When crisis comes, do you tend to revert to old patterns of behavior? Today, we will consider two warning dangers when we face a crisis. Noticing them can warn us to get back on track with our faith.
10 "Low Lights" in the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19)
- Two angels proceed to evil Sodom.
- Lot shelters them from the evil intentions of townsmen.
- Lot offers his daughters to be abused by the evil men.
- Angels strike the evil men with blindness.
- Lot's urging of relatives to leave Sodom has no impact.
- Angels rush Lot, Lot's wife and 2 daughters out of town.
- God reigns fire and brimstone on Sodom.
- Lot's wife turns backand is turned into a pillar of salt.
- 2 daughters get father drunk and they become pregnant.
- 2 children form Moab and Ammon - enemies with Israel.
Lot's response in crisis? No mark for God and family in ruin.
God's grace: Ruth, great-grandmother of David, is from Moab!
Warning Danger #1. Loss of Courage (Genesis 20:1-10)
Abraham moves out of the promised land and heads back into the Arabian Peninsula, toward Egypt.
Q) Why move? Abraham saw the destruction of Sodom, but he did not hear from Lot or his family. Discouraged?
God is seemingly not answering his prayers, he does not have a child; he is getting older (100 years). Discouraged?
He repeats a pattern of calling Sarah his sister to save his life.
Q) What do you tend to believe about God, others and self when you are down, tired, hungry or sad?
a. False beliefs about God:
- God is too busy for me.
- God does not care.
- Why does God take so long to answer me?
b. False beliefs about others:
- Others are better than me.
- Does God love them more?
- I am in competition with them.
c. False beliefs about myself:
- I will take control of my life.
- I am alone.
- I do not need God.
So the Sovereign God speaks up for Abraham. He comes to Abimelech in a dream and reveals Himself. So God uses the "pagan king" to chastise Abraham.
Warning Danger #2. Loss of Discernment (Genesis 20:11-16)
Abraham did not sense that these people feared God. So he feared them.
- Because he was running away, he was not discerning.
- He didn't see God at work. He didn't see the opportunity to witness and be a light.
- Abraham was wrong and spoke in half-truths.
Q) Do you ever tell 1/2 truths?
- Remember Satan is a liar and the father of lies.
- If you are not sensing God's spirit in timing, it could be that you are running from God. It is a warning danger.
- Your lifestyle choices are huge - impacting many.
Abraham prayed for the king, and his family was healed.
But think how much more impact he could have had if he had had courage and discernment. Maybe he could have won him to his God, influenced a nation...
Q) What about you? Are you courageous and discerning?