Hasting and lingering—these two words are a contrast, but these actions are being taken in this story and today as well. There is hastening on the spiritual side by God and a whole lot of lingering on our side. If you’re lingering, what’s the matter with you?
Genesis 15: 15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.16 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.17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:
The words of the angels were urgent but Lot said not so, my Lord. What was wrong with him? His elevator was stuck between floors. The Bible says the coming of the Son of Man would be like the times of Lot—the times of Sodom and Gomorrah. People would be in the condition Lot was in. The worst thing to do is linger; the best thing to do is hasten to the Lord.
It’s a high-paced, ultra-fast speed time, yet spiritually we linger and fall behind. Lot is the role model for a backsliding Christian. He pitched his tent toward Sodom when he parted with Abraham. Then he was at the gate. If you give sin a little space soon you’ll find yourself at its gate. Eventually Lot was living in Sodom. What went on in Sodom goes on today. Where do you think the term sodomize comes from? We know what it means. Whether forced or consensual, it is sin. The people worshipped anything and everything and perversion of all kinds was going on. Lot’s family had become corrupted. Sodom vexed Lot and he fell for it and backslid on God. Had it not been for the prayer of a single man—Abraham—Lot would have perished. Abraham interceded for Sodom and Lot asking that if a certain number of righteous people could be found that the city be spared. Not even five could be found.
Even after receiving the message of destruction from the angels, Lot lingered and kept hanging on to Sodom. He thought the judgment wouldn’t come. We know how close the judgment of God is today, but many think it won’t happen—not today. We prefer to listen to the talk shows and the media to get the conditions of the world. We get caught up in how things are better and nothing is wrong with America. Wake up! We are on the verge of judgment.
Lot woke up to the final day. He had been told it was coming. Two angels were sent to get Lot out and execute the judgment of God. While Lot lingered, he thought it was all right. Everybody says we’ll have another day, another Christmas. Little do we know. Look at the freedoms we lost. I’m sure you know that satellites orbit the planet with no other job but surveillance of people. Quit listening to the devil. Quit lingering. If your condition is like Lot, his wife, or his daughters look out. If you are doing any lingering at all, stop. The angels grabbed the arms of Lot and his family taking them out of the city while their minds still lingered on Sodom. Get rid of lingering and begin hastening. God is going to destroy this world.
The angels held back the judgment for Lot because of Abraham’s prayer. This final judgment may not be held back for you. Be ready today. Quit lingering while you still can. Verses 24-26 state then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. There is coming an overthrow by God. Sodom, what was once a New York or Miami, or Los Angeles, full of lights and glimmer, was now in smoke and fire of brimstone from God’s destruction. I was there 30 years ago when we visited the Holy Land. It is now 3,000 years after the judgment and nothing grows there still. It’s part of the Dead Sea which is white with a crust of salt. What looks like icebergs are really bergs of salt. It was completely quiet and desolate almost still smelling of brimstone. It’s as close to hell as this world has ever been.
Don’t think judgment won’t happen. It will. God has given us the sense to see what is going on. We see the slowdown and lingering of the world. We can almost feel the grip of God as he winds it down. If God is speaking to you, come to him. Stop lingering and hasten to the Lord.