1/15/17 – Don’t Look Back – Dennis Johnson

In Genesis 18 and 19, God was sending two angels to the town of Sodom because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah was “so great and their sins were so grave.” He was going to have the city destroyed. ¬†Abraham pleaded with God to spare the city if there were 50 righteous in the city. God said yes. He then asked if he would spare the city if there were 45, then 40, then 30, 20, and finally 10. God agreed that if 10 righteous people were found, then he would spare the city for the sake of the 10. As the angels arrived in the city, they did not find 10 that were righteous. Not only that, but when they arrived and were greeted by Lot and were invited into Lot’s house to spend the night and eat, the men of the city came to the house and wanted Lot to send them out to “know them carnally” as it is stated in the NKJV. Lot tried to stop the men by offering up his daughters just so the men wouldn’t prove that the destruction that was coming was justified. They then turned and were about to hurt Lot when the angels pulled Lot in the door to save him. They instructed Lot to warn all of his family to leave because they were about to destroy the city. Lot’s sons-in-law laughed as Lot warned them because they didn’t believe him. As morning came, the bible says the angels warned Lot again telling him to get his wife and two daughters out of the town, lest they be consumed in the punishment of the city. Still, they lingered, so the angels took hold of Lot, his wife and his two daughters’ hands and brought them out and sat them down outside of the city. They told them again to Escape for your life and “Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” When Lot and his family had safely entered the city of Zoar, the Lord rained brimstone and fire on the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all of the inhabitants of the land were destroyed. But Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.

As I read these accounts, I catch myself getting frustrated with Lot and his family. God is trying to save their lives and tells them numerous times to get out. Even before they got the verbal warnings, they knew who God was, and what was expected of His people, yet they allowed themselves to be surrounded by the evil that was in the town and didn’t leave. So he sends his angels. The angels arrive and Lot recognizes that they are different. He knows that they aren’t ordinary men. He knows they are sent from God. This is the time we see that all of the things going on around Lot aren’t just things he was ignorant of. He immediately goes into protection mode and has them come to his house to be safe. I can almost feel the shame he must have felt to know that the angels were there and could see what he is letting go on in his life and the compromises he has made in this city. An altercation occurs, they save him and tell him to get his people and go. But he still doesn’t leave. What in the world is wrong with this guy? Morning comes, they tell him again. Still stalling. Finally, they have to grab them by their hands and physically move them out of the city and tell them go to the mountains and don’t look back. All of this reluctance, for what? Worldly possessions? And if that’s not enough, Lot’s wife has to still hang on to the memories of these said possessions and take one more peek. And then, for her, it’s all over. No more opportunities to be had. No more chances to go.

So after my frustration, I think about my life. We are given the gift of salvation. When I got saved and every time I repent, I have that same feeling of shame about the things I have let go on. I feel guilty for the compromises I have made to make things easier. I start to understand how Lot and his wife may have felt. But when God releases us from the hold of sin, we are to let them go and not look back. We are to move forward knowing that He has forgiven us and even better, in Hebrews 8:12 it says our sins and lawless deeds He will remember no more.

I pray that we can all learn to let go of our past and stop letting our past sins decide our future. Let go of the old man and put on the new. I just heard a preacher describe doing this by comparing it to a prisoner being released from prison. He doesn’t wear his prison suit anymore. He has been set free and puts on new clothes to start a new life. That’s what we need to do. Don’t let your past sins or compromises destroy you. Leave ALL of your old sins in a pile and don’t look back.

Be blessed.