Linger no longer
‘And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.’ Genesis 19:16
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Revelation 3:14–22
But my text leads me to speak of Lot himself. Is it not strange even Lot lingered? The passage is of general application. The world, like Sodom, lies in wickedness. Believers are like Lot—the Lord informs them of the consequences of sin and says, Come out from among them, that ye be not consumed. They hear and obey. Yet they are so faint, so half in earnest, so lingering, that the Lord’s mercy is as much magnified in bearing with them after he has called them, as in calling them at first. However, he will not suffer them to perish, but employs various means by which he, as it were, takes hold of them by the hand and pulls them away by force. Let us speak to these things. The Lord’s people are prone to linger. Perhaps some of you may wonder at Lot, and think that if you were sure this place was to be instantly destroyed, you would hasten as soon and as far from it as you could. But they who know their own hearts will wonder least at him. His life was given him for a prey, but he must leave his house, his substance, his children, behind him. His heart cleaved too much to these things and the command was sudden. Now to us all these things are transacted in a spiritual manner; the judgement is yet unsure and distant, and present objects strike powerfully upon the senses. We are not to leave the world absolutely, but to forsake it in our affections while we are yet in it. Here is a call for much self denial: to forgo the love of the world—its pleasures, its friendships—to endure its scoffs, to be accounted mockers and to suffer mocks and taunts and hard treatment. The Lord pity and pardon us, these things make too much impression upon our spirits and cause us strangely to linger.
FOR MEDITATION: Let us pray for grace to linger no longer—for a powerful sense of the truth of his Word, that we may believe, act and endure, as seeing him who is invisible.
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 41 [2/4], GENESIS 19:16