19:15-16-15With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”16When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.
- God showed me how much like Lot when He is trying to warn us & urge us to move out of a situation we hesitate, but in His mercy God sometimes says “Ok. Since you won’t move, I’ll make you move! Let’s go!” And He grabs us by the hand and escorts us out of the sinful place we are in.
Genesis 19:17-22-17As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “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!”18But Lot said to them, “No, my lords,b please! 19Yourc servant has found favor in yourd eyes, and youe have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. 20Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”21He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.f)
- There were a couple things God showed me in these verses. First, many times we are praying, fasting, weeping, & doing warfare in order to get deliverance, but I believe there are some cases where your deliverance is simple & it consists of two things: 1. Flee & 2 Don’t look back! Secondly, I found it interesting that the angels didn’t tell Lot to flee to just any place, but specifically to the mountains! In scripture mountains are a place of refuge (Psalm 121:1), revelation (Exodus 24:12), the manifest glory of God (Exodus 24:9), and are symbolic of separation (Exodus 24:2), of holiness (Psalm 15:1), and a place to hear the voice of God (1 Kings 19:11-13). So in essence the angels were telling Lot run to the palce of refuge, revelation and separate yourself from the sinfulness of Sodom pursuing after holiness! However, we read that Lot asked the angels if he could go to a small town NEARBY whichwas called Zoar. Too many times we want to stay as close to temptation & sin as possible; we choose a “town” NEARBY instead of a “mountain” far away! But, as the old saying goes if you dance to close to the fire you will get burned! Despite the lack of wisdom in Lot’s request the angels said we will grant this request TOO. The word “too” means also or in addition to….many times God gives us a choice and we can choose to remain in Zoar or go to the mountain. We can choose to remain near temptation or run to the mountain of the Lord (place of prayer, sanctification, & the Word) where the voice of temptation & compromise cannot be heard. Lastly,its interesting to note that later on we read in Genesis 19:30 that Lot and his daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains because Lot was scared to remain in Zoar. Likewise we must get scared to remain in our Zoar and make a decision to head toward the mountain!
Genesis 19:26-26But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
- God can escort us out of Sodom, but He cannot keep us from looking back to Sodom. All Lot’s wife had to do was run and look forward, plain and simple. However, she chose to look back and became a pillar of salt. Salt is a preserver and many of us, like Lot’s wife, have become preserved in our past instead of choosing to live in our future! I believe even more frightening then backsliding is a state of preservation where you become stuck and aren’t able to move forward nor backward, but only to remain exactly where you are. So many times we come out of a place of sin & bondage, but then we look back. We must not let up and fall short of the destiny & call of God for our life, we must choose that we will not be PRESERVED in our past but PRESS into our future.
There is more I could have expounded on, but chose not to for now. My purpose in writing this particular blog was number 1 as a reminder to ME, BUT also I feel like many of you are in a place of labor & God is preparing you to birth something out and transition you into a new season, however you are at a crossroads and a decision must be made. You can choose Zoar and stay nearby the place of compromise & temptation or you can run to the mountain and draw closer to God. I certainly am not willing to forfeit God’s call for my life & I know many of you would say the same. My final encouragement to those reading is to run and don’t look back!