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Ruthe's Secret Roses - by Ruth Marlene Friesen
Ruthe's Secret Roses

Sometimes Angels Rescue Idiots

The more I look at the story of Lot in Genesis 19 the more I lose respect for him. He was a fool, to put it mildly, and an idiot, to put it in today's vernacular.

When his Uncle Abraham had offered him a choice of directions to go with his flocks, Lot headed down to the lush, well-watered plains, where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were springing up. Eventually, he had become one of the important men who sat at the city gate, but apparently he had not won the respect of the other men.

This story starts when two angels, appearing as travelers came to the gate towards evening. Lot insisted on being their host, and took them home and made a meal for them. Suddenly the men of the city gathered at his door, demanding these guests for their homosexual lust. This is where it got ugly.

Lot stepped outside his locked door to reason with these men, and he offered his two virgin (engaged to be married) daughters as compensation. Is that stupid or what?

His guests pulled him back into the house and locked the door. They proved capable of better defenses by causing the men to go blind so they couldn't find the door. Rescue one.

The angels explained that they'd come to destroy these wicked twin cities, and he was to gather up his family to escape from the coming destruction. So Lot went to his daughters' betrothed husbands, but could not persuade them to come. They thought he was joking.

By dawn they had only Lot, his wife, and two daughters to hustle out of the valley. The angels urged them to flee away to the mountains. Perhaps Lot had grown flabby with the good life in the city, because now he panicked and implored them to let them run just as far as a tiny community called Zoar. The angels gave in, but warned them to get going and NOT to look back. Rescue two.

Lot's wife had a nostalgia attack and paused to glance over her shoulder. Big mistake. She turned into a pillar of salt.

I talked with some people who have been to that area, and they say there are large quantities of bitumen, which make it tar sands. When God struck the cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, with fire and brimstone, it really torched the whole valley floor. The combination of burning tar and brimstone would very well coat everything with a kind of rock salt after the fire died down.

We read that Abraham got up that morning and went to the spot where he had last talked with the Angel of the LORD and pled for Lot's family. He saw huge billowing black clouds like from a furnace over those two cities, and he knew the angels had carried out their plans. His faith will have assured him that Lot was safe, and if he knew his nephew well, (which he probably did), Abraham may have wondered at the story of his rescue.

Let's look for a personal application in this story. So what should we know or do now?

What I learn is that sometimes God sends angels to rescue us, not because we deserve it, but because someone else is praying for us, or because God has some other reason for keeping us out of trouble despite ourselves. We are much smarter to trust and obey God than to try some of our crazy schemes which put our own family and loved ones at risk.

From Lot's wife we can learn not to get attached to the good life on earth. No matter how we are hustled off this earth, we're going to have to leave it all behind. So much as a wistful glance back will spell our doom.

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