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Blockheads like Us

20 December 2011 by Tom Chantry

Face it, if you were going to choose a character from the Old Testament to encourage suffering Christians with a reminder that “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,” you wouldn’t pick Lot, would you? Lot?! Righteous Lot?!?!? The guy who spurned the Promised Land in order to move his tents down toward Sodom?

That is of course exactly who we need to hear about: inconsistent, weak-hearted, ethically compromised Lot. We like to pretend that our churches are saintly outposts in a world of sin, but all too often we are neck-deep in the its moral filth. We too easily abandon the green pastures of God’s word and set up shop in downtown Sodom. We don’t really belong - no more than did Lot - and so, like him, we are “tormenting [our] righteous souls” among the wicked. Yet there we sit in the gate of Sodom, giving tacit consent to its rejection of God.

But He knows how to rescue people like us. He sent His angels right into the heart of Sodom, much though Lot would be horrified to see them there. They were threatened with death and what is worse than death, but they persevered and gave Lot the needed warning. When he responded with less than full enthusiasm, they dragged him out of the city to safety. That’s Peter’s point, really. The Lord has experience with blockheads like us!

When the fullness of time had come, the Lord, purposing to rescue Peter and his readers (including you, and me) out of the Sodom of this world in which we are less than citizens but more, sadly, then thorough non-participants, He sent not His angels, but His Son. Perhaps our horror at this thought ought to equal that of Lot when he saw the angels approach the city gate. Christ approached our world, He entered it, and not only was He threatened, He was actually tortured and killed. And He did this to rescue us out of our trials - especially those we create for ourselves through our sin.

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