These words, "While he lingered," are some of the saddest and
most convicting words you will find in Scripture. They are stated in reference to Lot when
the city of Sodom was about to come under God’s judgment. We read, "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." (Gen. 19:15) A clearer warning of
the impending doom of this city could not be given. The end had come, and all that Lot had
labored to possess was about to come to a sudden end.
It is then that we read these words, "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." These words pierced deep into the inner man of Lot and expose the
real condition of his heart. He lingered because his heart was still in Sodom.
Despite "seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their
unlawful deeds. (2 Pet. 2:8)," he loved this present world and what he could
extract from it.
Lot’s roots were deep in Sodom. Earlier he had made a choice based
on sight, and eventually he not only lived in a city filled with immorality that made him
sick, he profited in it, and sat among its leaders. He settled down here. The first use of
the word "house" in our English Bible is that of Lot’s dwelling. Unlike
Abraham who dwelt in a tent, Lot drove his roots deep into the earth in Sodom. So much so
that when warned of impending judgment, he lingered, needing to be snatched out of that
city by angels.
One cannot consider Lot’s life without thinking of the church and
how it too has settled into the world as if it were its finally resting place. It has
driven deep foundations for itself. Despite being warned of coming judgment, it would
linger. Its affections are here, rather than on things above. Is it any wonder the Church
will need to be "raptured?" It will need to be taken by the hand and forcefully
removed before judgment comes. May we be looking heavenward where our citizenship is.