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Saturday, October 12, 2019

2019.10.12 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 19:12-29

Questions from the Scripture text: How does Genesis 19:12 identify the speakers? By whom does Genesis 19:13 say they were sent? Whom do Genesis 19:21-22 say will overthrow the city? Whom does Genesis 19:24 say rained down brimstone and fire? Before whom had Abraham stood (Genesis 19:27)? What question does Yahweh ask him in Genesis 19:12? Considering  Genesis 18:32 and Genesis 19:13 (and Who it is that is asking!), what does he already know is the answer? Whom did Lot warn about the city’s destruction (Genesis 19:14)? Why did they not heed him? What had Lot suggested would happen early in the morning (Genesis 19:2)? What actually happened (Genesis 19:15)? When he lingered, what did they do (Genesis 19:16)? Why? Where do they tell him to go (Genesis 19:17)? What does he recognize that the Lord has done for him (Genesis 19:19)? But, what does he think may happen if he goes so far? Where does he ask to go, and why (Genesis 19:20-23)? What happens in Genesis 19:24-25? Where are they when Genesis 19:25 happens? What happens to his wife and why (Genesis 19:26)? Who else looks that direction, and what does he see (Genesis 19:27-28)? Why had God spared Lot (Genesis 19:29)? Where does Lot go, and with whom in Genesis 19:30? Whom have we recently heard about drinking so much wine that he lost his awareness, and great sin was committed by his children (cf. Genesis 9:20-28)? To whom does that happen now (Genesis 19:31-36)? What results from this in Genesis 19:37-38?
What does mercy look like? Sometimes, it looks like being forcibly led by the hand to do what we are much disinclined to do, and which others think we are crazy for doing. This world is in continually imminent danger of the fire of God’s wrath, and we are in perpetual danger of losing sight of that.

When we are sluggish or fearful, it is a great mercy if the Lord grabs us by the hand, as it were, and drags us to our duty. We often dislike His means of doing so. Uncomfortable sermons. The rebuke of a friend. Parents/elders who point out our inconsistencies and insist they be addressed. Even the immediate pressing by His Spirit upon our spirits is something that we often resist.

And, yet, in all of this there is not only strong mercy but also gentle. The Lord not only sparing our souls, but leading us to where we might have safety and peace.

The Lord’s rescue of Lot is a picture of all of these things to us. It answers the question, “What does God’s mercy sometimes look like?” And Genesis 19:29 answers another question, “Why is it that God shows us such mercy?”  Because He remembers the Mediator. In this case, it is rather specifically Abraham. But, we know that ultimately, it is Christ—that seed of Abraham through whom the promise comes true that in him all the families of the earth are blessed. It was on the basis of that promise that Abraham interceded for Lot, in union with Christ. And it is upon the basis of that promise that we who are united to Christ may intercede for others, or even for ourselves!

When we cry, “in wrath remember mercy!” (cf. Habakkuk 3:2), we are really crying out, “In wrath, remember Christ!” 
Which difficult mercies have you received? Which are you currently rejecting?
Suggested songs: ARP2 “Why Do Heathen Nations Rage” or TPH385 “The Lord Will Come”

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