Pause to look back on the week. Has Jesus been alive to you in the days since Easter?
Jesus compared the day Lot left Sodom with Noah entering the ark. Many phrases occur in both stories, emphasizing the comparison. There is even ‘rain’ here, although it’s burning sulphur that’s falling. In each instance God comes to look, and passes judgement. Whole communities are destroyed, but one family is rescued. In the flood story, ‘God remembered Noah’ who was described as a righteous man, blameless and walking with God. Here God ‘remembered Abraham’ who was blameless and walked before God. So what is the verdict on Lot?
Having seen the majestic power of the angels, Lot trusts them enough to go with them but he appears to drag his heels. Their command, ‘take…your two daughters who are here’ may imply that other married daughters are being left behind. Lot does not willingly accept the order, ‘Flee to the mountains’. He negotiates with God to save the little town, Zoar. His motives seem very self-centered, in contrast to Abraham’s plea for all the cities, but his request is granted. God often seems to answer prayers that are less than admirable, perhaps to encourage weak and wavering faith. Lot’s wife is even less keen to accept the angel’s instructions. ‘Two people will be in one bed’ Jesus said; one will be taken and the other left. Lot’s wife was trying to save the things that seemed to constitute her life, and she lost what really mattered–her walk with God and, ultimately, her life.
When Abraham saw smoke rising from the plain it looked as if his prayers had been futile–but angels had chivvied Lot into faith, and that faith saved him. Peter declares him one of the ‘righteous’. Abraham’s prayers had something to do with this.
Be encouraged to keep praying for people whose faith seems shaky and shows little fruit. You may never know how those prayers have been answered.